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Stephen Purches has been granted a testimonial year by AFC Bournemouth after ten seasons with the club.

Stephen Purches on the ball during his first spell at Dean Court

Stephen Purches on the ball during his first spell at Dean Court

The testimonial year, which begins in April, will include a game at Dean Court, a dinner to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2003 play-off final and a golf day.

A date is yet to be confirmed for the match, but it is likely to form part of the Cherries’ pre-season schedule next term.

A charity, which is to be announced in the coming months, will also benefit from the testimonial year with part of the proceeds going towards a worthy cause.

“It’s a great honour to be granted a testimonial year by the club. It’s not something that happens very often these days and I’m proud to have played for Bournemouth for ten years,” Purches said.

“I’ve spent most of my career at the club and it’s been a huge part of my life. I’ve been lucky to have ten great years here and it’s the only place I want to be.”

“The supporters have always been fantastic towards me, and my testimonial committee is working hard to arrange some events that they will enjoy.”Stephen Purches

Purches is currently recovering from a double leg break suffered in February 2012 and hopes to return to full training in the coming months.

“I’m desperate to get back out on the pitch sooner rather than later, and, hopefully, it all ties in together because I want to play in my testimonial game that’s for sure,” he added.

Purches has made over 300 appearances in two spells on the south coast, and most notably scored in the 2003 play-off final win at the Millennium Stadium, which secured promotion to the third tier.

After signing in the summer of 2000, he quickly became an integral part of Mel Machin’s side before impressing under Sean O’Driscoll.

The dependable full-back left to join Leyton Orient ahead of the 2007/08 season, but returned three years later after being recruited by former team-mate Eddie Howe.

The 33-year-old helped the Cherries to the play-off semi-final in his first season back at Dean Court, and signed a new two-and-a-half year contract following some impressive performances last term.