Garry Thompson admits he will always treasure the memory of being one of Bradford City’s history makers.
The experienced winger is looking for a new club after being released by Phil Parkinson.
But Thompson swallowed any disappointment over his exit to reflect on his involvement in a time at Valley Parade that will never be forgotten.
Thompson scored 11 goals in City colours, nine of them in that first season which saw them twice march on Wembley Way.
“There were enough special moments for me that year to fill a whole career,” he said. “It was unbelievable.
“There was the goal against Arsenal, the Capital One Cup final and everything surrounding it, the play-offs, scoring against Burton and then winning promotion itself.
“It was a season which will never be repeated.”
Thompson’s name will be etched in the club records for that giant-killing of the Gunners and he also scored the second-round winner at Watford. He appeared in 56 of the 64 games of that marathon campaign.
“I found a lot of newspaper clippings the other day from around the time of the cup final. Re-reading them again does make you think about what we achieved.
“As footballers playing in the fourth and third tier, to go on a run like that is something that will probably never happen again. To play a part of that was something very special.
“It isn’t only the football memories I will take away. There were some great friendships with people you met along the way.
“We were living in each other’s pockets because there were so many games. We played every Saturday and Tuesday and it was something I’ve never experienced before.
“But I couldn’t have done it with a better group of lads. Football is funny because you are like ships in the night. You get to know people and then you move on.
“But I’ll definitely take away more than just football memories from that season. The whole experience was incredible.”
Thompson started 31 games after promotion but was marginalised following Kyel Bennett’s arrival on loan from Doncaster in January. He had braced himself for the news that there would not be another contract on offer.
He said: “I don’t think you can ever expect it but I always tend to prepare for the worst.
“Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have stayed and had another crack at League One with Bradford but the club and manager make their decision and you have to respect that.
“Nobody likes to be released but it’s part and parcel of being a footballer. You have your ups and downs.
“I’d like to thank the fans for the messages I’ve received. They’ve been absolutely superb with me since I signed and it was a pleasure to play football in front of them.
“You hope your time will be memorable whenever you sign for a club. But none will come close to that.
“It’s an opportunity now for me to go to somewhere new and start a fresh chapter. And I really hope Bradford can go on to bigger and better things.”