LONDON (AFP) - Jermain Defoe admitted he was overcome with emotion as the Tottenham striker said farewell to White Hart Lane on Thursday.
Defoe, fifth on Tottenham's all-time goal-scoring list, will jet off to Canada this week to start his spell with FC Toronto after agreeing to join the MLS club during the January transfer window.
The 31-year-old hit 143 goals for Spurs in two spells with the club and is their all-time leading scorer in European competition with 23 goals.
Defoe had hoped to make one last appearance in front of the Spurs fans when Ukrainian outfit Dnipro visited north London for a Europa League last 32 second leg tie on Thursday.
But, with a hamstring injury sidelining the England international, Defoe, had to say goodbye during half-time instead.
Former West Ham forward Defoe was given a standing ovation as he walked onto the White Hart Lane turf for the last time and, speaking in an on-pitch interview, he made it clear Spurs will always retain a special place in his heart.
"I'm speechless to be honest," he said. "I remember it like yesterday when I signed and walked onto the pitch and the reception was fantastic. It's something I will always appreciate.
"I definitely have to say I will always remember the Wigan game when I scored five goals. I think I was the third player to get five in a Premier League game and to win a game 9-1 was a massive thing.
"I still think about the goals now and yes, I am going to miss this place, It's been part of my life and my family, it's a special place."