Testimonial year reward for ultimate pro Purches (with video)

First published in Sport Bournemouth Echo: Photograph of the Author by

IF any aspiring footballers want to know how a model professional conducts himself, they need look no further than Stephen Purches.

That was the verdict of Cherries legend Steve Fletcher as he paid tribute to the long-serving team-mate who has today been handed a testimonial.

Aged 40 and one of the Football League’s most experienced players, Fletcher has seen plenty of colleagues and counterparts down the years.

But he believes Cherries stalwart Purches takes some beating – both for his versatility on the pitch and his diligence and good demeanour off it.

A dependable and talented utility player, Purches has made more than 300 appearances during 10 seasons at Dean Court over two spells.

And Fletcher insists the fans’ favourite is a fully deserving recipient of the testimonial accolade given to him by Cherries.

“Purchy is one of my best friends in football and I love him to bits,” Fletcher told the Daily Echo.

“He has been a great ambassador for this football club over two spells.

“He is the type of player that is any manager’s dream. He doesn’t complain about anything and he gets on with everything.

“It doesn’t matter if you ask him to play left-back, right-back, central midfield, wide right – he has played in many positions – and he is probably the most versatile player we have still got at the football club. Sean O’Driscoll used to use him almost as a man-to-man marker in midfield.”

Cherries boss Howe has tasked Purches with setting an example to the club’s up-and-coming players as he continues his recovery from a broken leg.

And Fletcher says the 32-year-old is the ideal man to provide an insight into how youngsters should carry themselves.

Fletcher, Cherries’ record appearance-maker, added: “He is a great lad to have around the place with his experience.

“He always says and does the right things.

“If I could say to somebody ‘look, there is a good professional to try to emulate’, then I would say to look no further than Stephen Purches.”

Purches’s testimonial year, which begins in the summer of 2013, is set to include a home pre-season friendly, likely to be against Premier League opposition, as well as a sportsman’s dinner and golf day.

Comments (6)

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7:59am Mon 24 Dec 12

nonnogeppetto says...

It is good to read Fletch’s assessment of Stephen Purches. Well deserved praise and in these days where role models are far and few between, it is great that local youngsters can look up to him for inspiration and aspiration. I very much hope that the club will give Stephen all the supports he needs and possibly find a non playing role for him at AFCB.
To all my fellow supporters, far and near!! The players and all at AFCB I wish you a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas. UTCIAD
It is good to read Fletch’s assessment of Stephen Purches. Well deserved praise and in these days where role models are far and few between, it is great that local youngsters can look up to him for inspiration and aspiration. I very much hope that the club will give Stephen all the supports he needs and possibly find a non playing role for him at AFCB. To all my fellow supporters, far and near!! The players and all at AFCB I wish you a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas. UTCIAD nonnogeppetto
  • Score: 0

10:39am Mon 24 Dec 12

skipster says...

We used to live in the same road as Stephen Purches and although I can't say I got to know him. I completely endorse the comments of Steve Fletcher as being an ideal role model for youngsters now.
He seems so far removed from your stereotypical arrogant, whinging, spoilt footballer types, it makes Steve an ideal guy for youngsters to learn some true values from.

Well done Steve Purches - and full credit to Steve Fletcher for such glowing accolades.
We used to live in the same road as Stephen Purches and although I can't say I got to know him. I completely endorse the comments of Steve Fletcher as being an ideal role model for youngsters now. He seems so far removed from your stereotypical arrogant, whinging, spoilt footballer types, it makes Steve an ideal guy for youngsters to learn some true values from. Well done Steve Purches - and full credit to Steve Fletcher for such glowing accolades. skipster
  • Score: 0

11:09am Mon 24 Dec 12

lilliputcherry says...

Richley deserved. Great ambassador for the club. Goal at the Millennium still my favourite Cherries goal. Thats how to defend a corner and counter-attack! If Barcelona had scored that goal it would never be off the tv!!
Merry Christmas to all.
See you at the Goldsands Boxing Day.
Richley deserved. Great ambassador for the club. Goal at the Millennium still my favourite Cherries goal. Thats how to defend a corner and counter-attack! If Barcelona had scored that goal it would never be off the tv!! Merry Christmas to all. See you at the Goldsands Boxing Day. lilliputcherry
  • Score: 0

11:19am Mon 24 Dec 12

Yorkie Cherry says...

Steve has been no doubt a great purches for the club!
Steve has been no doubt a great purches for the club! Yorkie Cherry
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Mon 24 Dec 12

smhinto says...

Yes - Thoroughly deserved i have to say, an excellent professional.
Yes - Thoroughly deserved i have to say, an excellent professional. smhinto
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Wed 26 Dec 12

BradPole says...

As 'arry used to say "worth every penny we spent on him". Yes, I know he came on a free :)

Well deserved accolade - a classy player and it seems a model pro - not that should surprise anyone.
As 'arry used to say "worth every penny we spent on him". Yes, I know he came on a free :) Well deserved accolade - a classy player and it seems a model pro - not that should surprise anyone. BradPole
  • Score: 0

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