Emotional Pompey farewell for departing Keene

James Keene reflected on an emotional day as his Pompey farewell was marked with the club’s first win for more than four months.

The striker’s loan stay with the Blues has now come to an end – but not before he helped them to a 2-1 victory at Crewe on Saturday.

James Keene celebrates the victory with Pompey fans after throwing them his shirt. Picture: Joe Pepler

James Keene celebrates the victory with Pompey fans after throwing them his shirt. Picture: Joe Pepler

Keene appeared as a half-time substitute for the injured David Connolly.

And he played a vital role as Guy Whittingham’s men sealed a first win in 24 matches.

At the final whistle, Keene was among the Blues players who celebrated with the 485 visiting fans, throwing his shirt into the crowd.

And for the former Fratton apprentice, it was a moment to treasure.

He said: ‘The fans have been absolutely brilliant, so I thought I would give them something back before I go and threw them my shirt.

‘Don’t worry, it is my shirt – they are given to the lads to keep!

‘Some fans there were crying, there were a few like that, it meant a lot to them.

‘That win meant a lot to everybody.

‘One lad ran onto the pitch and we didn’t want him to get chucked out and be in trouble so we (Keene, Johnny Ertl and Ricardo Rocha) wanted to try to get him back among the fans but the stewards wouldn’t let him. He wasn’t doing any harm.

‘That win meant a lot to me. That final whistle, just to look at the fans made me feel great to see how happy they were.

‘It has been so long, everyone has worked so hard. They deserve it.’