Jamie Megarry of official Linfield media in conversation with new goalkeeping signing Jack Ruddy.
Jack grew up in Glasgow supporting Clyde FC, whom Linfield midfielder Cammy Palmer had a short stint with last year. At just 23 he’s had an eventful career, which started out as a youth with Rangers FC as he explains.
“I was at Rangers from the age of 6 until I was 12 and then with a local team in Spain, Torre Pachecountil Real Murcia who picked me up a few years later. I had moved to Spain with my parents at the age of 12, my parents still live there currently. They’re a bit older and retired, so I doubt they’ll be leaving the sunshine anytime soon!”
At the age of 16 he wanted to kick-start his professional career and moved back to the UK. A chance to impress at Bury came up and he grasped it with both hands.
“When I was 16 I wanted to try make a career in football so just emailed loads of clubs in England, and Bury were one of the only ones who got back to me inviting me in for a trial. The trial went well and I never looked back. I got a three-year professional deal after 6 months at the club and nearly signed for Aston Villa at the end of my first season. I made my League debut aged 17 in my second year at Bury and then ended up moving to Wolves, so Bury was the best thing that I ever did.”
Jack played in the reserve team of Wolverhampton Wanderers after signing in 2016, training alongside experienced and well-known senior goalkeepers like John Ruddy and Portugal’s number one, Rui Patricio. However, by his own admission, it’s been very stop-start with a number of loans and short stints with several clubs. He played five times for Oldham Athletic during a short loan in League One, then eleven times on loan at Ayr United where he won the Scottish League One title. He returned to Spain in the 2018/19 season, firstly with Wolves’ former partner club, the now dissolved FC Jumilla in the fourth tier, followed by another loan, with S.S. Reyes of the same league. After his release from Wolves in 2019, Jack had spells with Ross County, Leganes and most recently Plymouth Argyle, but games were few and far between and he wants to get back on the pitch now.
“I have a lot of experience gained from loan spells whilst I was at Wolves and also trained and played with some top players at Wolves, but they were all short six-month stints, so I just want somewhere where I can get consistency and a run of games because that’s when I’m at my best and when I have performed at my best in the past. Linfield is a massive club with great history and a good platform for me to settle here and hopefully play games. It’s really exciting with European games coming up very soon and we’re all very much looking forward to the test in Lithuania.”
Jack is also a former Scotland U19, U20 and U21 international.