Date: 25th January 2018 at 9:34pm
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Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom has spoken of his memories of Patrick Cryne following his recent passing.

With Fulham up next this weekend at Oakwell, as Heckingbottom met with the media for his pre game press conference, a major topic was the passing of our former owner and he told the Official Site.

‘It has been a difficult week, a little bit surreal really. I woke up Monday morning with missed calls from Jean and I did worry to be honest, it was the news we had all been fearing. It`s not been nice, but I know what Patrick would want and that`s for us to work even harder and keep trying to do the right things, but at the minute we are all thinking a lot about Jean and James.’

Heckingbottom went on to say.

‘I spoke to the players on Monday and told them. To be honest, not a lot of the players knew him as we have changed a lot of them in the summer but every one of them understands that it was Patrick who got them here and none of them would be here without him. Although a lot of them personally didn`t meet him, they understand how bigger role he`s played at this Club in getting them here.’

The gaffer talked about his own personal memories of Cryne, their first conversation and the times they didn’t see eye to eye on certain things.

‘There are lots of good stories, I could have wrote a lot down. A lot of the time we could have come out of a meeting or something had happened and we would both go with a totally different impression. One of us would think it`s an argument and one would think we`re getting somewhere! That started really when I was doing the U21s, I remember the first ever time. I came away having had direct contact with the owner, direct influence and asking opinions in an exchange, I came out really happy. How many coaches get that sort of direct contact with an owner, the main decision maker? I came out thinking I can make a difference here, but the next time I spoke to Patrick he went away with a totally different impression thinking who does he think he is, what`s he talking about? That was a long time ago now. Obviously over the last couple of years we`ve been working really closely to help to try and improve things, that`s when you really get to know a person because you`re making big decisions together, really trying to push each other and support each other.’

With Cryne calling himself a ‘reluctant custodian’ of Barnsley, Heckingbottom went on to say that he felt he simply didn’t like the attention that came with the role and he’d have much preferred to be in the background.

‘What he really meant by that, or what my opinion of it is, is that he didn`t really want the attention that came with it. He wasn`t reluctant in running the Club as he took a massive sense of pride in that and felt a big responsibility of it. The fact it wasn`t just him, it was his family as well made it a big part of his life. I don`t think he was reluctant as in he didn`t want it, there was just lots of things that come with that position that Patrick could have done without, I wouldn`t want people to think he was reluctant and trapped here so he didn`t want to be here, he took a lot of pride and enjoyed that responsibility.’

30 year old Adam Hammill also spoke about life at the club under Cryne.

‘As someone who knew him well, it was devastating news and I feel sorry for the family. Patrick brought me back to the club and gave me the opportunity to play football again. He helped get the smile back on my face and I’m sure I returned the favour. I think he played a big role in my career. I used to speak to him on a regular basis and so he was pretty close to me and I want to put in a performance on Saturday to warrant what he deserves.’

As for Fulham, he ended by saying.

‘I think it’s got the ingredients to be a really good game with two teams who like to play good football, two teams who will be going all out for the win. And with the added sad news about Patrick we want to go out there and put in a performance he’d be proud of and hopefully giving him the perfect send-off.’