Ed Seaman’s Norwich City column: Ruddy deserves big send off

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And so the Norwich City revolution of 2017 begins to gather momentum, with John Ruddy heading a list of seven players told they will be leaving the club on a free this summer.

With City looking to head in a new direction next season, and considering the financial implications of failing to win promotion at the first attempt, the announcement hardly came as a surprise but at the same time it is always sad to see long-serving players depart.

Ruddy is joined on that list by Ryan Bennett, Sebastien Bassong and Steven Whittaker, all of whom deserve recognition for the part they have played in the club’s success in recent years — Bassong in particular as a recipient of the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy.

But it’s big John I want to pay a real tribute to after seven years of loyal service to this club — a period which has been laced with highs, including two promotions, regular Premier League football and an England debut.

The stand out moments for me would have to be the penalty save against Swansea in his first season at Carrow Road, allowing City to go on and win the game 2-0, or that save from Luis Suarez to preserve Paul Lambert’s side a point in the dying seconds at Anfield during our first year back in the top flight.

And while I openly accept that he hasn’t been at his best over the past two seasons, Ruddy would have been the one player from that list that I would have kept at the club.

However, now is not a time for that debate, but a time to celebrate what should be his 243rd and final appearance for the club when Alan Irvine’s side host QPR on Sunday.

Despite the second-half collapse at Leeds last weekend, City have shown they will continue to fight.

So, here’s to one final hurrah to mark the end of an era at Carrow Road.