LUTON Town winger Charlie Henry has a simple message for Newport County – thanks for the greatest time of my life.

The former Cambridge City and Havant right winger, given his bow as an England C international this year, joined the Hatters on an initial one month loan with a permanent move agreed from January 1.

It’s a deal that seemingly all parties are happy with, Luton getting a good player, Henry joining a big club minutes from his Stevenage home and the Exiles satisfied with a significant transfer fee that can be put to work in the new year.

However, having become a real terrace idol after scoring nine times as the Exiles swept to the Conference South title last season, Henry admits he does leave Spytty Park with a heavy heart.

“What can I say about Newport? It’s very difficult and in a lot of ways I am gutted to be leaving,” said Henry.

“I’ve had the best two years of my life down here and the best time in my career by an absolute mile.

“The ideal scenario for me would be to win the league with Luton and then get to watch County win the playoff final, I wish everyone at the club all the best.”

Henry lifted the lid on the circumstances of his departure, admitting he would have been happy to stay on.

“The gaffer (Dean Holdsworth) rang me to say they’d accepted a bid and that I should go and talk with Luton,” he explained.

“I was excited because they are a huge club and right on my doorstep, but I was still relieved when the gaffer said he didn’t want me to go and would like to keep me.

“But the talks went really well and now I can’t wait to get started as a Luton player.”

Henry paid tribute to the Spytty supporters and staff, though he can’t promise not to score against the Exiles – as he has for three previous sides – when the two clubs meet in February.

“I did have a habit of scoring against Newport, I better not talk about that,” he quipped.

“But I will enjoy coming back and seeing everyone, the club has been great with me.

“The players are a very close group, the backroom staff, right up to guys like Matt Southall have been brilliant with me and I will miss everyone, especially the fans.”

- Henry is so keen to say a proper farewell to the club that he will be attending the game this afternoon with Hayes and Yeading as new club Luton are not in action.