Gaby Zakuani will always be a Peterborough United fan...even though he’s joined the club’s biggest rivals, Northampton Town.
Zakuani (30) was released by Posh at the end of last season after 253 appearances, in two spells, for the club and nine goals. He’s the 13th highest appearance-maker in the club’s Football League history and was a key part in two promotions from League One to the Championship.
But he’s a Cobbler now and he insists there was no hesitation in pledging himself to a team 40 miles down the road.
“I didn’t want to leave Posh,” Zakuani insisted. “But once they let me go I had to do what’s best for me and my family and Northampton is a great fit for me in terms of location and the standard of football they offer.
“Of course I will always be a Posh fan. You can’t spend the amount of time I did there, with the amount of success we had together, and not develop a lot of love for the place. I enjoyed a great relationship with the Posh fans and I hope I haven’t damaged the relationship too much by joining big rivals!
“To be fair the positive messages I’ve had from Posh fans far outnumber the negative ones I’ve had.
“I knew the writing was on the wall for me when the chairman stated ‘no-one was safe’ towards the end of last season and I was determined to accept the decision without making a fuss.
“I’ll never forget the two promotions, the seasons in the Championship when we were punching above our weight and the friends I have made at the club, on and off the pitch.
“We had some tough times as well, but the good times far outweighed the bad.
“I hope Posh and Northampton have good seasons. It will be strange coming back to the ABAX Stadium to play against them, but I’m a professional so I’ll get on with it and try and help my new team to win.
“I spoke to a lot of clubs after leaving Posh, but Northampton manager Rob Page was by far the most impressive. He told me he wants his defenders to defend first and foremost and that was music to my ears!
“I’m still going to be living in Peterborough so of course I will follow them closely. My son Ajae plays for Posh under 10s as a striker.”
Zakuani, who turned 30 last month, will be back at the ABAX Stadium with Northampton Town for a League One game on Tuesday, October 18. Posh go to Sixfields for the resturn game on Saturday, November 19.
The last players to transfer permanently from Posh to Northampton were defenders Kelvin Langmead and Nana-Ofori Twumaso who followed manager Gary Johnson from London Road to Sixfields in 2012.