‘One hell of a ride’. It sums it up perfectly.

On July 5, 2004, Michael Duff walked into Turf Moor as a ‘League Two player wanting a chance to play higher’.

He walked into a squad of eight players, a club favourites for relegation, with a training facility that involved getting changed at Turf Moor and then driving to and from the training ground.

On Wednesday, 5,183 days later, he sat down at the £10.6million Barnfield Training Centre to reflect on his 14 years at Burnley for one final time.

In the room where Duff looked to the past as well as the future there was a picture of him on the wall. At the ground where his commitment to the cause won so many admirers he is part of the ‘Wall of Legends’.

Some ride.

“They’re nice, it’s just this dance! Four hundred games, three promotions and all people talk about is the dance,” Duff jokes.

The dance became a trademark celebration of those promotions, from Wembley in 2009 to the steps of Burnley Town Hall in 2016.

But it was more than the moves that earned Duff his place in the hearts of Burnley fans. He’s the only Claret to ever win three promotions to the Premier League - a record he hopes can never be beaten, for obvious reasons - and since hanging the boots up he has ingrained into the Academy the values of the club.

So when he walked into this club all those years ago, could he ever have imagined all that has followed?

"I don't think anybody could have done,” the 40-year-old said.

“I just wanted to come and test myself, play a few games in the Championship and see whether I could cut it or not.

“To play nearly 400 games in the top two divisions has been brilliant.”

The club has been transformed in Duff’s time, from Championship also-rans to the seventh best team in England last season.

There have been lows as well, but the successes have been so plentiful and so memorable that they’ve already been wiped from his memory.

"I can't remember many bad ones,” Duff said. “I'm sure people will remind me along the way that there was quite a few.

“When I joined we had eight players and we were favourites for relegation from the Championship. To walk in to this building now and see those players that have just walked out on to the training ground, I think the club has come a long way. I'll only take good memories away from this place.”

Asked for his favourite moments Duff picks that play-off success against Sheffield United at Wembley and the first promotion season under Sean Dyche in 2013/14.

"The best moment was the Wembley win, just because of where it was and it was so unexpected,” he remembers.

“The best season was the first one here under the current gaffer, the 2013/14 season. We had such a small group of players, ultimately 12 or 13 players, added in with a few others who were unbelievable characters. They didn't play as much but they were just as important.

“It was against the odds after selling Charlie (Austin) at the start of the season, people wrote us off, but we just seemed to get on a roll.

“The manager still talks about that season. I don't know what it was but something definitely clicked that season. That was the catalyst for all of this. That was a special season.”

Since retiring Duff has spent a year in charge of the Under-18s and then the Under-23s. But this summer he stepped up to first team level to cover for Tony Loughlan, who was recovering from hip surgery.

That gave him the chance to be part of the Europa League journey. It was the perfect bookend to his time at Burnley.

“That encapsulates it, from signing when we had eight players and then weeks before I leave we’re travelling back on a private flight from European destinations. That encapsulates the journey that I’ve been on here,” he said.

It’s a journey that is now over.

When Steve Cotterill bought Duff to Turf Moor he described the £30,000 acquisition as a ‘calculated risk’.

Has any calculated risk ever turned out to be such value for money? After his years of service to Burnley, Duff is now returning to the club where his playing career started, beginning his managerial career back at Cheltenham Town.

But he will leave with a bit of this football club forever a part of him.

“The club is ingrained in me. It's become a part of me now,” Duff said.

“One of the reasons I'm going back to Cheltenham is because it's similar. I'll always have an affinity here, I'd like to think that I did okay for the club, I know for a fact that I proved value for money.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute. Hopefully the people know that I gave it a go as a player. I wasn’t the greatest player, I was fully aware of that, I never come out and said I was the greatest player, but I gave it my lot.

“That’s what the manager wants from his teams and that’s what Burnley fans want from their team, and luckily I managed to play in quite a few games as well. It’s been a great 14 years.”