Bournemouth EchoUPDATED WITH VIDEO AFC Bournemouth: Purches calls time on his playing career (From Bournemouth Echo)

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AFC Bournemouth: Stephen Purches calls time on his playing career

Bournemouth Echo: LOYAL: Stephen Purches has announced his retirement from playing LOYAL: Stephen Purches has announced his retirement from playing

LOYAL servant Stephen Purches is vowing to give his all to his coaching role with Cherries after finally conceding defeat in his painstaking bid to play again.

Purches, who has spent the past 12 months overseeing the club’s development squad, has announced his retirement as a player on medical grounds.

The 34-year-old is one of Cherries’ all-time leading appearance-makers but has not played competitively since sustaining a double leg break against Rochdale in February 2012.

Purches was rewarded for his service to the club with a richly-deserved testimonial against West Ham and featured in the club’s high-profile friendly against Real Madrid last summer.

He made 443 professional appearances for two clubs in a career spanning 16 years and returned to Dean Court for a second spell in 2010 after spending two years with Leyton Orient.

Purches, who initially joined Cherries on a free transfer from West Ham in July 2000, told the Daily Echo: “My leg is back to a point where I can kick a ball and run but not to the level it needs to be to play professional football and I have been advised to call it a day.

“It was a tough decision to make but, once you know it is the end, you have to be honest with yourself. I tried my best last season to give myself every chance to play but it wasn’t to be. Nobody wants to finish playing but things happen for a reason.

“I need to be sensible because I have got the rest of my life to lead and there are more important things than just trying to scrounge another year as a player. I wouldn’t want to end my career somewhere else just for the sake of trying to play a few more games. I have had a great career and, as one door closes, another one opens.”

Purches, who holds a UEFA A coaching licence, will join manager Eddie Howe’s backroom staff on a full-time basis once his playing contract has officially expired at the end of next month.

“I have been very fortunate to have been given an opportunity to carry on working here,” said Purches. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else because I have learned a great deal from the manager and Jason (Tindall) over the past 12 months.

“Working with the development squad has given me a really good insight into everything that goes on. When you are on the coaching side, you can never switch off and it is non-stop. I have been lucky to have had a chance to gradually move into that side of the game.

“Now I have decided to call it a day, I can devote all my time to working with and trying to improve the young players rather than thinking I might have a chance to get back out there again.

"My 100 per cent focus is making sure I do the best for the club, as it was when I was a player. Signing here 14 years ago gave me an opportunity to set up the rest of my life and I will always be grateful for everything this club has given me.”

Comments (9)

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7:30am Mon 19 May 14

horsted says...

Good servant Purchy, now you can concentrate on the next phase of your life, well done
Good servant Purchy, now you can concentrate on the next phase of your life, well done horsted
  • Score: 12

8:25am Mon 19 May 14

Afcbpete says...

Good Luck Purchy in the new chapter you embark on!! UTCIAD
Good Luck Purchy in the new chapter you embark on!! UTCIAD Afcbpete
  • Score: 6

9:42am Mon 19 May 14

smhinto says...

Vital are reporting that Burnley are interested in Cooke.
Vital are reporting that Burnley are interested in Cooke. smhinto
  • Score: -2

1:07pm Mon 19 May 14

alasdair1967 says...

smhinto wrote:
Vital are reporting that Burnley are interested in Cooke.
Irrelevant to this story however reported in the sun today as well ,back to this story good luck no matter what the future holds,at the end of the day Stephen you have been a stalwart for our club and have been missed throughout your injury
[quote][p][bold]smhinto[/bold] wrote: Vital are reporting that Burnley are interested in Cooke.[/p][/quote]Irrelevant to this story however reported in the sun today as well ,back to this story good luck no matter what the future holds,at the end of the day Stephen you have been a stalwart for our club and have been missed throughout your injury alasdair1967
  • Score: 2

1:56pm Mon 19 May 14

coops1965cherry says...

Good luck Purchy we are grateful for your services over the years and have been a better club for having you.

You will do just fine mate because you will carry that professionalism and honesty that you had as a player through your life no matter what you do.

U T C I A D.
Good luck Purchy we are grateful for your services over the years and have been a better club for having you. You will do just fine mate because you will carry that professionalism and honesty that you had as a player through your life no matter what you do. U T C I A D. coops1965cherry
  • Score: 1

2:59pm Mon 19 May 14

Tom Griffiths of Bransgore says...

Well remember our first sighting of Steve when he played in an evening cup- tie (Sorry I am unable to remember the trophy involved) but we were all talking about talent and speed down the right flank of this young chap. To our delight a short time after that game,Steve signed for us.
He has, since that time, been a wonderful asset to our club. Absolutely delighted that he is staying with us as a member of Staff in coaching the young up and coming professionals. They have a very fine example in Steve, as to how to become a real professional on and off the pitch. Our very best wishes Steve,to you and your family in the rest of your career.
Well remember our first sighting of Steve when he played in an evening cup- tie (Sorry I am unable to remember the trophy involved) but we were all talking about talent and speed down the right flank of this young chap. To our delight a short time after that game,Steve signed for us. He has, since that time, been a wonderful asset to our club. Absolutely delighted that he is staying with us as a member of Staff in coaching the young up and coming professionals. They have a very fine example in Steve, as to how to become a real professional on and off the pitch. Our very best wishes Steve,to you and your family in the rest of your career. Tom Griffiths of Bransgore
  • Score: 6

4:56pm Mon 19 May 14

YafcbY says...

WE LOVE YOU PURCHES!!!!!!!!!
You're absolutely brilliant and very happy you're staying with the club.
It's a credit to you when mentioning your name to Orient supporters they have nothing but praise for you!!!!
WE LOVE YOU PURCHES!!!!!!!!! You're absolutely brilliant and very happy you're staying with the club. It's a credit to you when mentioning your name to Orient supporters they have nothing but praise for you!!!! YafcbY
  • Score: 3

6:52pm Mon 19 May 14

Nat1234 says...

If his charges become half the player Steve was , then he would of done a great job ..
If his charges become half the player Steve was , then he would of done a great job .. Nat1234
  • Score: -1

12:29am Tue 20 May 14

rednblack37 says...

He scored at the Millenium Stadium to help us get promoted, which means he'll live long in our memories, however long he stays with us or if he moves on eventually. Whole-hearted player, whether at right back or centre midfield, or even when he played a season at left back, before the arrival of warren Cummings and when our only other left back was Narada. Though hopefully he will advise his players of the benefits of being two-footed!.........
he was always a right-footed left back and when I asked Sean O'Driscoll if he ever worked on his left foot, he replied no he doesn't! But he still put in some very good performances and every side needs a Purches-type Mr Consistent in their team. I wish him the very best of luck and good fortune for the future.
He scored at the Millenium Stadium to help us get promoted, which means he'll live long in our memories, however long he stays with us or if he moves on eventually. Whole-hearted player, whether at right back or centre midfield, or even when he played a season at left back, before the arrival of warren Cummings and when our only other left back was Narada. Though hopefully he will advise his players of the benefits of being two-footed!......... he was always a right-footed left back and when I asked Sean O'Driscoll if he ever worked on his left foot, he replied no he doesn't! But he still put in some very good performances and every side needs a Purches-type Mr Consistent in their team. I wish him the very best of luck and good fortune for the future. rednblack37
  • Score: 1

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