Birmingham City have signed striker Troy Deeney on a two-year deal after he left Watford earlier on Monday.
The 33-year-old said the Hornets had “literally changed my life” as he paid a heartfelt tribute after his 11-year spell at Vicarage Road ended.
Deeney was out of contract at Watford next summer, but his departure was announced prior to his move to Blues.
“I feel sadness, and a loss, similar to losing a family member,” Deeney said in a video on Watford’s Twitter account.
He joined Watford from Walsall in August 2010, scored 140 goals in 419 games for the Hornets, and helped them gain promotion to the Premier League in 2015 and again last season.
“I feel excitement about my new journey and what’s to come in the future, but most of all I feel tremendous pride at what I’ve achieved over the past 11 years and the friendships and connections we’ve made,” he said.
Speaking to Birmingham’s club channels following his signing, Deeney added: “Everyone knows that this is my team, I’ve made that clear in the past but if I was going to join Blues it had to be right for all parties.
“I believe in the existing project here and, having spoken to the Gaffer [Lee Bowyer] and Craig [Gardner], can clearly visualise my role in the squad.
Deeney, who started his career with non-League side Chelmsley Town, memorably scored a last-gasp goal to help Watford beat Leicester in the 2013 Championship play-off semi-final.
While they lost the Wembley final to Crystal Palace, Deeney inspired Watford’s top-flight return two years later, scoring 21 goals in his first season as captain.
He scored 47 goals in five Premier League seasons before playing a part in Watford’s successful promotion bid last term having dropped back down to the Championship in 2020 and he now joins his hometown club.
“There is an added pressure playing for the club you support, carrying that greater weight of expectation,” he added.
“But pressure is what I thrive on, it’s what I have dealt with throughout my career, proving people wrong and silencing the naysayers but I am very aware this is my biggest task to date.
“Now it is time to do that once again. This is not a swansong. This is my next chapter, and it is time to work.”
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