Birmingham have confirmed Troy Deeney’s signing on a two-year deal after the striker ended his 11-year stint at Watford.
Deeney says he is “immensely proud” of everything he has accomplished with the Hornets. The 33-year-old’s contract expired at the end of the season, but Watford agreed to let him leave as a free agent.
He has now joined his hometown club and youth club, Birmingham, having signed a contract with the championship team until the summer of 2023 with the option of an additional 12 months.
The striker joined Watford from Walsall in 2010 and scored 140 goals in 419 games – including his famous hit against Leicester in 2013 that brought the Hornets to the championship play-off final
In an emotional statement announcing his departure, Deeney thanked Watford for “getting me back on track when I hit rock bottom”. In 2012, he served three months of a ten-month sentence for brawling.
Deeney wrote: “It’s strange to be asked what I want to say about my life at Watford Football Club and the emotions I feel after leaving a club that is so important to me.
“I feel sadness and loss, almost like a close family member has just died. I’m excited about my new journey and the rest of my life.
“Most of all, I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved and the friendships and connections I’ve made. Watford literally changed my life.
“The Watford family saved me and helped me get back on track when I hit rock bottom.
“Watford is a small part of planet Earth, but for some of the most tumultuous years of my life it has been the center of my universe and I couldn’t have asked for better supporters to stop me and I was truly honored to be the captain. ” this club and the representatives of the fans on the field.
“While there is always some frustration when a great journey comes to an end, it will pass quickly and great memories remain that will become the pillars of my life from now on.
“Last but not least to the fans – you were great and I can’t say less than that I love you with all my heart.
“You took me into your heart and I can never pay you back. This is my club forever now and I hope you know that I left everything on the pitch.”
Deeney’s arrival in Birmingham was announced just hours after leaving Watford and he told the Blues website, “Everyone knows this is my team.
“I’ve made that clear in the past, but if I wanted to go to the blues, it had to be right for everyone involved. I believe in the existing project here and can clearly visualize my role in the management team.
“There’s an added pressure to play for the club you support and it carries the greater weight of expectations. But pressure is what I thrive on, it’s what I’ve dealt with throughout my career, people that Prove otherwise and silence the naysayers, but I am very aware. ” this is my biggest task so far.
“Now is the time to do that again. This is not swan song. This is my next chapter, and it is time to work.”
Birmingham head coach Lee Bowyer said: “I’m delighted to bring someone on board with their experience. He’s a winner and wants to help get the club back in the right direction. He’s also a very good player, scores goals, brings physicality and “brings togetherness.
“He knows what is important, and that is enormous. He is a leader both on and off the field to guide some of the others – especially the younger ones who look up to him.
“I have to say that Craig Gardner [technical director] Deserves kudos for getting Troy through the door. The player deserves a lot of credit for taking a huge pay cut to come here and people won’t notice.
“He wants to play for this club and improve it. Craig and the chairman have done exceptionally well in bringing someone of his format. As head coach, I am grateful to all of them.”
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