“EVERYTHING in life happens for a reason, it’s a learning curve and an experience.
“Some of those things have been good and some of those things have been not so good but, ultimately, the things I have learnt in that time have improved me as a person.
“Everything that has happened to me at Weymouth has arguably made me a greater person and a better father.
“For that, I thank everybody.”
Those were the final words spoken to Echosport by Stewart Yetton, as he signed off as a Weymouth player on the night he ended his talismanic three-and-a-half-year spell with the club.
Still technically a Terras’ asset as his return move back to Truro City is a loan deal, Yetton’s contract is up at the Bob Lucas Stadium in the summer and, with the switch back to Treyew Road now in place, he admits that he is set to start a new chapter in his career, probably a few months earlier than he initially thought.
“Realistically, I think me, Jase (Matthews, manager) and the chairman (Chris Pugsley) knew that I probably wasn’t going to be around next season anyway,” Yetton said.
“Obviously I had been out the team and there has been numerous times in the last two to three years where Truro have come in for me and I have had the chance to possibly go, which I have never done.
“It wasn’t really that I wanted to leave, if I’m honest. I wasn’t really pushing for a move and I would have happily stayed. Jase knows that and Chris knew that but I think, ultimately, I wasn’t really featuring, or in the plans.
“We spoke over a period of time and it started to dawn on me that, although I didn’t want to leave, it was probably the right time.”
He continued: “The club is bigger than any one player. I leave with a heavy heart and I am very sad to be leaving because I enjoyed every minute at Weymouth. I loved my team-mates, loved the kit man and the fans. I found it very difficult to come to terms with.”
Signed by then manager Brendon King at the Terras’ end-of-season presentation in May 2013, just a day after he became a free agent, Yetton, who also came on loan to Weymouth when he was a teenager, admitted he was taken back by the scale of the club at first.
He added: “Very shortly into my spell I realised how good the club was and how big the club was.
“I came on loan when I was 17 before, but since I signed again I had every intention of hopefully being around for a while.
“I am not someone in my career that has made a point of chopping and changing clubs.”
As well as banging in the goals, one of Yetton’s most treasured achievements during his time at the Bob Lucas Stadium was being named club captain by boss Matthews.
Speaking about being named skipper of the side, Yetton said: “It was something I was immensely proud of. Arguably, for me, that was the greatest achievement in my career, the greatest thing I will cherish is being captain of Weymouth Football Club.
“That almost meant more to me than winning any medals or doing any other stuff. That, for me personally, I took great pride from.
“To lead the club out so many times like I did and having that responsibility, it was feeling like I was growing up a bit and becoming more of a man.
“To be able to lead some of the younger lads was one of the best things for me.
“When you are captain, there is that responsibility of talking to the young lads and trying to help them through. Maybe that feels validated with some of the messages I have received (since leaving). Some of the lads from Weymouth have text me some really nice things.”
Although his iconic beard is now my more trimmed and tamed today, ‘Yetti’ as he was known by Terras’ fans, will be fondly remembered for scoring goals and becoming ‘the beard to be feared’ across the Southern League structure.
At one point, the club even saw supporters wearing ‘Yetti beards’ at the Bob Lucas Stadium, there was an infatuation between the charismatic frontman and the club’s fans.
Even when he has not been part of the club’s starting XI in his latter stages with Weymouth, you will quite often hear the Terras’ faithful sing ‘there’s only one Stewart Yetton’ on match days.
And for that, the former Plymouth Argyle man remains forever grateful.
“The fans are fantastic and they deserve a club that gets promoted,” he added. “They deserve a championship winning year and I hope they get that.
“Hopefully in the next couple of years I can come up as a fan and join them for that, because they are absolutely brilliant. I always said to the lads that they don’t realise how lucky they are, at the level we are, to have fans like that, and have so many of them.”
And, on having to say goodbye to his Terras’ team-mates, Yetton added: “There are so many of those lads that I have become, what I would like to believe, good mates with.
“Coppy (Jordan Copp) I have travelled with for so long, I am going to miss Coppy because he is such a wet lettuce! I will almost miss ripping it out of him daily and weekly.
“Sitting in the car with him I am going to miss, I love the guy and it’s almost like he is my child at times! It sounds silly but I will miss him.
“I have so much time and respect for each and every one of them in that dressing room, whether it’s this season or ones who have left previously.
“It’s a club I will hold very dear in my heart and will be one of the first results I will look for every week.”
The decision to let Yetton go has been seen as one for the future by the Terras, but while he led the club from the front as skipper, many people can say they were entertained by what was one of non-League’s larger than life characters.