Tommy grateful for second chance
Having completed his protracted move away from Vicarage Road in a professional and admirable manner, Tommy Smith returned briefly to thank Watford fans for their support in his second spell at the club:
'I would like to thank the supporters, I wished some things hadn't happened at the end of my first spell but sometimes things happen like that and I'm just grateful that I had the opportunity for a second chance with Watford.
'I wanted to make sure I proved to the supporters that I was a better player and I've been touched by the messages that myself and my family have received since I left.
'They've been flattering and I'm really chuffed with them.' Said last seasons 17-goal top scorer.
In a frank interview, the new Portsmouth winger-cum-striker lifted the lid on his acrimonious first departure:
'As for coming back I probably didn't think I would return to be honest, I left under a bit of a cloud the first time and I never thought it would happen.
'People didn't understand what had gone on but when the opportunity came up I jumped at the chance.
'The Club had changed massively in the few years I'd been away, the professionalism around the place was something that showed straight away and has continued to this day.
'Under Aidy [Boothroyd] the Club had taken steps forward, the Club hadn't been in a great position when I left but everything was stronger when I came back. There were lots of things that had improved such as the staff and the way you were looked after.' Said Smith.
Finally, I'd like to take the time to congratulate Smith on the way he conducted himself in his final weeks at Vicarage Road. In a [football] world dominated by such exorbitant levels of greed, it's a pleasant and surprising rarity to watch a player complete his move away with such professionalism, honesty and I'm sure no-one begrudges Smithy his move.
In his nine years at Vicarage Road Smith made 227 League starts and a further 36 appearances from the bench, [only one his second spell however], scoring a total of 60 league goals in the Yellow shirt.
Good luck Tommy.