They say all good things must come to an end, and Rotherham United captain Lee Frecklington has this week left to join his first professional club Lincoln City for an undisclosed fee.
On the face of it the move makes perfect sense for both parties. Rotherham get a fee for an injury prone 32-year-old midfielder who was in the last six months of his contract and Lincoln get a player still highly regarded at his home town club on a two & a half year contract fairly cheaply.
But these facts don't begin to tell the story of a player that is so loved at the New York Stadium, most fans feel bereaved this week (if you look at twitter anyhow).
"Frecks" was our captain, our leader, the fulcrum of our team. He conducted himself impeccably both on & off the pitch, always had time for the fans. Put simply, when Frecks played well, RUFC played well.
He joined Rotherham in the middle of our first season at New York Stadium when the club were handily placed for a promotion push in League 2 & proved to be the final piece of the jigsaw as the Millers were promoted after a 2-0 win over relegated Aldershot in May 2013 with Frecklington grabbing the decisive goal in injury time.
Frecklington scored twice at Crewe in August 2013 in the Millers first game back in League 1 & followed that by scoring the winning goal in the Millers 2-1 League Cup win over local rivals Sheffield Wednesday three days later.
He scored 13 times in our successful 2013/14 season including a goal in the playoff semi final v PNE which sent the club to the playoff final at Wembley where Championship football was secured with a Penalty shootout win over Leyton Orient despite Frecks missing one of the Penalties in the shootout.
Lee took to Championship football like a duck to water & his performances & goals were an integral part of the team managing three consecutive second tier seasons before last season's relegation.
Unfortunately injury has taken it's toll on his Millers career over the last couple of seasons but he has turned out 19 times for RUFC this season scoring 4 goals including his first professional hat trick in September's 5-1 win over Walsall at NYS.
Lee has been the SINGLE most important Rotherham United player since the club moved to the New York Stadium in 2012 & in my personal 40+ years of following the club Lee is in my top 5 Millers players.
On behalf of all Millers fans I'd like to thank Lee for his remarkable service to the club & wish him every success at Lincoln & the future, he will be sorely missed.