DICK Advocaat was Sunderland head coach for just nine games but he left a lasting impression on the fans and the City.
Supporters, grateful to the Dutchman for keeping the club in the Premier League, took to social media in their droves to thank Advocaat after it was confirmed he wouldn’t be extending his stay at the Stadium of Light.
We asked fans to send in their own tributes to the 67-year-old, who is heading back home, using the #ThanksDick.
And it is fair to say we were inundated with messages, with supporters taking to social media sites Twitter and Facebook to pass on their own messages of thanks.
A class act, great bloke, and best manager the club has ever had were just some of the emotional tributes paid.
Fans tweeted their views to our Sunderland Echo SAFC Twitter account, @sunechosafc and here are some of the highlights:
Stewart @StewHellens Cheers Dick, you did a superb job. Enjoy retirement, you’ve earned it #thanksdick
Tonys Tweets @TonyS87 if I could pick me own grandad, I’d pick Dick #thanksdick
MackemMiss @MoTurn17 thanks for everything. You’ll be remembered fondly on Wearside #thanksdick
Neil Hall @neilhall75 no better time to leave than now, #thanksdick #safc, enjoy retirement
Craig Jackson @jacka17 @sunechosafc Had a while to take in the news and think about replacement, Sean Dyche for me. Great job with poor squad and no money. #safc
Graham @Grahamy78 @sunechosafc A great bloke, positive and professional. I love him #thanksdick
Nick @NicksSport Thanks for the tears, thanks for caring. You got a taste of what it’s like to support this great club. We thank you #ThanksDick
Allan Davis @AL_SNR58 Thanks for keeping us up Dick and good luck in the future #thanksdick
SAFC.NOTTS.BRANCH @gas335 Thanks Dick, best manager we’ve had in decades. Shame you couldn’t stay, but we wish you a long and happy retirement. #safc
Graham Dunn @GrahamDunn2 You are welcome back in Sunderland ANYTIME Dick.....we know what you achieved was immense #thanksDick
Ken Clasper @ken_kenc It’s a real pity to see him go, but he has to think of his family first
Fiona mccrum @fiona_mccrum @sunechosafc you made me believe again. You made the sun shine. #thanksdick
Bill Will @Billwill185 Enjoy your retirement Dick, many thanks you did an amazing job at Sunderland. #thanksdick
Chris @csmithnola The guy was pure class. Hopefully his wisdom will stay with the club for years to come. #thanksdick
Craig Jackson @jacka17 sunechosafc You made us proud of our club again #thanksdick
Alex @Beermack_ He is an absolute pro, we’ve have been lucky to have him at the helm! #safc
Peter Stamp @pwstamp Real shame. One manager finally ticked all the boxes - just too late. Thanks, Dick - hope you visit sometimes
J. Chapman, Deceased @mrtav_na_istoku Di Canio saved us, became a hero, then a villain. Gus was largely the same. Dick is just a hero.
Mark Gradwell @Mark_Gradwell Thank you & goodbye to Dick Advocaat. Time to move forward with what is probably the most important decisions in clubs recent history #safc
Keith Dirk McStea @jezzrez Can only say Dick was a Class Act, Skill & Enthusiasm beyond belief #9MatchLegend #SAFC All the very best wishes to him
Supporters also left messages on our Sunderland Echo SAFC Facebook wall and you can do the same here
Hilda Bell wrote: “Retirement calls, enjoy more time with your family Dick, stress of the premiership best avoided.”
Casper J Gibbons said: “Dick your a legend loved by the mackems best of luck in whatever you do FTM”
Steve Childs wrote: “Thanks for saving us Dick, we’ll always be grateful, enjoy your retirement, sorry you’re leaving!! Gutted!!”
Ken Norman added: “Dick you are forever in our hearts. I think you could have been the manager that puts this massive club where it belongs. Enjoy your retirement xxx”
Stephen Harrison paid this tribute: “Good decision Dick. You came to do a specific job & did it. Enjoy your retirement.”
Meanwhile, Kevin Ebdale said: “Enjoy your retirement we are missing you already thanks for everything you are a true gentleman xxx”