"The fans have been amazing and they have opened up my eyes to what football should be about.
"The management are amazing, the staff behind the scenes. This club will always be a special place."
Leeds manager Simon Grayson had hoped to persuade Beckford to stay with the offer of an improved deal after the striker's winner at Elland Road on the final day of the season against Bristol Rovers clinched automatic promotion to the Championship.
"I got in the changing rooms and put my head in my hands and the tears dripped down my face," he admitted. "It felt like such a weight had been lifted. It's what we've been searching for, for the past three years."
But the lure of a direct route straight to the Premier League appears too much for Beckford to ignore.
Following Leeds' decision, this could soon be a reality. But Everton have refused to comment on reports that the former Wealdstone forward, who has scored 65 goals in his last two seasons for Leeds, was holding talks with them.
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