Greg Halford revealed he did not celebrate his winning goal for Cardiff City against Pompey because of the ‘special time’ he had at Fratton Park.
The versatile defender’s strike – seven minutes into the second half of extra-time at the Cardiff City Stadium – dumped Kenny Jackett’s Blues out of the Carabao Cup at the first-round stage last night.
Halford, 32, made 77 appearances for Pompey between 2010 and 2012.
He was part of the side who were relegated from the Championship in the 2011-12 campaign and experienced the Blues’ tumble into administration.
After scoring Cardiff’s second in the 2-1 victory, Halford did not cheer in elation.
When he fired past Luke McGee, he ensured the Bluebirds’ would take their place in the hat for the second round.
But while he had not thought about it before the game, Halford instantly chose not to celebrate through shear respect for Pompey and the Fratton faithful.
He said: ‘I didn’t celebrate at the end because of my Pompey connections.
‘When I was at the club, I went through a really tough time.
‘I was there during the administration.
‘The fans stuck together and I wanted to show my appreciation to them.
‘I haven’t played against them since I left.
‘But I wanted to show them the respect they have shown me.
‘Before the game, it wasn’t in my mindset because I wasn’t expecting to score.
‘When it happened, I didn’t want to do it and I didn’t really have the energy.
‘It’s a club close to my heart.
‘We got relegated the season I was there and deducted 10 points.
‘But the players we had were close and it was a special time.’
An army of 851 travelling fans witnessed Jackett’s men produce a spirited display against their Championship opponents.
Halford paid tribute to the Fratton faithful and revealed he would have purchased a Pompey Supporters’ Trust share when the fans saved the club if he’d been approached.
‘I had left by that stage and didn’t have any connections,’ he added.
‘When I left, everyone left but if I would have been asked the question I definitely would have.
‘The fans are incredible and the season-ticket sales this season and previously in League Two show that.’