Former Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom has issued the following statement on the Oakwell Club’s website.
“The events of the last few days happened so quickly and unexpectedly that I didn’t have chance to personally thank everyone at Barnsley Football Club, players, staff and supporters.
“I have managed to catch up with players and colleagues to thank them and wish them well. I would also like to thank the amazing support that myself and the players have received over the last 2 years. Fans are what make football great, and we have shared some amazing times.
“This last year has been difficult both on and off the pitch culminating in Patrick losing his bravely fought battle. I had and will always have huge respect for him and on Monday when I spoke to James Cryne about my situation he responded in the same way which I know his father would have. Thank you for your support James.
“I understand the anger of many supporters because of the speed and location of my next job but I have never made a secret of the fact that i am ambitious and would leave at some point to further my career.
“As I have said before, one of the reasons I took months to consider signing my first contract as Barnsley head coach was because I was, one way or another, going down a path that would see me leave the club.
“Sometimes the time to leave naturally becomes apparent. We are not always able to choose when opportunities will arise. Sometimes you just have to take them. I am comfortable with my decision and I am looking forward to a totally different challenge.
“A special thank you to all those who have taken the time to thank me and wish me well. Now is the time for you to do YOUR job. Support YOUR club and get behind the players. That is how you can make the biggest difference.
“Now is the time for Barnsley Football Club to make a new start and move forwards. The past two years have provided some unbelievable highs and lows. I will never forget them.”