An emotional Des Buckingham bid a heartfelt farewell to everyone at Mumbai City FC as the Englishman parted ways with the Islanders to embark on a new chapter in his coaching career with Oxford United.

Joining the Islanders ahead of the 2021-22 season, the 38-year-old gradually transformed Mumbai City FC into a team to be feared. He led the club to their first-ever win in the AFC Champions League in 2022, a historic achievement for any Indian club, and secured a second-place finish in the AFC Champions League with two wins and a draw.

Also Read: From grit to glory: Des Buckingham's unforgettable stint at Mumbai City FC

As time passed, Buckingham’s side exhibited resilience and grit, playing free-flowing football and dominating opponents both at home and away. They enjoyed a remarkable, record-breaking season during the ISL 2022-23 season, where they broke and set records on the way to winning the ISL League Shield.

With Buckingham's departure, he leaves behind an enduring legacy at Mumbai City FC. On Friday, he took to Twitter to share a heartfelt note with the fans.

“We achieved so much together, making history and many special memories along the way. All the way from securing India's first-ever win in the AFC Champions League in 2022 to lifting the ISL League Shield together last season. More importantly, the way we were able to achieve these milestones - playing some of the most exciting, free-flowing and high-scoring football - has been a pleasure to watch from the sidelines,” the note reads.

Mumbai City FC fans gathered at the airport to bid farewell to their talismanic head coach as he prepared to embark on his new adventure. Buckingham was deeply moved by the outpouring of fan support, and their presence to bid him goodbye intensified his emotions.

In a heartfelt moment, Buckingham conveyed his appreciation for the journey and the affection he received from the fans since his arrival at the club.

“Didn't know anybody or too much when I came, but I have been made to feel so welcome, firstly by you guys, secondly from Mumbai, and thirdly from across the country. And for you all to turn up at this time of the night and do what you've done to see me off, I'll never forget this (moment),” he said.

Finally, he passionately appealed to the fans to gather in large numbers at the Mumbai Football Arena, urging them to sustain their steadfast support for the team.

“Thank you so much for the support you've given me, thank you so much for the support you've given the team. It was so special to be here at Mumbai City FC. Please continue to turn up at the stadium and I know you will. I will be supporting from Oxford and hopefully, we'll have some more fans to support Oxford from here," Buckingham signed off.