John Rudge: Stoke City exit is not the end of the road for me
JOHN Rudge has hinted he will stay in the game when he leaves Stoke City this summer.
The 68-year-old director of football has been told his contract will not be renewed at the end of the season.
That has left Rudge reflecting on almost 14 years at Stoke ... and looking forward to a new challenge.
Rudge, who was also at Port Vale for 19 years as a coach and then manager, said: "I've enjoyed the privileged position of serving Stoke City for the past 13 years.
Call WHITEGATES Today 01782 209935 ..Limited offer. Available only up on production of voucher. Sell your home for £399 plus vat.* #EPC is required to market your home not included in offer.
Terms: *Upfront payment, non-refundable in the event of property remaining unsold, being withdrawn from the market or being sold by another agent, yourself or by any other means.#EPC £62.50 plus vat.
Contact: 01782 209 935
Valid until: Thursday, July 04 2013
"My present contract expires on June 30, 2013, and the club have informed me they will not be renewing it.
"The last 13 years at Stoke City has been an incredible experience – especially the last five years in the Premier League and the team playing in the FA Cup final.
"Stoke City's progress since Peter Coates bravely bought back the club and reinstated Tony Pulis as manager has been an incredible success story and it has been my honour to be a part of it.
"Having served both clubs in the Potteries area, I have been extremely fortunate to work as a coach, manager and director of football over 33 years, and I thank the fans of both clubs for their support.
"I am unsure of my future after June, but I cannot foresee football not playing a part in it."
Stoke chairman Peter Coates brought Rudge to Stoke in July 1999, six months after he had been axed at Port Vale.
He said: "John has done a tremendous job. He has been a great football man and a great man for North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
"We have benefited from having him with us for what in football terms is a long time. He himself has enjoyed an illustrious time in the game.
"We have a very good relationship, and that won't change. John knows he is always welcome at Stoke City."
Coates added: "We'll have to see where he goes from here, but he's not in his prime yet!"