Dave Kitson says he “loved every single second” of the season he spent with Sheffield United in 2012/13.
The former striker was coming towards the end of his career when he signed for the Blades on a short-term deal.
Yet Kitson ended up staying for the entire campaign, scoring 12 goals in 37 appearances to help them to the League One playoffs.
They lost to Yeovil Town – who went on to be promoted – in the semi-finals, resulting in the sacking of Danny Wilson as manager.
Kitson also left the club, but clearly enjoyed his time at Bramall Lane.
“I just loved playing football for that club,” the 40-year-old told Full Core Football 24. “They just seemed ripe to be a club going back to where they belonged – which they have now, which I’m so happy about.
“I had less than a year there and honestly, I loved every single second of it. The most amazing fans and made me appreciate how good fans can be.”
Where Dave Kitson went next
In a neat moment of circularity for the Blades, Kitson’s next move was to Oxford United. At the time they were managed by Chris Wilder.
It would be another three years before Wilder would come back to South Yorkshire to become boss. Yet he was already making a name for himself in the lower divisions.
Wilder had overseen Oxford’s promotion back into the EFL and when Kitson joined they were pushing to go up from League Two. But halfway into 2013/14, despite good results on the pitch, things went sour off it.
“Ian Lenagan, the chairman, in his infinite wisdom decided to sack Chris while we were top,” Kitson continued.
“They’d clearly had an enormous falling out. Chris then went to Northampton, saved them from relegation and then won the league with them next season.
“We were top and it just fell apart and we limped out of the playoff places.”
Since then, Wilder has won successive League Two and League One titles with Northampton Town and the Blades respectively. The 52-year-old has also guided the latter back to the Premier League following a 12-year absence.
Their ninth place last term is their highest league finish since 1992. It seems like Wilder may have had the last laugh.