DEPARTED Blackburn Rovers midfielder Tom Cairney has paid tribute to Blackburn Rovers supporters, team-mates and manager Gary Bowyer following his shock switch to Fulham.

Cairney, who was named player of the year in his first season at Rovers and won goal of the season in his second for his stunning strike at Norwich City, said on Twitter last night: “Everyone understands football is an unpredictable occupation, one minute I’m looking forward to pre-season at Brockhall the next I’m at Fulham.

“I will treasure the memories I have at Ewood for the rest of my life. I have to say the friends I made at Rovers, players, staff and supporters, are very dear to me and I thank you for all the kind wishes I have received.

“I wish Rovers every success and hope promotion is achieved. Hopefully my new club can join them.

“I have nothing but thanks love and respect for everyone connected to this great club.

“And thank you to the gaffa for turning me into a better player.”

Cairney scored nine goals in 85 appearances during his two seasons at Rovers.

The 24-year-old initially arrived at Ewood Park on a six-month loan deal from Hull City but, after establishing himself as a firm fans’ favourite, he was signed on a £600,000 permanent deal in January 2014.

Rovers owners Venky’s sold Cairney to Championship rivals Fulham for a fee in excess of £3m and which could rise to £4m.