Former Horsham defender Michael Hector has joined Premier League giants Chelsea in a multi-million pound transfer deadline day deal.
The Reading centre-back joined the champions on a five-year deal worth £4.5million.
The 23-year-old, who made 11 appearances for the Hornets, has been loaned back to the Royals for the rest of the season.
Hector joined a Ryman League Horsham side during the 2010/11 season under manager John Maggs on loan having signed on scholarship forms with Reading in 2009.
His spell at the Premier Division outfit was one under a series of loans at lower-level clubs before going on to make his championship debut in 2014.
Speaking on his time at Horsham to the club’s website last year, Hector said: “The team spirit was brilliant. John Maggs was the manager and I still remember his team talks and will never forget the banter he had with the players.
“He treated me, and all the players, like his own son. I did all my training at Reading so only came down for matches but John was on the phone to me all the time, making sure I was okay and that I was okay getting picked up as I didn’t drive in those days.
“Kingy (Jahmahl King) and all the other lads had a great team spirit and it was a real stepping stone for me. The only downside was the sendings-off, really.”
The Premier League new boy’s spell at Horsham was marred by three red cards, but the towering defender says it has helped mould him.
He added: “I’ve learned not to react to things now. I was young and naïve then and allowed myself to get involved in a few incidents.
“It’s taught me that you can’t react to things like that and I only had myself to blame. But I’ve learned from my mistakes and am better equipped to deal with it now. Actually I haven’t been sent off since I was at Horsham.”
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