POPULAR old boy Jon Stead believes a Third Division play-off winners' medal represents "happy closure" on his Town connection.
The 21-year-old strike ace, who underlined his prowess by firing six goals in 13 Premiership games for Blackburn and winning an England Under 21 call-up last season, is one of seven players outside the 16 on duty against Mansfield at the Millennium Stadium to receive a prized memento of Town's triumph.
The medal is now a proud possession of the Holme Valley-based star, who scored 18 times in 31 games last season before his big £1.25m switch to Ewood Park.
Stead, who drove down to Cardiff to watch his former club beat Mansfield on penalties and ended up joining in the on-pitch celebrations, explained: "As my hometown club and the one where my career started, Town will always be close to my heart.
"I'll always be grateful for the guidance and advice I received.
"I was thrilled when they won the play-off final, and I'll always want them to do well.
"But now I'm a Blackburn player, and playing in the Premiership is a challenge which requires 100% attention, concentration and focus.
"From my point of view, last season couldn't have ended better, since I made a good start at Blackburn and Town won promotion at the first attempt.
"But it was only a start for me, and I know I have to keep working and learning if I am to move on and get nearer to my goals.
"Getting the medal represents a happy closure of my time with Town, and now I'm eager to start the build-up to what is going to be a massive season for me at Blackburn."
The other six not in the final squad to receive medals are Nathan Clarke (28 games), Paul Scott (23), Ian Gray (22), Ian Hughes (15), Martyn Booty (four) and Iffy Onuora (four).
Those who played first-team football last season but didn't get a medal are Jon Newby (15 games), John Thorrington (six), Dwayne Mattis (six), Chris Holland (five), Gary Harkins (three), Tyrone Thompson (two) and Fola Onibuje (two).