Wolves have signed former Norwich City goalkeeper, John Ruddy as a likely replacement for Carl Ikeme who is down with acute leukaemia.
The 30-year-old had attracted plenty of interest this summer as a free agent following his departure from Norwich City, where he had chalked up almost 250 appearances during a seven-year spell.
Wolves secured the goalie’s signature just in time for him to depart with the squad ahead of their pre-season training camp – and three friendlies – in Austria.
Ruddy, who was forced to withdraw from England’s squad for the 2012 European Championships after breaking his finger, has since made one appearance for his country, keeping a clean sheet after coming in at half time in a 2-1 win against Italy in August, 2012.
The keeper began his career with Cambridge United, having come through the ranks, making 43 appearances before signing for Everton in May, 2005.
During five years at Goodison Park he only made one appearance for the Toffees as an early substitute in a 1-0 win against Blackburn, but amassed a wealth of experience during a host of loan spells.
It was in July 2010 that Ruddy joined a Norwich side then managed by former Wolves Head Coach Paul Lambert, playing 45 of the 46 league fixtures of that first season and helping the Canaries to promotion to the Premier League.
He was then named Player’s Player of the Season at the end of the following campaign, the Canaries’ return to the Premier League, and enjoyed a majority of time as the club’s first choice gloveman over subsequent seasons.
All in all he made 243 appearances for Norwich out of a career total to date of 388.
Ruddy would have expected to have been counting Carl Ikeme among those with whom he would have been battling for the goalkeeping position at Wolves this season.
With Ikeme having been diagnosed with acute leukaemia last week, that will not now be the case.
And the new man joined the thousands in sending his best wishes to the much-loved keeper who has gone straight into a programme of chemotherapy as he looks to overcome the disease.
“First and foremost I want to send my best wishes to Carl and his family at this difficult time,” said Ruddy.
“As the club have already stated he is going to be backed with all the help and support that he and his family need.
“I know the players that have been here for a very long time with him will be feeling it as well.
“So yes, this is a bitter sweet feeling for me – it is good to be here but the circumstances could have been better.
“The plan would have been for me to come in and here and be competing against Carl.
“Having played against him over a number of years I know what a good goalkeeper he is so it would have been fantastic for the club to have had us competing and bringing out the best in each other.
“Now it is a situation where football takes a back seat for Carl and everyone’s thoughts are with him.”