Benjani blown away by his welcome home

Benjani back in action for Pompey. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (112920-6)
Benjani back in action for Pompey. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (112920-6)
Dion Donohue heads to the changing rooms after his red card against Doncaster Rovers Picture: Paul Currie

Pompey fans react to successful Donohue appeal

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Benjani paid tribute to the Pompey fans who tempted him back to Fratton Park after he was given a hero’s welcome last night.

The popular Zimbabwean made his debut as a 76th-minute substitute to a deafening reception after sealing a whirlwind return on Saturday.

And while Benjani admitted he is nowhere near match fit yet, he revealed his welcome from the Blues fans had raised his game.

He said: ‘I felt great because the reception from the fans blew me away.

‘They cheered even when I touched the ball.

‘When you have support like that, you can raise your game even higher than you would normally.

‘My fitness is very low at the moment and that’s why the manager only gave me 20 minutes.

‘But it was great to be out there playing again for this club. I love it here.’

After turning down a contract with Premier League Blackburn, the striker penned a one-year deal with Pompey on Saturday morning.

And he insists his relationship with the supporters was a key part in his decision to rejoin the club he left in 2008.

He said: ‘When they called me and asked me to come, I didn’t even need to think about it.

‘When I was here before, I had a great relationship with the supporters and I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to them when I left.

‘But now it’s great to be back.’