JAMES Brown has asked the Hartlepool United faithful to remember him in the good times – while admitting he has no argument over his departure from Victoria Park.
The 25-year-old was yesterday delivered the news that he was surplus to requirements at the club with which he made his professional debut six years ago this month.
In that time Brown has appeared 200 times, scoring 37 goals, and at one stage the talented forward was the subject of overtures from a host of Premier League clubs.
But a catalogue of injuries have blighted his progress in recent seasons and his appearance has been all too fleeting for his, and supporters’, liking.
Brown, though, leaves an extensive collection of memorable moments for fans to savour, not least his 14 goals in 2007/08 when he was crowned both Supporters’ and Players’ Player of the Season.
And, in an exclusive interview with SportMail, Brown paid tribute to the club’s followers.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the fans who have supported me over the years,” said the Northumberland-born star.
“They’ve always been great to me and hopefully they’ll remember me in the good times.
“I’m leaving with lots of happy memories and I’ll always remember the support I’ve had through all of my time here.
“Hopefully one day I can return to the Vic and maybe pinch a goal or two!”
Brown made just 10 starts this term, coming from the bench a further 14 times, and there had been hope in January, under Neale Cooper, that he was set to re-emerge as a first-team force.
But an ankle injury ruled him out for the remainder of the season last month and yesterday’s announcement was expected.
And Brown admits he had no complaints.
“I’ve had a great time in my eight years,” he went on.
“I’ve made a lot of friends and I’ll stay in touch with some of them for the rest of my life.
“The last two years have been frustrating as everyone knows.
“So it was probably best for myself and the club to part company at this time.
“Hopefully now I can kickstart my career elsewhere and I’m looking forward to a new start.”