The French winger, who joined the Seagulls back in January 2016, made 139 appearances for the club, with 27 goals and 25 assists in that time, and scored 15 times in Brighton’s promotion-winning 2016/17 season (as per TransferMarkt).
Sadly, the 28-year-old’s time at the Amex Stadium was overshadowed by the death of his father four years ago, with many of his team-mates and then-Seagulls manager Chris Hughton attending the funeral in France (as per BBC). In 2018, he revealed that he had been struggling with mental health issues.
Knockaert took to Instagram (via @knockaert_anthony) to pay an emotional thank-you to team-mates, staff and fans at Brighton, particularly for their “love and support” at the time of his father’s passing and during subsequent difficult times.
The Frenchman said on the social media platform: “Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club will always have a very special place in my heart. I wish the club every success in the future. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Knockaert’s contribution during the promotion campaign, in which he was named EFL Championship Player of the Year, should ensure that he is always remembered fondly by the Brighton faithful, not least as he had such an influence in that success despite losing his father during that season.
There were times when indiscipline let him down, such as his red cards against Everton and Bournemouth, but his last goal for the club was a particularly memorable one – a winner away to Crystal Palace which earned him the Premier League Goal Of The Month award for March 2019.
If Knockaert can have anywhere near the same level of influence at Fulham – who are firmly in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League – that he had for Brighton, the Cottagers faithful are sure to idolise him in years to come.
Brighton fans, what did you make of Knockaert’s emotional farewell message on Instagram? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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