Preston's former Norwich and Charlton goalkeeper Declan Rudd forced into retirement due to injury

PNE goalkeeper Declan Rudd has been forced to retire.

Thursday, 31st March 2022, 10:15 am
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2022, 10:17 am

The 31-year-old, who has made 196 appearances over three separate stints with North End, has undergone several operations on his knee during the last 18 months in an attempt to enable him to return to playing regular football.

Despite his best efforts Rudd has been forced to admit defeat and hang up his boots.

Rudd will attend Tuesday night’s big Lancashire derby with Blackpool at Deepdale with his family and be presented on the pitch.

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Preston North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd

“I’ve known for a while now so I’ve had a bit of time to let it sink in, but I wouldn’t say I’ve quite come to terms with it,” the former Norwich man told PNE’s website.

“It’s a big thing that was always a possibility but one I hoped wouldn’t happen. Everybody wants to finish on their terms and I thought that I still had my best playing days to come, but unfortunately it’s stopped too early.

“The worst thing is I haven’t had the chance to say bye to the players, the staff or the fans yet, so it’ll be nice to get back to Deepdale.

“The last time I played at Deepdale was for the Liverpool game in a full house, so it’s not a bad game to have as your last appearance, but it’ll be nice to go back there to thank everyone because they’ve all been brilliant with me, the fans especially.

“Everyone always stuck by me, so that’s why I wanted to come back five or six years ago, because it just felt like a club I belonged at.”