Birthday boy Adam Hammill has admitted his football career might have been over had it not been for former Barnsley owner Patrick Cryne.
Winger Hammill, who turned 30 on Thursday, saw his career nose-dive at Huddersfield Town.
Cryne, who died last weekend, was instrumental in 2015 in bringing him back to Oakwell for a second spell.
“It’s devastating news about Patrick, He brought me back to the club and gave me the opportunity to play football again,” said Hammill.
I’ll always be incredibly grateful for that.
“He put a smile back on my face and I’m sure I returned the favour. I used to speak to him on a regular basis. We were pretty close.
“He was fantastic for the club. He was a fantastic servant and did wonderful things.”
The Reds host in-form Fulham in the Championship this afternoon looking for their first win at home against the Cottagers for nearly 18 years.
Hammill expects a highly-charged atmosphere as the Reds look to give their former custodian a fitting send-off.
“We want to put in a performance which matches Patrick’s legacy,” the player stressed.
“Saturday is about showing the respect he deserves, and hopefully the fans turn out to give him the send-off he deserves.
“If we can feed off at that atmosphere and go out there with the attitude of giving Patrick a good send-off, that will stand us in good stead.”