WARRINGTON Wolves’ half-back Kurt Gidley is to retire at the end of the current season.
Gidley, 35, joined Warrington ahead of the 2016 season having been a one-club player at Newcastle Knights in the NRL since 2001 with over 250 appearances. He’s gone on to make 48 appearances – including one at both Wembley and Old Trafford – crossing for 13 tries and kicking 111 goals, totalling 274 points.
Wolves’ chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick said: “On behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank Kurt for his contribution both off and on the pitch. Kurt has had a stellar career and should be really proud of everything he has achieved in the game. Knowing Kurt’s characteristics, I’m confident he will be a success in whatever new vocation he applies himself too. I’m also aware that Kurt wants to end his career in the right way and will be pulling out all the stops to ensure he goes out in a positive manner.”
Head of coaching and rugby Tony Smith reiterated this: “It’s always tough for a player of his calibre to come up with the decision to retire but we are very supportive of Kurt’s decision. It’s a very personal one. I think he’s a quality person and a quality player. His resume speaks for itself and he’s certainly added to the culture in his time here.
“He gives it his all and has been a real warrior for two clubs. He’s not somebody who’s bounced around from club to club throughout his career, he’s been very loyal to his home club in Newcastle Knights and then loyal to us as well. He will continue to give it his all too because that’s kind of person he is. We wish him well in advance of his retirement but he’s got some work left to do and I know he’s looking forward to rolling his sleeves up helping us to get into a better position than we are in at the moment.”
Gidley said:“I had played all my career at Newcastle but always had the desire to come over to Super League. Warrington was always going to be the club from previous talks with Simon. I’m really grateful that I got the opportunity to play here at the back end of my career and experience playing in Super League for a great club. I always had two years in my own head; signing a one year deal and then extending for another year.
“I knew deep down that two years was probably the right amount of time although I was open to playing more. Coming into this season this decision has to do with not wanting to push myself too far and wanting to finish on my own terms. I’ve never been motivated by money to play an extra year and I’m content with what I’ve done in my career. I wanted to let my team mates know first and then everyone else as it then helps me move on and enjoy the rest of the year. I’m content with what I’ve achieved so far at Warrington and I’d like us to finish on a high note.
“The club, staff, players and fans have accepted me and my family more than I could have expected. We settled in really well, living in Stockton Heath. We love the area. It’s been a great professional club to be at and it’s been a wonderful time both playing rugby but outside of the game as well; travelling to different parts of the country and little holidays away to Europe too. It’s been an outstanding time with memories made for life.
“From the first day we arrived I could see it was a professional club with great facilities and a great stadium. There’s fantastic staff and training facilities to help us be the best players we can be; as good as you can get in Super League and rivals some NRL clubs. The biggest thing for me though has been the fans; they are one of the most exciting group of fans I’ve played in front of and have outdone my expectations in atmosphere at the HJ. I’m proud to have played for them.
“I wanted to let people know so they can move on for next year but am 100% committed to the team, the club and the fans. I’d like to finish on lots of positives and finish the year off well. There’s still a lot to play for.
“My family and I will settle back at Newcastle where I grew up and played most of my career. We’ll settle back by the beach and then make plans for life after footy.”