‘I want success with Ipswich Town... I need that’ – Luke Chambers on his desire to right some wrongs

Skipper Luke Chambers. Can he lead Town to a wonderful week?. Photo: Ross Halls

Skipper Luke Chambers. Can he lead Town to a wonderful week?. Photo: Ross Halls - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers recently moved into the club’s top 10 all-time league appearance makers. ANDY WARREN spoke to him about the achievement.

He’s already racked up 32,978 minutes of action during 368 appearances and secured his place in club history, but captain Luke Chambers has unfinished business at Ipswich Town.

The defender is currently in his ninth season with the Blues, having joined on a free transfer from Nottingham Forest on 2012, with his unquestionable dedication to the club seeing him recently break into club’s top 10 all-time league appearance-makers, alongside some of the greatest names in Ipswich Town history.

Chambers sits 10th behind legends including Mick Mills, John Wark and Paul Cooper and, should he finish this campaign and play another full season at Portman Road, beyond the end of his current contract, he’ll pass George Burley for eighth and could make it up as high as fifth on the list.

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But there’s something missing from his resume. Something he strived for when he moved to Portman Road more than eight years ago. Something which still eats away at and fuels him in equal measure.

Success on the pitch.

“I’m never going to be at the level of some of the lads at the top of the list but that’s just the way football is these days,” said Chambers, who is both proud to be among such prestigious company and accepting of just how highly decorated the rest of the top 10 are compared to him.

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“The history of the club is fantastic and to be involved in that is a great feeling.

“But I also want and need success with Ipswich Town. I need that. I’ve been crying out for it. I’ve wanted it ever since I came here in 2012.

“Back then we wanted to get to the Premier League and it hurts that we’re such a long way from that now. As I’ve said, it doesn’t sit well with me.

“We’ve got an opportunity to do something this year. We know what’s required.”

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Chambers’ dedication will now see his name forever mentioned alongside some of the best to ever do it in Ipswich blue, with the skipper proud to have got to know some of the club’s legends during his time at the club.

“I’ve had a lot to do with George and John but I haven’t met Mick very often - I know he does commentary on a lot of our games (for BBC Radio Suffolk) so I’m not sure about his opinion of me,“ Chambers joked.

“I spent a lot of time with George because his grandkids and my kids went to the same school for a while and we chatted in the playground. He’s a really good guy and he’s looked after me.

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“Johnny Wark is always around, although I haven’t seen a lot of him recently because of the lockdown, but I know all about what all three of them achieved for this club.

“To be in their company for the number of appearances I have made is great for me and my family.

“They will be the same as me – we do it for the fans, to try and achieve success for the club and give everything for the cause. My family are proud of me and that’s what matters to me.”

The skipper has been one of Town’s top performers this season, rolling back the years in a right-back role he played so regularly under Mick McCarthy and proving to be the model of consistency as Town sit third in the League One table.

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He’s 35 now and, as he has been so regularly reminded by manager Paul Lambert, Father Time remains unbeaten. He’s not thinking of slowing down just yet, though.

“I feel as fit as I can be and I think I’m showing that in the games I play,” Chambers said.

“As long as I’m playing well and I’m helping the team I’d like to think that age will just be a number. I just want to enjoy my football for as long as possible and if I fly up the list of the top 10 appearance makers, fantastic.

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“I’ve given nearly 10 years of my life to the club, and the area if you like, and it’s something I will always look back on with great pride and know that I earned my place in the record books.

“For me, personally, it’s huge to be up there with some of the big hitters in the history of the club, albeit not in the same illustrious circumstances.

“It’s still something they can’t take away from me. I feel I’ve given really good service to the club and it wasn’t something I ever envisaged when I first signed.

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“But to be honest I don’t really want to talk about the personal stuff too much. It’s great for me and my family – they’re the ones I do it for – but the only thing that matters is success for the team and the club.

“The last few years haven’t been great and even before that, although we were close on occasions. It’s not something that sits well with me but at the end of the day I’m just a cog in the organisation and I can only do my own part really.

“I’ve done it here and elsewhere and I’m close to 750 games overall (746 for Northampton, Nottingham Forest and then Ipswich) and I’m fortunate that I’m here for my ninth season. Long may it continue.”