He said: "It was a big shock [moving to Fulham] from being up north all my life and then coming to London - housing prices was one of them! I loved the buzz of it, the London lights, not getting sucked in to that though.
"To be honest, I fell in love with it as soon as I came down and I never wanted to leave. I was lucky that the fans took to me quite early and I've had the best years of my career here. Up and down moments but honestly to be here nine years, to experience the highs that I've had, I'm very fortunate and I owe the club a lot.
Cairney, who is now 33, was named captain in 2016 and said: "I think it was a surprise really because at the time Scott Parker was the club captain, a hell of a player, a hell of a career but just one pre-season Slavisa Jokanovic just gave me the captaincy and all the boys were like 'what? You're my captain?'
"It just became normal but the disrespect was mad at the start on the bus. I remember Crystal Palace pre-season, he named me as captain and a few of the boys came for me a bit."
On whether he changed after becoming captain: "I think I've changed more as I've got older. Especially talking wise. As a younger player, talking before the game but at that time when I was like 25, I tried to lead more by example than be vocal because I think that is difficult at that age."