STATEMENT RELEASED ON BEHALF OF PAUL HECKINGBOTTOM:
“I leave Sheffield United after three and a half years with many great memories created by many great people.
“I begin by thanking Prince Abdullah and the Board for entrusting me with managing such a special club. The challenges and successes have made for such a special couple of years, and it has been an honour to lead the team during this period.
“To the staff at Bramall Lane and in the Academy, your roles can never be underestimated or undervalued. You are the heartbeat of the club and will continue to be, regardless of who is in charge. Thank you.
“To all First Team staff at Shirecliffe, thank you for helping to create a fantastic place to come to work. It has been a joy! Your attitude and professionalism has helped us to navigate some potentially tricky moments and has kept us moving forwards, no matter what.
“To the players, those who have left, those who I have known a long time and those who I wish to have known longer, thank you. Working with you all is the best part of the job. The focus and spirit that you demonstrated allowed us to achieve special things. Our history-making season in the face of adversity, born out of a heart-breaking and emotional loss in the play-offs the season before, will forever be my highlight. A record 91 Championship points and an FA Cup Semi-Final does not begin to tell the story. Well done and I hope to catch up with you all soon.
“Finally, a message to the fans. Thank you for your support. You are what made the journey so special and many of my fondest memories are of the players and fans celebrating our victories together. Bramall Lane on a match day will always hold a special place in my heart. I loved it! When the dust settles, that is what will bring me back. I hope to catch up with many of you then. In the meantime, keep supporting your team.”