Jerome was brought to the Welsh capital from Middlesbrough's youth academy and went on to make 77 appearances and score 27 goals for the Bluebirds before completing a £3m move to Birmingham in May 2006.
"Every player has aspirations of playing at the highest level and Cardiff at that time was a mid-table Championship side, they were struggling financially too," said Jerome to WalesOnline.
"Clubs were offering money for me. I got told by (then Cardiff owner) Sam Hammam that I had to go to save the club. The £3m they got for me kept the club afloat. A lot of people probably don't know that. I didn't really have a choice about going.
"I was on holiday and I got a call and I was told I was leaving Cardiff. That's football though, that's just the way it goes and obviously I've not looked back since.
"But I've always held Cardiff close to me in my heart. They were the only club back then that was willing to give me a chance."