Sylvain Distin joined Everton back in the summer of 2009 following the departure of Joleon Lescott, and has gone on to become a cult hero amongst Evertonians throughout his 210 appearances.
The Frenchman was emotional as he waved goodbye to the Everton faithful at the end of Sunday's defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
“I can’t deny it anymore! I used to but I can’t deny it anymore,” Distin told evertonTV.
“I think you recognise when it’s time to leave and I’ve spent six amazing years here, full of good memories.
"I’ve met a lot of nice people here, and I’m not just talking about the guys I played with every week… it’s the people working in the kitchen and behind the scenes.
"It’s what the Club is, all the people behind the scenes.”
Distin has had his fair share of run ins with fans on social media, so he was also asked about his relationship with Everton supporters.
“I think the fans have a lot of passion, and I have a lot of passion, so sometimes it can create clashes but, when you see what has happened today, you realise it’s love. There’s no love without passion.
“[The reception from the fans was] amazing. It represents all the time I’ve spent here… but it’s football. I’m leaving with plenty of good memories, and a big smile on my face.
“It’s always going to be a pleasure to come back here.”
Social media can be great for constructive criticism and networks provide footballers with the opportunity of interacting with their fans.
However, sometimes it can take a nasty twist with the potential of users hiding behind anonymous accounts. It's easy to post behind a private picture and username when you don't have to face the consequences of what you write.
As public figures is there any way to get rid of online abuse? The authorities are fighting a losing battle if they think now, in this day and age, it can be solved. As reported by the Guardian, footballers have gone to the extent of deleting their Twitter accounts previously due to abuse - even from their own fans.
So, when Distin gives what he receives back, it should be seen as fair game.
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