Jermain Defoe comments on Tottenham Hotspur fans

Jermain Defoe of Sunderland scores his sides second goal past Eldin Jakupovic of Hull City as Andrea Ranocchia of Hull City appeals for offside during the Premier League match between Hull...

Jermain Defoe has a "special relationship" with the Tottenham Hotspur fans.

Jermaine Defoe of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates his goal during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City at White Hart Lane on February 22, 2004 in...

Speaking on Graham Hunter's website, former Tottenham Hotspur hitman Jermain Defoe admits that he finds it hard to understand why the fans still sing his name - even when he's playing against them.

The 35-year-old striker scored 143 goals in 363 games for Tottenham across three different spells in North London to firmly establish himself as one of the club's all-time legends.

Such is the affection that Spurs fans hold for Defoe, they sung his name in October when he faced his former side at Wembley with Bournemouth, earning a 15-minute cameo.

Jermain Defoe of AFC Bournemouth shoots during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and AFC Bournemouth at Wembley Stadium on October 14, 2017 in London, England.

And although the former England international - whose name continues to be sung even when he is not around to hear it - is humbled by his "special relationship" with the fanbase, he admits that it remains somewhat "mental" to him to know he is held in such high regard.

"They did it the other week [sang his name when he was playing for Bournemouth]," he said on Graham Hunter's website. "When I came on, my friends said, 'Did you know you got a standing ovation?' and I was aware of it, but I'm so in the zone and trying to score for my team. It's not until after the game when I sit down and think it's special. To still get that kind of love from the Spurs fans is mental.

"For me it's still hard to understand it to be honest. It's still hard to understand. There has been so many players that have come and gone and stuff like that and they still appreciate what I did at the club, the goals and stuff like that, but maybe it's more than the goals.

Jermain Defoe of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane on January 11, 2014 in...

"I always felt like I had a special relationship with Tottenham fans. Everytime I put that shirt on I always gave 100%."

Fans of the North London club could do with a razor-sharp Defoe nowadays to cover Harry Kane, with Fernando Llorente failing to score in any of his 16 appearances since joining for £12 million in the summer.

At 35, Defoe, who once scored five in a Premier League game for the Lilywhites, appears to be slowing down after netting just once in 12 league outings for the Cherries, but the supporters would love him back for a fourth stint nonetheless.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch