After making well over 400 appearances for Lowestoft Town FC over the past decade, touching tributes have been paid to Smudge ever since he announced his retirement last month.
With three minutes left of the final match of season on April 27, 2019, the standing ovation and applause he received as he left the pitch at the Amber Dew Events Stadium for the final time was indicative of his popularity.
And thanking the players, management and supporters who have been part of the "great memories" the 33-year-old has enjoyed over the years, Smudge has penned a final few words on his time with Lowestoft Town FC:
"Ten years ago when I made the decision to sign for Lowestoft I had lost a bit of passion for the game and no idea if I was making the right decision as I had a couple of offers on the table from different clubs.
"Now I sit here 10 years later and I can say that I definitely made the right decision.
"I’ve had many enjoyable seasons, a couple that felt like a real slog, the elation of two promotions and a few Suffolk Cup wins - and of course the heartache of three play off final losses and the relegation from the National North.
"All of these experiences are something you can only gain from football, and have definitely made me a stronger and better person.
"As a footballer your career is short and nothing resonates with me more than working as hard as possible in every training session to make sure you are ready to give your all on a Saturday for the shirt you’re wearing.
"As I said, your time in this game is short. So why wouldn’t you give your all every time you step on the pitch!?
"I hope this came across in the way I represented the club. It would also be my advice to any young player that was starting out in the game!
"I want to thank all the supporters for following the team home and away over the years and I’m confident that the club is in good hands to use last season as a springboard to success.
"Thanks to all the managers/coaches that I have worked under. Individually they have all had different qualities and I learned something different from each of them. Equally they were all decent people who wanted the very best for our club.
"The club is in good hands and is being steered in the right direction by the current hierarchy, I hope it won’t be long until they are competing at the right end of the table again giving you all something to cheer about!
"A massive thanks to the lads that I have had the pleasure of playing with over the years too. I’ve been lucky to play in teams that have had a wealth of experience and quality, along with some very talented individuals. More than this, I’ve created some real friendships and I’m sure I’ll be calling them my closest friends for the rest of my life.
"To think that all of this was down to one decision. Signing for Lowestoft Town Football Club and creating some great memories that will last forever.
"I can’t thank the club and everyone connected to the club enough for giving me these opportunities. I’ll be forever grateful and I’ve taken away some of the best memories that will live with me forever.
"I’ll be following the clubs fortunes week on week and I’ll definitely be coming to support the team at the Amber Dew Events Stadium as and when I can.
"Thanks for the memories and best wishes to you all."