JAY McEveley admitted that he didn’t know he “was seen in that light” by the Swindon Town fans after receiving a standing ovation as he was substituted late on in his final game for the club on Saturday.
The full-back made the last of his 78 appearances for Town in the 2-1 home defeat to Rotherham United, revealing after the game that he had been unable to come to terms on an extended stay in Wiltshire.
When he was taken off with three minutes left of the 90, the majority of the County Ground crowd rose to their feet to salute an unsung hero of the Robins’ up and down campaign.
It was a poignant moment for McEveley, who said he was a little surprised at the reception.
“It was special. I didn’t know I was seen in that light, to be honest.” he said “I just go about my business and give everything on the pitch.
“If I have a good game or a bad game or a six out of 10 game I’m always giving 110 per cent. Maybe they’ve seen that and I like that in them.
“Looking at this season I think my form’s been more than a six out of 10, to be honest.
“I think I’ve had a pretty good campaign and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve enjoyed playing with these talented kids.
“Looking at the programmes and seeing 95s and 96s makes me feel old. I don’t know how it makes Darren Ward feel but it makes me feel old. I imagine it makes him feel ancient.
“It’s been a great season and I’ve enjoyed every minute.”
McEveley, whose young family is based in the north west, conceded that that may be a factor in his decision to leave.
He said: “It could be but that wasn’t an issue really. I’m not saying I’m going to move back up north.
“Whatever happens, happens. Nothing’s been said, I haven’t spoken to anyone. I’ve only just really sorted it out the last couple of days.”
The Scouser suggested that the squad he is leaving behind has the ability to push for a League One play-off place this season.
When asked how much potential Town’s young team has, he said: “A lot of potential.
“I’ve said it all season. There’s a lot of talent in this squad. The ups and downs and highs and lows can only stand them in good stead for when it comes round next season.
“They’ve had a year together now and next year you’ll see a totally different thing. Everyone will be singing from the same hymn book.
“One or two additions and I don’t see any reason why they can’t go better than this year and make the play-offs.
“I train with them every day and this is a talented, talented squad.”