Captain Luke Chambers may soon be off to pastures new but we will really only know his true worth when he is no longer a part of the club. He has stated on many occasions how important this club is to him and in all his years as a professional footballer, he has never been relegated, until now that is! Well, I suppose you could argue that he is still like the rest of them fighting for his Championship life, but although the team spirit remains very strong the pulse is now exceedingly weak.
The 33-year-old, who has been linked with a move to MLS side Chicago Fire this summer, and who could blame him for wanting one last big pay-check before he hangs up his boots. He is Mr Ipswich in so many respects, and not since the days of Keven Beattie and Terry Butcher have we had a central defender with such a direct empathy with this club.
I once had the pleasure of meeting him in Dusseldorf a few years since and as usual, he had time for everyone and was modesty personified that day I recall. He has already chalked more than 300 games in an Ipswich shirt, since he signed a three-year contract with the Blues on 3rd of July 2012. His fist pump is his Portman Road trademark but this season it has been very rarely used; mainly I guess because we have very rarely won – especially at home. I am quite sure, however, that if we can start to accrue some end of season home victories then it will return with a vengeance!
Now Luke is realistic enough to know that he is not the most gifted defender in the world but when it comes to heart and endeavour, he more than makes up for it, and it is only when he finally moves to pastures new that we will truly realise what part he has played in Ipswich Town football club over the last few years. His team talks are inspirational and he is completely committed to the cause.
In football these days there are few players who are as passionate about one club as Luke has been to us. In this regard, he really is Captain Fantastic and whatever he does in his future life, I genuinely wish him all the best.
And I guess the last word should go to the great man himself. ” It’s a hard job and the way I am, I take everything home with me. I struggle to escape from the reality of the situation we are in. I take it personally.” So do we Luke. So do we.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich