Football bids fond farewell to huge character ‘Ruddy’

Well-known local football figure Keith Rudd has passed away at the age of 68. Picture: SUBMITTED

Well-known local football figure Keith Rudd has passed away at the age of 68. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

The life president of two of Keith Rudd's former clubs has led the tributes after the 68-year-old lost his battle with cancer.

Rudd died at his Bawburgh home on Monday 16-and-a-half weeks after being diagnosed with kidney cancer. And Les King believes he is one of many across the area's football scene that will be saddened by the news.

King, life president at Wroxham and Wymondham Town – where Rudd played and managed – said: 'Ruddy was a very good football player who played and went on to manage some very good clubs. He was definitely a character. I'll always remember him standing on the touchline with a pint or a cigarette in his hand.

'Wherever Ruddy went he was always well respected. He was a very honest person who was liked because he was so kind hearted.'

Rudd – who returned to Norfolk in May, 2014 after living with his partner Karen Gallant in Spain for seven years – was appointed player coach at Wroxham in August, 1978. He mainly played on the right as a winger but scored 25 goals in his first season and 16 in his second. He played for a number of other local clubs and was also selected for the Norfolk Senior side at that time. In the early 1990s he managed the county's youth team.

Daughter Michelle Shepherd said: 'As a kid I remember dad taking me to football every Saturday. I've been around all the clubs and the clubhouses. Football was his life and even when he was really ill I'd stick on the scores for him.'

Rudd leaves another daughter, Gina Carter, four grandchildren (Carl Carter, Samantha Carter, Niah Shepherd and Luke Shepherd) and a great grandchild, Jessica Carter.

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His funeral will be on Tuesday, April 7 at noon at Bawburgh Church. Flowers are welcomed as is the presence of anybody who knew Rudd in or out of football.

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