Preston North End defender Tommy Spurr weighing up his future after injury forces retirement

Spurr has retired from football due to injuries to his hips
Spurr has retired from football due to injuries to his hips

Preston defender Tommy Spurr is looking to the future after being forced to retire from football due to injuries to his hips.

Spurr, 31, was due to leave Deepdale this summer after coming to the end of his PNE contract.

But his career will have to take a new direction, with him no longer able to play.

Last summer Spurr was loaned out to Fleetwood Town for the season, a deal which would have taken him through to the end of his contract.

He returned to Preston in January though, the loan cut short because of the injuries to his hips.

Spurr had surgery on both hips a few weeks apart, and did his rehabilitation work at PNE .

It is a painful end for Spurr, who was a popular member of the North End dressing room in his time with the club.

He joined on a Bosman from Blackburn Rovers three years ago. Spurr was signed primarily as a left-back but his chances were limited to start with due to him playing 
second fiddle to Greg 
Cunningham.

He made 20 appearances in that first season, 13 of those being starts – his one PNE goal came in a home defeat against Norwich.

Alex Neil’s appointment in July 2017 meant a change of position for Spurr.

Neil saw him as a central defender, a position which Spurr actually preferred.

He started the first three Championship games of the 2017/18 season in the centre of defence ahead of Ben Davies.

However, Davies was to edge ahead of him in Neil’s thoughts.

Spurr missed four months of that season after suffering a medial ligament injury in bounce game at the training ground.

He returned to play against Brentford in February 2018, the 1-1 draw proving to be his last appearance for North End.

After joining Fleetwood on loan, Spurr played seven times before the problems with his hips began to trouble him. Leeds-born Spurr started his career with Sheffield Wednesday. He played 111 times for the Owls before making the move to join Doncaster Rovers in a £200,000 deal.

Spurr spent two seasons with Donny and had three years at Blackburn.

Writing on social media platform Instagram, Spurr said: “I’m now looking forward to whatever life throws at me.

“I’ll always have those most important by my side (even with a new hip). On to the next chapter.”

Spurr has been studying for a degree recently.

He was one of six players who North End announced would be leaving the club this summer – Andy Boyle, Ben Pringle, Marnick Vermijl, Tom Stead and Michael Howard the others.

To date, Howard is the only one to get fixed up with a new club.

The 19-year-old striker has signed a 12-month contract with Morecambe.

Howard came through the academy at PNE and had loan spells with Cork, Hednesford and Stalybridge Celtic over the last 18 months.