It was announced yesterday that Matt Duke would not be offered a new contract and in effect, has seen the last of his playing days with Hull City at an end which was a less than graceful 3-0 hammering by Bristol city on the last day of the season.
Sheffield born Duke joined city in 1984 from Burton Albion but his role was mainly as backup to a first choice Boaz Myhill. Duke did have two loan spells, one at Stockport County and one at Wycombe Wanderers which fired up Duke on his return to Hull City and after an inspired performance against Crewe in a league cup match, he managed to demote Myhill to the bench for the next two matches.
His first team 2007/08 appearences where short lived due to a thigh strain which saw the end to any good run he looked like putting together.
In 2008, Duke was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent a successful opperation and soon recovered enough to make the subs
bench again for the 3-0 defeat of Watford in Hull City's promotion winning bid.
At the start of the premiership season, Duke started as Myhill's understudy against Fulham. He had impressive performances in league and FA cup matches keeping two clean sheets against Newcastle which stood him in good stead for his full Premiership debut against West Ham.
Although City where beaten 2-0, This was to mark the best run of form for Duke since joining City. In the West Ham game, he not only saved a penalty, he went on to recieve the man of the match award and more importantly, retained his first choice keeper status for the next nine games, His longest run of his Hull City career.
Despite ending the season as City's number one, the news failed to take Duke by surprise after his fading popularity was shown up by loan moves for Vito Mannone and Brad Guzan.
I for one, wish Matt all the very best for his future career and hope he finds regular first team football at whatever level makes him happy. He has been a good servant of the club, has always had the clubs interests at heart and though his time at Hull City has been lived in the shadows, he has been a loyal member of the staff.
Good luck Matt and thank you.