Ipswich Town will miss Tommy’s ‘influence and experience’

A bandaged Tommy Smith and Luke Chambers congratulate each other after Town's 1-0 victory over Birmi

A bandaged Tommy Smith and Luke Chambers congratulate each other after Town's 1-0 victory over Birmingham City. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town will miss the ‘influence and experience’ of departing stalwart Tommy Smith, according to striker Martyn Waghorn.

Tommy Smith could say a farewell to Ipswich fans on the pitch this weekend : RICHARD MARSHAM/RMG PHO

Tommy Smith could say a farewell to Ipswich fans on the pitch this weekend : RICHARD MARSHAM/RMG PHOTOGRAPHY

Smith’s move to Colorado Rapids was confirmed on Monday, bringing to an end more than a decade in the Blues first team which has seen him make 267 appearances and score 23 goals since making his debut in 2008.

While Waghorn will miss the presence of a man who has been with the club since he was 14, he is happy to see his friend making the most of the opportunity to try something new in the United States.

MORE: From goals, celebrations and head wounds to playing Santa and posing with dogs - Smith certainly made his mark at Town

“He’s a big influential player who has been around the club for a lot of years and is one of those experienced heads even though he’s not that old age-wise,” he said.

“He’s got a great experience of the clubs, the fans, everything around the place and he will be a big loss.

“It’s an opportunity for him, one he needs to take to go and play and move on with his family and be happy.

“I wish him all the best, I’ve really enjoyed my time with him and he’s a really good lad.”

The departure of the Blues’ longest-serving first-team player will certainly leave a hole, but Waghorn believes there are plenty of others remaining for whom Ipswich Town Football Club holds a special place in their heart.

Tommy Smith has signed for MLS side Colorado Rapids. Photo: Pagepix

Tommy Smith has signed for MLS side Colorado Rapids. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

MORE: ‘Tears were flowing, but I hope to be back’ – Tommy Smith signs for Colorado Rapids

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The striker said: “It’s not only Tommy but there’s also a lot of boys here like Skusey (Cole Skuse), Chambo (Luke Chambers), Didz (David McGoldrick), Bart (Bartosz Bialkowski) and Hyamsy (Luke Hyam) who have been here a lot of years.

“That shows in the way they play and know the club inside out – the gaffer as well, who has been here a few years.

“It’s nice to come to a place where you’re made to feel welcome, is settled and you work off that.”

Smith’s move to Colorado will see him link up with his former New Zealand manager, Anthony Hudson, and join a playing squad including former Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard and recently-signed ex-Wolves player Jack Price.

Rapids begin their season at the end of February.

MORE: Ipswich must return to their clinical best to stay in the hunt - Waghorn

Ipswich's Tommy Smith celebrates giving his team the lead against Brighton at The Amex with Abthony

Ipswich's Tommy Smith celebrates giving his team the lead against Brighton at The Amex with Abthony Wordsworth and Jonny Williams - Credit: Archant