Stockport County striker Scott Spencer is leaving the Hatters in order to get more game time elsewhere in the National League North.
But Scott says he departs Edgeley Park with fond memories and a lot of love for the players and staff he’s leaving behind.
He said: “I’m just so grateful to Jim and the staff for giving me a chance in the summer, I was so happy to get a second opportunity here and wanted to make the most of it. Of course I’m gutted to be leaving again, but this club and this manager have helped me to fall in love with football again.”
Scott decided to retire last spring, but always said that County was the only club that could persuade him to change his mind. He joined the Hatters on non-contract terms in August, but has only started two games since then.
Scott said: “I completely understand Jim’s thinking, he’s going in a different direction and the style of play isn’t right for me. The only time I’m getting on is as a sub when we’re chasing the game, and recently we haven’t needed that kind of impact. In fact, I’ve been sitting there with my joggers on whilst the lads have been smashing teams out of sight, so I haven’t been called on that much!
“Most important of all, though, I’ve rediscovered my love for football, and when I score I just go nuts, it’s such a buzz. The lads have been amazing, I love everyone at the club and the gaffer has been immense, we have such a good relationship.
“When I came back in the summer, some people thought I might not be Jim’s cup of tea, but he has been one of the most professional people I’ve ever worked under. He has spoken to me every single week, even when I wasn’t playing, and been dead straight with me. What more can you ask? I’ve got the utmost respect for him as a coach, a manager and a person.”
So whilst having mixed emotions at his exit, Scott is raring to go, ready to play regularly for another club, and hasn’t been short of offers. He said: “I’ve had a few clubs on the phone and I’ll be making a decision this week. The whole experience of coming back to Stockport has given me the love back and what great memories! Remember the goal against Chester last time around, the goal at Altrincham this season, and then finishing up with my top off celebrating at the Cheadle End the other week: I’ll take that.”
And Scott knows his team mates will miss him – he said: “I’m always late for training because of work, I just can’t get there for 5.30pm, and I get fined every single time, so the players’ Christmas fund is probably going to take a hit now I’m leaving!”
But manager James Gannon says the door hasn’t closed forever on Scott Spencer. He said: “It was a difficult decision to let Scott leave to play football for another team but I feel it’s the right move for him.
“He’s played his part in several games with his most notable contributions being as an impact sub. When he joined in pre-season we didn’t know what it would lead to, but he was clearly a different striker to what we had, and when the season got under way he gave us a great attacking boost at times and scored some valuable goals.
“However, with the current form of the first team being strong, Scott’s opportunities becoming more limited, and the number of first team games dropping down to one game a week, we felt that Scott should consider other options which provided a stronger chance of regular football.
“We wish him well and will be tracking his progress, and hopefully we’ll be keeping in touch as the season progresses.”
Scott said: “It might sound weird but when he spoke to me I just kept thanking him over and over again, I’m so happy that he kick-started my career because I’d much rather be doing this than be a retired fat idiot!”
Scott added: “Between me and my brother Grant, we’ve made more comebacks than Frank Sinatra – and the fans haven’t seen the last of me, that’s for sure. I want to thank them all for their support, they’ve been different class and I’m really going to miss the place, but it’s time to start a new chapter.”
And the highlight of the season for Scott? He said: “Watching from the stands when Clarkey scored a last-minute winner against Curzon Ashton. We’ve been friends since we were four years old so that is a moment I will never forget. It has been an honour to be part of this squad.”