HONOURED Steve Fletcher admitted he was “absolutely gobsmacked” to learn that the North Stand at Dean Court was being renamed after him – and initially thought he was being wound up.

The club revealed on Tuesday that the terrace, which houses home fans, would be officially unveiled as The Steve Fletcher Stand at Saturday’s match against Bradford City.

And Fletcher, Cherries’ record appearance-maker, revealed that he was lost for words and taken aback when he was informed of the plans.

The veteran targetman told the Daily Echo: “I’d like to thank Eddie Mitchell, the board and the management for giving me this honour. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the stand named after me.

“I was absolutely honoured, very humbled and very proud when I heard about it.

“It is one of those occasions when it makes any person lost for words. It is an honour and something you never think will happen to you when you start playing football.

“I’ve been at the club for nearly 18 years but when the chairman came up and said ‘we’re going to name the stand after you’ I thought it was a wind-up.

“When I realised it wasn’t and saw the seriousness on Eddie Mitchell’s face, I didn’t know what to say. I went very quiet – which was a first for me! It’s absolutely unbelievable.”

A popular figure among the Dean Court faithful, Fletcher has earned legendary status since joining Cherries in 1992. The 37-year-old scored in the play-off final victory at the Millennium Stadium in 2003 and wrote his name in Cherries folklore by netting the dramatic goal which ensured the club’s Foot-ball League survival last season.

Fletcher, who has no plans to hang up his boots, has again been a key figure this term as Eddie Howe’s team have mounted a charge at the other end of League Two.

And despite this latest personal accolade, his focus remains on securing a place in League One.

Discussing Saturday’s clash against Bradford, Fletcher added: “It will be a very heart-warming moment for me and I can’t really describe how I will feel, but the most important thing on my mind will be the game because it is such a huge game for the team.

“Every game becomes bigger, like it did last season, because we’re playing for something.

“We’re fighting for what we set out to achieve at the start of the season. Promotion would be the icing on the cake, not just this season, but in my career and in most of the players’ careers.”

Cherries chairman Mitchell added: “The renaming of the North Stand is a great way to honour Steve’s service to the club and he is a much-loved player among the supporters and wider community.”

The winding-up petition issued against AFC Bournemouth Limited by HM Revenue and Customs was dismissed in the High Court.

The court confirmed yesterday’s outcome, which had been expected after the club paid around £350,000 to the tax man, who had been petitioning for arrears of £314,000.