Sam Vokes described his time at Burnley as a ‘great experience’ as he prepares to start a new season away from Turf Moor for the first time since 2012.
Vokes left the Clarets on deadline day at the end of January to take up a new challenge with Stoke City.
And the fans’ favourite has finally had time to catch his breath following a whirlwind spell – which also included becoming a father for the first time and international commitments with Wales – to look back on his time with Burnley.
“I knew as soon as I joined the club I felt at home,” said Vokes, who put roots down at Turf Moor after six loan moves away from Wolves, including one at Burnley in the 2011/12 campaign.
“For myself and the family it’s been a great period and the success we had on the pitch obviously helped that.
“I had some great times there, with the whole team and the strike partners I had as well.”
Vokes’ combination with Danny Ings fired the Clarets to promotion from the Championship in 2013/14 and he repeated the trick alongside Andre Gray as Sean Dyche’s men won the Championship title two years later.
Vokes then played a big part in establishing Burnley back in the top-flight and took the honour of scoring the club’s first goal in European competition for more than half a century at the start of last season.
In total, the frontman bagged 64 goals in 267 appearances in a Burnley shirt to earn the admiration of management, players and supporters alike.
And the appreciation is mutual for a big figure in the Clarets’ recent history.
“I can’t put one moment in my memory. It’s just the whole lot was a great experience,” Vokes told Clarets Player HD in part of our summer series of ‘A Conversation With’.
“Being part of a club and a dressing room that had that success, and even off the field making some lifetime friends, and the family as well.
“My dad has a great group of mates up there, my wife has some great friends, and all that together encapsulates what it was to be at Burnley.”
Vokes called time on his Clarets’ career to start a fresh chapter with Stoke and their quest to try and win back their top-flight berth as a more regular starter.
But he hopes to be back at Burnley after signing off with some vital goals last season – notably point-winning efforts against Huddersfield and Cardiff City which were key to the Clarets sustaining their Premier League status.
“The boys stayed up well in the end. I was always going to be a fight, whether we were in Europe or not,” added the 29-year-old.
“It’s great to see the boys ended up staying up and for a club like Burnley to have another season in the Premier League is a great achievement.
“It (the move to Stoke) all happened very quickly, but I suppose the hardest part was that I had such good friends and relationships with work and off the pitch with the lads and staff at the club.
“And I haven’t really been back to see anyone. I’ve seen a few of the lads away from the club, but not been back to the training ground yet or to a game.
“I didn’t really have time to say good-bye to a lot of people, so it would be great to pop back at some point.”
Watch the full interview with Sam as he talks in depth about his time at Burnley and the big moments he shared as a Claret on Clarets Player HD. And don’t forget, viewing is free once you have subscribed HERE.