AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has praised Tommy Elphick after his departure from Vitality Stadium.
Elphick, Howe’s captain for the majority of his managerial reign, recently moved to Aston Villa after a four-year spell on the South Coast.
Those four years saw Elphick lead the Cherries to the Premier League with an ever present run in the 2014/15, before clocking up 12 Premier League appearances last season.
His influence hasn’t been forgotten by the manager, who praised his ‘top class’ attitude to being the Cherries’ most successful ever captain.
"Tommy has played a key role in the incredible journey we have been on and has been a big part of a team which has created some wonderful memories for a lot of people and everyone connected with the club would like to thank him for his efforts," Howe told the Bournemouth Echo.
"He has been an incredible servant and the most successful captain in the club’s history. He led the club and the team with real distinction, both on and off the pitch. He was also a great ambassador and someone I really enjoyed working with.
"Tommy has a real winner’s mentality and that was very evident to me as soon as I started working with him. He never lost it for a second and was always fiercely determined to do his best at all times. He is a person of great character and an inspiration to all, especially his team-mates.
"A lot of what Tommy did our supporters didn’t see. The way he was with his team-mates in training and the way he communicated with the squad away from the pitch were top class.
"You need players to set the standard and the culture of the football club and Tommy was a fierce protector of everything we did. That is why I think him and I had such a good relationship and why everyone in the squad respected him so much."