Karl Robinson believes Sam Baldock deserves a hero’s welcome when he returns to stadiummk this weekend.
Baldock, who scored 43 goals in over 120 appearances for the Football Club, will make his first appearance at MK1 since leaving in 2011 when he captains Bristol City on Saturday.
The 24-year-old forward broke numerous records during his time in Milton Keynes, most notably becoming the first player to graduate through the Dons’ academy and into the first team, and he became an instant cult hero with the Dons faithful.
His former manager Robinson is hopeful the fans inside stadiummk on Saturday will give the Dons prodigy a special welcome ahead of kick-off.
Speaking prior to the match, the Liverpudlian said: “Sam Baldock is an absolute icon at this Football Club and I’m asking, please, that the fans give him the applause he deserves.
“He was a wonderful servant to this Club and I ask that before the game, everyone gives him the respect he deserves because he never once stitched this Football Club up - even when he left he helped us to get the deal we wanted.
“He’s a friend of mine, a friend of the Football Club’s and a friend of the fans. He’s somebody I still speak to regularly so I respect him as footballer and a human being and it will be a pleasure and an honour to play against a side that he will be captain of on the day.
“Once the game starts he will, of course, become our enemy and I won’t pull any punches, we want to win the game regardless of whether Sam’s in the team or not. However, before and after the game, remember what he did for us. During the time he spent here he was full of heart, hunger and desire to make this Club successful.”
Sam’s return on Saturday could also set up a meeting with his brother, George, if both players are selected to play by their respective managers.
George, 20, has featured in all three of the Dons’ League games so far this season, earning the Man of the Match Award in the 1-0 home win over Crewe Alexandra, but manager Robinson has yet to decide whether or not to include the energetic midfielder in his starting XI.
He added: “It’ll be great for everyone to see them standing alongside each other in the tunnel on Saturday but that’s a decision I’ve still not made yet”
“If they do play against each other, it’ll be a very proud day for their whole family. I remember once bringing George on as a substitute away at Oldham so he was on the same pitch as his brother and I know the parents were really proud that day.
“For them to see one son captain one side and another feature on the opposition, in a competitive game in front of 10,000 plus - I know it’ll be a day they won’t forget.”