Bullard retires at 33 due to knee injury

Former Wigan, Fulham and Hull midfielder Jimmy Bullard has retired from professional football with immediate effect.

Bullard retires at 33 due to knee injury

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Jimmy Bullard (PA Photos)

The 33-year-old, who signed a short-term contract with MK Dons four weeks ago, has been forced to give up the game due to a persistent knee injury.

Bullard suffered two serious cruciate ligament injuries - for Fulham in September 2006 and Hull in 2009 - and ongoing complications convinced him to visit a specialist last week, only to be advised that it would be best for him to retire.

“My old knee injury has never allowed me to get back to where I want to be as a football player," he told MK Dons' official website. "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 joined West Ham from Gravesend & Northfleet in 1999 before coming to prominence following a move to Peterborough United in 2001.

From there he joined Wigan Athletic in 2003, going on to help the Latics reach the Premier League and establish himself as a respected and much-liked top-flight player in the process.

Fulham brought him to Craven Cottage for £2.5 million in 2006 before a knee injury suffered in a game against Newcastle forced him out of the game for a prolonged period.

Hull paid a club-record £5m for him in January 2009 but he lasted just 37 minutes before succumbing to another injury following a tackle from Scott Parker - who also injured him in the Newcastle match.

He had his contract annulled at Hull following disciplinary issues and subsequently spent a spell at Ipswich before making three appearances for MK Dons this season.

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