Anthony Gordon penned an emotional message to the Everton fans after leaving his boyhood club for Newcastle United in a £45milion transfer on Sunday.
In his post, hours after joining Newcastle, the England Under-21 winger acknowledged many Toffees supporters will not forgive him.
Gordon played a key part in Everton achieving Premier League survival last season, but he failed to live up to those standards as the team struggled again this term.
Having been linked with moves to Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham at the start of the campaign, Gordon came in for particular abuse from sections of the Everton support.
Social media footage showed Gordon’s car being held up outside Goodison Park following a recent home defeat to relegation rivals Southampton.
Gordon has now secured an exit to high-flying Newcastle and is excited about his “next chapter”, but a message on his Twitter page paid tribute to Everton staff, team-mates and fans.
“I came to this club at the age of 11, and not only did it give me a place to play football, but it gave me a second family,” he wrote.
“The club has shaped me into the footballer and more importantly the person I am today. It has given me everything I could have asked for and more.”
— AG (@anthonygordon) January 29, 2023
He added: “Last year felt so surreal because all of my childhood dreams were becoming reality. I wish I could relive some of [those] days, but I’ll settle for the memories, which will last a lifetime for me.
“To the fans, you gave me some of the best nights of my life. You made me a better player. I have always thrived off your energy, and you always made me run harder and faster.
“There [have] been some difficult moments this year, but I never took any of it personally; stick by the team because they need you.”
Gordon, who said he would “miss everyone deeply”, continued: “I love this club and I always have from the day I joined, but the time has come for me to leave.
“I know many won’t understand, but the next chapter awaits. I will always wish the best for this club and always be watching on.
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you and good luck.”
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