FANS’ favourite Morten Gamst Pedersen made an emotional return to Blackburn Rovers and then revealed he will never give up on the prospect of pulling on the blue-and-white-halved shirt again.
Pedersen was back at his old stamping ground on Sunday 16 months since he reluctantly called time on his nine-year Rovers career.
The 33-year-old, enjoying a hard-earned break at the end of the Norwegian league season, turned up unprompted for the Championship clash with Middlesbrough.
But, after being told of his arrival, Ewood Park officials brought the winger out at half-time on to the pitch where he received a rapturous reception from supporters.
And afterwards he told the Lancashire Telegraph he would ‘love’ to play for Rovers once more before his illustrious career comes to a close.
“I’m fit and well and it’s good to have a break because I have played for 19 months non-stop,” said Pedersen, who made 350 appearances for Rovers between 2004 and 2013.
“I’ve had a holiday and coming here today has given me even more energy to play football again.
“I would love to play for Blackburn again because it’s a club I love and I will always come back to.
“But it’s not up to me that decision.
“I just have to work hard and do what I can and, anyway, I will always support Blackburn and the club will always mean a lot to me.”
Pedersen joined Karabukspor in August 2013 after Rovers allowed him to leave on a free transfer.
He spent six months with the Turkish side before returning to his homeland in March to sign for Rosenborg.
Pedersen helped his new club to a second-placed finish in last season’s Tippelgaen and his form led to him being recalled to the Norway squad.
The 82-capped international, who still has a base in Manchester, is enjoying his football.
But he admits his time at Rovers is never far from his thoughts.
“It’s always good to come here as it’s a place I spent so much time at,” said Pedersen, who scored 47 goals for Rovers, including a dramatic FA Cup fifth-round replay winner over bitter rivals Burnley in March 2005.
“Blackburn will always be in my heart so I always look forward to coming back to Ewood and seeing friends.
“The reception I receive means a lot and it was really nice to hear – I only wish I could give the same back to them.
“It is nice to be back as I always miss the place when I’m not here.
“I was here for so long, nearly 10 years, so it will always have a special place in my heart and I still talk about ‘we’ when I talk about Blackburn.”