John Ruddy thankful for his opportunity to enjoy a 'fantastic' farewell appearance for Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 16:24 07 May 2017 | UPDATED: 00:40 08 May 2017
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Seven seasons as a Norwich City player came to a fine finish for John Ruddy at Carrow Road this afternoon and the goalkeeper was delighted to be able to go out on a high.
The 30-year-old was told earlier this week that the one-year option in his contract would not be being activated this summer, along with six other senior players.
He was then afforded the opportunity to lead his team-mates out and captain the Canaries for the day, enjoying a relatively easy day between the posts in a dominant 4-0 victory over QPR.
“It still hasn’t quite sunk in,” Ruddy admitted. “The last couple of days, the last day of training yesterday at Colney, it hasn’t quite sunk in that I won’t be going back to sit in my spot.
“Today was a fantastic way to go out with a result like that and the clean sheet and the opportunity to say goodbye to the fans, it meant a lot to me.”
The home fans showed their appreciation for the long-serving keeper, who has helped the club to two promotions to the Premier League during his time with the club, throughout the game.
Some of the players who were told they were being released in midweek opted not to take a full part in training and took themselves out of consideration for the final game of the campaign.
Ruddy said that was never an option for him, as he wanted to make the most of his 243rd and final appearance for Norwich, which leaves him joint 44th in the club’s all-time appearances list.
Although leaving the club will be a wrench for the one-cap England international, he was thankful to sporting director Stuart Webber and head coach Alan Irvine for allowing him to bid farewell properly.
“I was told on Tuesday, just before it was released,” Ruddy explained. “Quarter past 11 my meeting was but Stuart and Alan both made it clear that if I wanted to play today they wouldn’t have a problem with that.
“I was determined to play and it was never a question of not playing or not training, I wanted to finish it off right and luckily we got the result.”