Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes: ‘I’m still an Ipswich Town fan’

Jordan Rhodes celebrates his goal at Portman Road for Blackburn Rovers.

Jordan Rhodes celebrates his goal at Portman Road for Blackburn Rovers. - Credit: Archant

Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes insists his goalscoring celebrations at Ipswich Town on Tuesday were not aimed at the Blues fans who still love him.

The 23-year-old irked sections of the home support for his over-zealous reaction after grabbing Rovers’ equaliser in the Lancashire side’s 3-1 defeat in Suffolk.

Controversially deemed surplus to requirements by former Town boss Roy Keane, Rhodes was sold to Huddersfield where he became a prolific marksman, before earning an £8m move to Ewood Park.

And, after making his first return to Ipswich since leaving the club Rhodes, the son of ex-Blues goalkeeping coach Andy – who also left the club during Keane’s tenure – said: “I got a little bit of stick from the fans which I probably brought on myself.

“But I enjoyed that goal for personal and family reasons, not to wind up the crowd.

“I’m still an Ipswich fan, I’m one of them.

“I can understand their frustrations and I just hope that if anyone reads the comments and reads this interview that they will understand my reasons behind it were strictly personal and for my family.”

Rhodes was only 19 when he left the club much to the chagrin of many fans and came up against his former team-mate and best friend at the club, Tommy Smith, on Tuesday night.

Smith recently revealed that he had to collect the striker’s boots for him following his sudden departure from the club and ban from the training ground in pre-season – and Rhodes confessed his exit wasn’t a pleasant experience.

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“It wasn’t nice and as a 19-year-old you think that’s the norm,” said Rhodes, who scored against Town in Rovers’ 1-0 win at Ewood Park last season.

“It was hard to take at the time and never for one moment did I ever want to leave Ipswich Town.

“I grew up supporting this club and I always wanted to run out there at 3pm and put on the shirt but it wasn’t to be.”

- Buy tomorrow’s EADT and Ipswich Star for more from Rhodes