BRIAN Jensen said the send-off he received from the 1,100 Bury supporters who travelled to Morecambe to witness his final game for the club left him speechless.
A 16th clean sheet since arriving at the JD Stadium in August was a welcome bonus for the fans’ player of the season, as was the hard-earned point that came with it following the 0-0 draw, which ensured a 12th-placed League Two finish for the Shakers.
But, following a standing ovation by the packed terrace behind his goal, the 38-year-old goalkeeper admitted it was a bitter-sweet occasion after earlier in the week being told his contract would not be extended.
“It’s emotional, it’s sad but it’s just a chapter in my little book and obviously I have to go on to the next one,” said Jensen.
“For the fans to vote me player of the year, I’m really grateful.
“It’s very, very emotional to say goodbye to them because they have been absolutely outstanding.
“I’m speechless at the support they have shown me.”
It was a fitting end, designed in part by appreciative manager David Flitcroft.
The Shakers boss said after the game that he had brought forward the announcement of his retained list to last week to give Bury fans the chance to say goodbye to their hero.
And Jensen certainly rose to the occasion, making three vital stops - including a breathtaking one-handed save to deny Andrew Fleming - to keep an under-strength Shakers side in the game.
Six other players released by the club, including first-team regulars Richard Hinds, Tommy Miller and Temitpe Obadeyi , were left at home.
And without recalled loan defender Chris Hussey, suspended top scorer Daniel Nadiello and injured striker Clive Platt, Flitcroft was only able to name six substitutes.
Three of those were home-grown talents Marcus Poscha, Regan Walker and Anthony Dudley, while a fourth youth-teamer – Scott Burgess – started in midfield.
But after the teenagers played their part in helping Bury battle to the clean sheet their manager “craved for Jens”, Flitcroft was happy he had made the right call.
“There was no way I wanted to let Jens go without the send-off he’s deserved and earned,” he said, before clarifying his decision not to keep him.
“He could have been a number two here next season and that wouldn’t have been fair to Jens or to the football club.
“Jens as a number two is not the right fit. He’s got two or three good seasons in him as a number one and that’s what Brian Jensen is.
“But I want a different profile of a keeper.
“Not someone who is better, someone who is different – someone who has been versed in playing it out from the back and passing it and who is compatible with my style of football.
“And that is what I will bring to the football club.”
MORECAMBE: Roche; Beeley, Hughes, Parrish, Threlfall; Williams (Edwards 78), Kenyon (Sampson 78), Fleming; Amond (McGowan 65), Redshaw, Ellison.
Not used: Arestidou, Bell, Doyle, Dunleavy.
BURY: Jensen 9; Jones 8, Cameron 7, Mills 7, McNulty 7; Burgess 6 (Poscha 7 54), Tutte 8, Sedgwick 7, Mayor 7; Soares 7, Hope 6 (Walker 6 78).
Not used: Charles-Cook, Procter, Grimes, Dudley.
Yellow cards: Morecambe – Redshaw 84.
Referee: Brendan Mallone (Wiltshire)
Attendance: 2,944 (1,117 visiting).
Star man: Brian Jensen – It seems Bury manager David Flitcroft has found a goalkeeper more suited to the style of play he wants to take forward into the next campaign. But if you want a number one that can stop shots, take crosses and organise his defence then Brian Jensen is looking for a more appreciative master. That’s not to say Flitcroft and Jensen have fallen out, quite the opposite in fact, but it is quite clear that, on this one issue, the Bury fans would beg to differ with their manager’s call. Another imperious display from Jensen was capped by a standing ovation from the 1,100 travelling supporters behind his goal. Let’s just hope that the big Dane’s boots do not prove too big for his successor to fill.