Arsenal fan Colin Kazim-Richards admits scoring winning goal for Blackburn was bitter-sweet

Rovers knocked Arsenal out the FA Cup

Arsenal fan Colin Kazim-Richards admits it was a bitter-sweet moment to score the goal for Blackburn which knocked the Gunners out of the FA Cup - but will be cheering his boyhood team on when they aim to bounce back against Bayern Munich.

Kazim-Richards, 26, netted a scrappy effort on 72 minutes at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, which was about npower Championship Rovers only shot on target but enough to inflict a first FA Cup defeat by lower league opposition on beleaguered Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

The on-loan Galatasaray forward grew up in Leytonstone, east London, to a Turkish Cypriot mother and father from the Caribbean, and was on Arsenal's books as a youngster before starting his career at Bury.

Spells playing for Brighton - bought as part of a competition from then league sponsors Coca-Cola - and Sheffield United, Galatasaray, Toulouse and Olympiacos followed before his latest loan move to Ewood Park.

Kazim-Richards, though, will always be a Gunner.

"I was here as a schoolboy, so my connections are to Arsenal, I am an Arsenal fan. I love Arsenal," he said.

"I will be supporting them against Bayern Munich. I will have my Arsenal top on, and I will be there in front of the TV, but you know this is work.

"This is what I get paid to do and it's nice for the Blackburn fans, to give back because they have had a rough time, everybody knows what's gone on so it is nice for them to be able to celebrate."

Kazim-Richards admits it was a surreal experience to take on his boyhood club.

"I used to train under the Clock End (at Highbury) on the indoor pitches, so for me to get the goal is amazing. You dream of stuff like this and for it to come true," said Kazim-Richards, who dedicated the goal to his brother Rodney - who passed away as an infant from Edwards Syndrome.

"My dad was in the crowd, he comes to every game so for him to see it was great. My mum was there too, so for them it was a nice day."

Rovers have been handed a quarter-final tie away at Millwall.

However, there will be little time to dream of Wembley as Michael Appleton's squad must prepare themselves for tomorrow night's trip to fellow promotion chasers Hull.

"We have to take this into Tuesday's game, because coming to places like this, no disrespect, is much better than going to certain places in the Championship," Kazim-Richards said.

"These are the players you want to play against and test yourself against the best."

The defeat to Blackburn has again brought Wenger's position under scrutiny, with the Gunners facing up to possibly an eighth campaign without silverware.

Rovers manager Appleton, however, insists the French coach deserves continued respect.

"The work Arsene Wenger has put in at Arsenal is nothing short of sensational," said Appleton, in charge of his third club this season having taken over at Ewood Park in January.

"He has a philosophy about producing certain types of players and bringing certain types of players in and I would certainly pay to watch them every week.

"I admire the way they play, it's a style that hopefully, one day, I can field a group of players that can play that way."

Appleton intends to keep his players grounded.

"It is about getting the players down very quickly," he said.

"We want them to be confident going into the remainder of the campaign, but we want them fully focused."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks