Charlie Adam spoke of his delight after making an emotional return to Bloomfield Road during last night's FA Cup tie between Blackpool and Reading.
The Scot received a standing ovation as he took to the pitch in the final minute of Reading's 2-0 victory, before the Pool fans serenaded him with a rendition of "there's only one Charlie Adam".
It was a special moment for the midfielder, whose appearance on the Bloomfield Road turf was his first since departing the club back in 2011.
“When we got the draw and we knew we were coming back to Bloomfield Road I told the manager I wanted to be in the squad," he told BBC Radio 5Live.
“I knew I probably wasn’t going to be so I knew I had to go and see him and let him know.
“He understood what it means for me to come back here, this is a club that means a lot to me and it’s a special club.
“I’m just delighted I’ve been able to come back and have the opportunity to say ‘thank you’.
“The whole troubles and everything that has gone on in the past few years has made it difficult to come back.
“I’m just glad it’s sorted out. We have a good owner in charge now and the club seem to be going in the right direction with a good manager.
“League One is a tough league to come out of but they’ve got solid foundations and the club is rebuilding.
“It’s been in the doldrums for a number of years but you saw in this game the support they get is great. Hopefully they can continue that until the end of the season.”
The 34-year-old added: “Even during the court case I was always trying to find out what was happening because it means a lot to me.
“This is a great club which gave me a great step in English football, initially on loan and then on a permanent.
“This is the club that gave me the opportunity to go and play in the Premier League with Liverpool and later Stoke.
“I owe a lot to Blackpool and I love coming back. Hopefully this is the start of an opportunity for me to come back and watch and take it from there.”
Adam, who lives in Poulton, was also thankful he only had to nip around the corner after the game rather than make the long trip back down to Berkshire.
“My home is 10 minutes from here so it’s great to be at home so I don’t need to do that four or five-hour bus journey," he joked.
“I live just around the corner so it was great for the family and kids to be here.”