A NOSTALGIC cloud has drawn over Vitality Stadium in recent weeks – but it should not spark a sombre mood.

Ten years ago this month Eddie Howe was appointed Cherries’ permanent manager. The rookie boss brought Steve Fletcher back to Dean Court in what proved to be an inspired move.

Roll forward 17 months and who at the time would have known Marc Pugh’s arrival deserved an almost equally-prominent bookmark in the Dorset club’s history.

In his first interview with the Daily Echo, the Lancastrian said: “Bournemouth is a great opportunity for me.

“I’m expecting to go there and do well. I’ll hopefully put on a show for the fans.”

And what a show it has been (so far) from the club's current longest-serving player.

While the farewell feeling has taken hold, Pugh remains a Cherries player until his contract expires at the end of the season - and stranger things have happened.

However, the 31-year-old’s stunning strike against Brighton earlier this month could be a fitting final bow after eight-and-a-half seasons in red and black.

Pugh temporarily heads to East Yorkshire with 312 Cherries appearances to his name, making 274 in league matches – tied 13th most in the club’s history.

Chairman Jeff Mostyn had been shocked at the £100,000 tribunal fee Cherries had to pay former club Hereford.

The return of 56 goals and 52 assists, with a League One promotion, Championship-title win and four seasons in the Premier League provided plenty of bang for his buck.

Bolton at home, Crystal Palace and West Ham away and the trio at Birmingham all jump to the fore. But Pugh’s time with Cherries means so much more than his goal involvements.

His approach to the sport he loves and every single person associated with the club cannot be beaten.

The volume of support not just from fans and team-mates, but former colleagues, as well, gave a glimpse into the man behind the chops and Cruyff turns which terrorised full-backs time after time.

Fletcher said Pugh topped the list of players he had worked with in 30 years of football, while Steve Cook summed it up: “A legend of the club, a terrific player and a true gent.”

A devout family man, the Bacup-born ace holds a special connection with supporters from his charitable contributions to frequent personal messages.

Chris Mepham’s first interview since joining from Brentford revealed the opportunity to work with Howe was important and reports suggested more lucrative options had been tabled for the centre-back. Return to 2010 and Pugh had a similar experience.

“There’s no point going to a bigger club for more money if you’re not going to be playing first-team football,” he said. “Jason (Tindall) and Eddie have said that I’ll be playing and it’s just a big opportunity.”

Hull can be safe in the knowledge they now have the ultimate professional in their ranks.

The losers in the deal are Cherries but Howe says Pugh’s “desire to play” has to be respected and no supporter should consider doing anything other than wishing him well.