Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Saturday July 18 2009
This week saw club captain Shaun Barker finally seal his £1 million move to Derby.
Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette, Barker was quick to praise the Blackpool fans for making his time at Bloomfield Road so enjoyable.
Barker, who has signed a three-year contract with Derby, told The Gazette: 'I have spent three years at Blackpool and loved every single minute of it. The first season we had the play-offs and the last two seasons have been a tremendous achievement to stay up in this league.
'The play-off final against Yeovil at Wembley was the best day I have had in football.
'We knew we were going to win and we were on a roll - that season we were different class and the last two seasons have been an even bigger achievement.'
Barker added: 'The fans know that I have always done the best I can for Blackpool - I only missed four games in three seasons and you know what you are going to get from me.
'The fans have taken to me and I have won a few player of the season awards - they have been brilliant and I hope they will be rewarded in the future.'
Barker won't have to wait long to be reunited with the Pool fans - the Rams visit Bloomfield Road on August 18, the third match of the Championship season.
He added: 'Hopefully with the money they get from me they can get a couple of quality players and push up the league.
'I leave with a lot of fond memories of Blackpool and I hope they do really well and go on to succeed.
'I tried to sit out the whole speculation and be as professional as I could.
'It was a tough decision to leave and I didn't really want to because I love the club, the players and everything about it.
'But it was just too good a chance for me to play for one of the biggest clubs outside the Premier League.
'Financially, it was a big difference and I come from that area anyway.
'I know that Derby and Forest have been interested for a while but I had to wait to see what offer Blackpool had accepted.
'It was a case of to-ing and fro-ing for a while, and which of the two clubs would have their bid accepted.
'Blackpool were happy with the money they have got for me; they would not have sold me otherwise and hopefully everyone has done OK out of it.
'It was sad to go, but sometimes you have to do what's best for yourself and your family.
'I think I have made the right decision.'
Date:Saturday July 18 2009
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