Fans’ favourite Kristian Haighton announced this week that he was leaving Clapton after two seasons.
The utility man posted a Twitter message about the ‘hard decision’ he’d made while praising some ‘great people’ and ‘incredible fans’ at the club.
He arrived at Clapton the beginning of 2015/6 from the Swedish third division and quickly formed a reputation with the Tons as a solid and classy operator across the defence or midfield
Having been one of the most consistent picks in the last two years, even captaining the side many times, Haighton had been in and out of the side this time round.
So we asked him if lack of playing time was the reason why he was leaving the Tons.
Haighton told CFC News: “No, I’m not moving on due to lack of appearances. The lack of playing recently was due to myself and my availability.
“I’ve been looking to move back home to Felixstowe and commute into London for work therefore journey times etc wouldn’t be ideal for Saturday fixtures.
“Also, last season we finished second which was amazing! Obviously all the boys want to push and play for promotion but unfortunately due to the standards of our facilities even if we were to finish top this season we wouldn’t be able to go up! Unless a lot of changes happen at the club.
“So of course I’m hoping to work hard and get my head down and join a club with the ambitions to push for promotions and that has the same drive as myself.
“I’m not saying Clapton didn’t have this but there are a lot of things currently in the way that are stopping that from happening.
“All I know is there is a quality squad at Clapton that deserve to play higher and deserve this for their efforts especially for last season. I think the fans deserve this too!”
As well as being one of the most physically fit players, Haighton was one of Clapton’s Spice Boys, one of several easy-on-the-eye faces who also worked as a model.
We can’t pass up the opportunity to remind you he also made a TV appearance as ‘handsome man eating scotch egg’ in a furniture ad.
We also asked about his highlights with the Tons and unsurprisingly the discussion went straight to the Gordon Brasted Memorial Trophy final win in 2015.
He said: “It was a pleasure to play for Clapton and I feel lucky to have captained such a great team especially under your support. And with such a talented squad.
“My favourite moment was winning the cup final in the first season with the club, That day was just perfect, fans, the squad, even to the celebrations afterwards,
“Another personal moment that I’ll always cherish is hearing my chant from you amazing fans for the first time!
“I’d never had that before and from then on I felt welcomed as if I was part of the family.”
The reaction from fans and players showed he will be much missed – and manager Jonny Fowell said he’s welcome back any time.