‘My daughter needs two operations in London’ – Judge lifts lid on why QPR move turned his head
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Ipswich Town midfielder Alan Judge has opened up on the family reasons which drove his interest in a summer switch to QPR.
Mark Warburton was keen to be reunited with his former Brentford star at Loftus Road, but Town turned down several offers from the Championship club - the bidding reaching £600k - for a player they themselves had only just handed a two-year deal to.
Blues boss Paul Lambert made it public that Judge 'would like to go', but said the club would 'not sell on the cheap', that West London was 'only a couple of hours away' and the playmaker would 'have to get his head down'.
Now Judge has told his side of the story in an interview which will be published in tomorrow's matchday programme ahead of the League One clash with Shrewsbury Town at League One.
"QPR did come in for me," said the 30-year-old. "I know it was said that the move did appeal to me and, yes, it would have meant playing in the Championship, but there were a number of other reasons why I would have been interested and they are personal reasons.
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"My daughter Emily needs two operations. She needs those operations in London and I was living five minutes away from the hospital.
"You ask any parent what comes into your mind first - your family, your kids. The welfare of my family is number one for me. Always will be. I've kept it quiet until now. Only a few people know about it at the club.
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"I don't want to go into the details of the surgery. There are two stages but they are big operations.
"I had to think about everything as a parent as much as a footballer and that's why I felt staying in London and going to QPR was maybe the right thing to ask about. Sometimes more important things than football take over."
Judge, who has moved his family base to Suffolk in the last few days, continued: "I spoke to the owner and he said he understood my situation but wanted me to stay and that was the end of it. I was happy to get on with it from there.
"I can understand it that the fans can get disappointed if they hear a player wants to leave. They are entitled to their opinions but sometimes they are not aware of the full facts.
"I heard some comments that I didn't care about the club and all that but those people don't know me. I'm not like that. I've always given everything wherever I've been."
Judge, who missed virtually all of pre-season with a broken wrist injury, has had a below-par start to the season. He's started just one league game so far, with Lambert proclaiming the Irishman is now slowly getting back to his best.
"When the supporters watched me play against Sunderland they probably thought 'crikey, what's going on with him?'" admitted Judge.
"It was the same at Peterborough. I sat outside the dressing-room after that game and thought to myself 'I can't even cross a ball'. The gaffer overheard me talking to myself and he knew where my head was and said it will come right in time.
"I feel I'm getting there now though. I've got over the injury which put me back six weeks and my family have moved down to Ipswich this week which is massive for us as a family.
"My daughter will have her operations at the end of September so there is still the worry over that naturally but life is a bit calmer now and that will help my football."