Injury hit Bullard hangs up boots

01 October 2012 01:18

Jimmy Bullard has announced his retirement from football with immediate effect.

The midfielder has called time on his 14-year playing career due to ongoing problems with a troublesome knee injury. Bullard ruptured the cruciate ligaments in his knee twice in three years - at Fulham and again on his debut for Hull in 2009.

The 33-year-old visited a consultant last week and after not receiving the news he had hoped for, has decided to hang up his boots. "My old knee injury has never allowed me to get back to where I want to be as a football player; it's always hindered me," said Bullard via a statement through his current club MK Dons.

"There are a lot of games in this league and I now know my knee won't allow me to play Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday, it's not built for that now.

"I want to be out there playing but at the same time I know my knee won't allow me to play at my best and to keep my place in the team. I'm hindering myself more than I am helping myself for the future.

"In the summer I knew I wanted to give it one last crack and show people what I could do. But what I think with my strong head and what I could physically do are two different things. My head tells me I can do it, but my body tells me, no, Jim, you can't."

After being plucked from the non-league obscurity of Gravesend & Northfleet by West Ham in 1999, Bullard moved to Peterborough two years later.

His performances for Posh earned him a move to Wigan in 2003, where he made his name as a creative midfielder and played a huge role in helping the Lancashire club reach the Premier League for the first time in their history.

Fulham won the battle for Bullard's signature in May 2006 as they splashed out £2.5million for his services. His three years at Craven Cottage though were ill-fated with the knee injury restricting him to just 40 appearances.

A £5million move to Hull followed in January 2009. Yet, bad luck struck and on his debut for the Tigers Bullard once again injured his knee which, after further surgery, kept him sidelined for nine months. Bullard joined Ipswich on loan before signing a short-term deal with MK Dons this summer.

Source: PA

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