Boyhood Salop fan David Edwards reflects on his time with Shrewsbury Town Football Club.
At the end of the 2020/21 Sky Bet League One campaign, Shrewsbury Town bid farewell to David Edwards on the pitch as the midfielder leaves the Club upon the expiration of his contract at Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Over the course of two spells - and after graduating from the Salop academy - Edwards made over 200 appearances in Blue and Amber at the old Gay Meadow and Town's current home Montgomery Waters Meadow.
After a career filled with Premier League and international appearances with Wales, Edwards sat down to reflects on his time with Salop after his lengthy and successful career.
On his Salop time coming to an end:
"This experience has been life-changing really. The Club brought me through as a young man and gave me the platform to go and have the career that I've had. I will forever be in the debt of everyone at Shrewsbury Town. Getting to play for this football club at an older age meant I appreciated it that little bit more. I have enjoyed every single moment and it has been a huge part of my life. It's a sad day but I am looking forward to the next chapter.
"I have vivid memories of my debut. I remember sitting at home in my mom's house in Pontesbury just waiting to go - I had to get a lift to the game. I was really nervous for the rest of the day. Gay Meadow was so special. Being on the pitch with the fans there was amazing. Getting the nod to come on was amazing and it felt so surreal.
On his return:
"All of my family are Shrewsbury fans and I wanted my little boy to watch me playing for Shrewsbury. I wanted to come back and thank the Club for everything they have done for me because I didn't get the chance when I left.
"I was always grateful to the fans for supporting me throughout my career. Coming back, I felt like it was an opportunity for me to thank them for that. I have been very proud every time I have worn the shirt and to possibly finish my career here is something I always wanted to do."
Despite leaving the field of play, Edwards acknowledges the Town fan inside will drive him back to Montgomery Waters Meadow as the 35-year-old looks forward to supporting the Salop XI from the stands with his friends and family in the home end.
"It's hitting home and it's quite sad knowing I won't play for Shrewsbury Town again but I am so grateful to have had the opportunity. It will be really special being with the fans next season in the stands, I am looking forward to that.
"Selfishly, I am quite sad that I haven't been able to say goodbye out on the football pitch but I wanted to say thank you to them. I am looking forward to getting back in the stands. I don't think it will ever be the same as what Gay Meadow was but it will be brilliant.
"Shrewsbury is a special community and Shrewsbury Town are at the heart of that. The Chairman and Brian have been magnificent with me. I want to continue helping out the community guys with the amazing work they do.
"It will be nice to come back here as a fan to watch the lads at the right end of the table."
Congratulations on a great career and thank you, Eddo!