Kayden Jackson has signed for Championship side Ipswich Town for over £1m in a new record deal for Accrington Stanley.
The striker scored 16 goals last season as Stanley won the League Two title and was impressive in pre-season against higher league opposition.
The Reds signed Jackson, 24, last season on an undisclosed fee from Barnsley and the Tykes have a sell-on clause with the striker signing a three-year deal at Ipswich this morning.
“This time about 13 months ago, I didn’t know where I would be, whether I would be playing first team football at all, now I have a medal to look at and it has easily been the best year of my life,” said Jackson.
“It has been hard few weeks, there were a few offers from the Championship, I could have stayed in League One and I would have enjoyed it but it’s a good opportunity at a club where I really believe I have the opportunity to play games and score goals in the Championship. It is a dream come true for me from where I was 13 months ago.
“While I have my dream move, it is also quite sad. I loved every minute of my time at Accrington, I had my own song which was great and from day one every Accrington fan has been positive with me.
“I might not have had the best games all the time but the fans never got on my back, I never got an ounce of stick. There may not be 5,000 there every week but they were unbelievable and were class with me.
“I have a lot to thank Accrington for and I think I also helped them. I made memories I will never forget, I got on with everyone at the club and made some friends.
“It’s like a big family at Accrington, it’s a great atmosphere and it’s so easy to settle in, everyone made it so easy for me.”
Jackson links up with former Stanley defender Janoi Donacien who signed for Ipswich last week.
“It was easy coming to Ipswich as Janoi is obviously already here and I know a few players here as well as the fitness coach from my Barnsley days.
“I hope I can make my Championship debut soon. I scored for Grimsby on my debut and Accrington on my debut so hopefully I can do the same for Ipswich.
“I am proud of what I did at Accrington and the contribution I made to the club winning the League Two title. Hopefully the money they have from me will help the club too, to be their first £1m player will stay with me.
“I feel so proud of everything we achieved in that season, it was a special season and Accrington will remain one of the first results I look for.”
Stanley boss John Coleman said: “Obviously clubs came in for Kayden and, while he made the right noises about saying he was concentrating on football, his head must have been spinning.
“Kayden did well for us and while we didn’t want to lose him, the most pleasing thing is Accrington are no longer seen as a bargain basement club. Now if anyone wants a striker from us, the starting point is £1m.
“We have shown that players come here and, with excellent coaching and a great work ethic, they can prosper and coming to Accrington will improve their value.
“I hope to sign a couple of players, maybe today or before the loan window closes on August 31st.”