Dara O'Shea has penned the following open letter to supporters having joined Premier League side Burnley.
Firstly, I’d like to start by saying what an honour and a privilege it has been to represent West Bromwich Albion over the last eight years.
I moved here as a young boy from Ireland and I genuinely believe the Albion have played a massive part in shaping me into the man I am today. I’ll be forever grateful for that.
I’ve met so many wonderful supporters, staff members and players during my time at The Hawthorns. I’m very lucky to say I now call a number of those people friends.
I can think of so many special, special moments in the eight years I’ve spent here. On the pitch, I think back to making my debut against Millwall in the Carabao Cup, making my league debut against Brentford, scoring my first goal in the middle of storm Ciara down at The Den, winning promotion, playing in the Premier League and winning individual awards.
The club also helped me develop into a full Republic of Ireland international and that’s something which is so, so dear to me and my family. Without the help of West Bromwich Albion, I don’t know if representing my county would have been a possibility.
However, the greatest honour I’ve had here at Albion was being handed the captain’s armband for the first time against Hull City. Legends of this football club have worn the armband and it was such an incredible moment for me and my family to be given that responsibility and privilege.
I hope I’ve always demonstrated to the supporters, staff members and my team-mates just how much the role meant to me and how seriously I took the responsibility.
Being captain of this wonderful football club is one of the best things I’ve ever experienced in football and in life.
Off the pitch, my family and I have shared some of life’s most precious moments in the local area. My son was born here last summer and my family has always felt incredibly comfortable and welcomed in the West Midlands.
Everyone close to me knows how ambitious I am and the opportunity to play in the Premier League was an opportunity I simply couldn’t turn down.
I want to be the best player I can possibly be and play in the biggest games at some of the best venues in world football, and I believe making this move at this point in my career is the right decision.
I am excited about my new challenge, but there is so much I’ll miss about West Bromwich Albion. The staff, my team-mates and you, the supporters, who have shown me nothing but love and respect at all times. Thank you so, so much for doing that.
I will be back at The Hawthorns supporting the lads as many times as possible both this season and in the future.
I wish the club every success and I leave with Albion having a special place in my heart.
Take care, Baggies.