Dean Windass, in his modest manner, claimed City’s No 10 shirt was a big one to fill.

Well, for two seasons at least, it fitted Peter Thorne a treat.

He may have scored less than half the 87 goals that put his predecessor third on the all-time club list.

But the 32 that Thorne rattled in after joining from Norwich City in July 2007 were bagged at a prolific rate of one every other game.

He rattled them in bursts despite the constant curse of injuries.

Remember, it took him three months of the 2007/08 campaign to finally break his duck against Chester in the FA Cup.

But then the goals started flooding.

He netted seven in a seven-game blast early in the new year, including a hat-trick against Notts County – opponents he always relished playing.

And Thorne made a flying start to last season with eight goals from the opening seven matches as City powered to the top of the League Two table.

Sadly neither could maintain that momentum.

His double in the final, meaningless home game against Rotherham last April turned out to be his swansong on the City scoresheet. In hindsight, maybe Thorne should have called that it rather than being persuaded back for one last unsuccessful hurrah by former manager Stuart McCall.

But in the week that the 36-year-old waved goodbye and hung up his playing boots, he refused to see it that way.

“I’ve no regrets about trying to carry on,” he said.

“If I had packed up last year it would have been niggling away in the back of mind that I should have played on one more.

“But that’s it now. I’ve got to listen to my body and it’s saying I’ve had enough.

“I’ve been out that long with my hamstring and I’ve got a problem with my knee now that might need an operation. You can’t keep fighting it.

“When you aren’t 100 per-cent fit you don’t do yourself justice.

“You’ve got to think about quality of life.”

Through all the setbacks – and there were many – Thorne was always a chirpy figure; as popular with the Valley Parade staff as his team-mates.

He enjoyed practising his Portuguese with the chef as much as passing on playing tips to the club’s young trainees.

It’s no surprise that Peter Taylor has offered him the chance to help with a bit of training.

And even if he does not take that up, expect Thorne to be regularly knocking round the place.

“I’ve loved it at Bradford and the way I’ve been treated.

“I’ve just got great memories about the place; about the fans and the people who work there.

“The most disappointing thing is that we didn’t go up. I wish that could have happened last season, not just for me but all the lads, the supporters and for Stuart.

“Bradford made me enjoy my football again and I’ll always be grateful for that.

“If I was leaving a club who were struggling it would be harder. But I genuinely believe Peter Taylor will do a great job.

“I think they’ve got a big chance of going up next season. It’s just a shame I couldn’t be with them.”

City will not feel the same without a Thorne in the side.