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The Toe Poke

Bullard announces retirement

Jimmy Bullard has announced his retirement from football with immediate effect after being plagued with a troublesome knee injury.

Bullard, 33, ruptured the cruciate ligaments in his knee twice in three years - at Fulham in 2006 and on his Hull debut in 2009 - and struggled to ever reach the same heights that saw him called up to the England squad in 2008.

The midfielder visited a consultant about his knee last week and after receiving the bad news he decided to call a halt on his 14-year playing career.

Bullard released a statement through current club MK Dons saying: "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. 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.''

Bullard started his career at non-league outfit Gravesend & Northfleet before going on to play for West Ham, Peterborough, Wigan, Fulham, Hull, Ipswich and MK Dons.


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