Andy Gurney Makes Comeback
Former Swindon Town defender Andy Gurney who was forced to retire from League football has made a comeback for Southern League Premier League side Clevedon Town.
Gurney was forced to retire from the professional game in December 2006 after several operations on an ankle injury that he suffered last season.
Gurney began his career as an apprentice with his hometown club Bristol Rovers, turning professional in July 1992. His league debut came in the 1993-94 season and he went on to make 108 league appearances scoring 9 goals before being released in the summer of 1997. He began training with Cardiff City and was also linked with a move to Cambridge United, but on July 8, 1997 he signed a three-month contract with Torquay United.
His form in the early part of the season was good enough for manager Kevin Hodges to upgrade his contract to a yearly deal, and his partnership with Paul Gibbs led to one of the most effective wing-back partnerships in the Third Division that season as Torquay made the play-offs.
He left Plainmoor on January 10, 1999, signing for Reading for a fee of £100,000, having scored 10 times in 64 league games for the Gulls, a better strike rate than many of the forwards to have played for United during the 1990's. He settled in well at Elm Park and was a regular member of the side until early 2001 when he lost his place. He was transfer listed at his own request in February 2001 and was released in the summer, joining local rivals Swindon Town on the 30th of June.
He was made captain at Swindon, where he clocked up almost 150 games for the Robins. Shortly after the 2004/05 season had started, Gurney surprisingly left the County Ground and joined Swansea City on a free transfer - with manager Andy King explaining that the club could no longer afford to turn down Swansea's wage offer to Gurney - which was deemed surprising because Gurney had one more year left on his Swindon Town contract.
Gurney played just over 30 games for Swansea getting booked 5 times and sent-off once and was soon transfer listed.
Andy King refuted claims that Gurney was to rejoin Swindon, but in August 2005 Gurney joined on loan and this was later turned into a permanent deal.
A few months into the 06/07 season Gurney surprisingly retired from football due to a recurring ankle injury which had kept him sidelined all season.