AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has praised Stephen Purches following his decision to retire from professional football.
Purches made 437 appearances during his career with 315 appearances coming during two spells with AFC Bournemouth.
The 34 year old who hasn’t featured for the first team since suffering a double break of the tibia and fibula against Rochdale in February 2012, visited a specialist earlier this month who advised him to retire following the expiry of his contract.
Purches will remain as part of the Cherries backroom staff as development coach.
Howe told afcb.co.uk…
‘…I`m going to say the same as everyone who has played and worked with Purchy, he`s a dedicated professional, very thorough in his preparation and you don`t get any surprises with him.
“As a manager, you want people who you can rely upon and he was one of those players you knew you could always trust. You could play him at right back, left back, in the centre of midfield or even out wide and you knew what you would get.
“It`s those kinds of qualities that made us so determined to bring him back to the club. But he was also important in helping us create a culture where everyone wanted to learn and Purchy was a perfect example to the younger players of how to live your life on and off the pitch.
“He`s been there when you need him, with no fuss and very few headlines. He deserves his moment.”
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