LAWRIE Dudfield has returned to Boston United - after being dragged out of retirement yet again.
The striker has made it a Pilgrims hat-trick, joining the Jakemans Stadium side for the third time.
The former Leicester City front man turned down a contract offer in the summer as he felt that work commitments meant he could not give everything to the Pilgrims’ cause.
But after Boston suffered a striker crisis, Dudfield was happy to answer the SOS from manager Jason Lee.
“We had an agreement in the summer that if Boston were short I’d come back and help them out - but I didn’t expect it to be this soon,” said Dudfield.
“I got a call from Jason on Sunday, saying he needed me.
“I wasn’t expecting that, but Jason’s one of my best mates - and they’re the people you don’t let down.”
Dudfield - who will play as and when he’s needed - scored five times as he turned out for the Pilgrims in the 2005-06 League Two season.
But after retiring from the game two years ago, following a spell at Corby which drained his enthusiasm for football, Dudfield answered Lee’s call last season.
He featured six times towards the end of the campaign, his final appearance being Boston’s heartbreaking penalty shoot-out defeat against Guiseley in the Blue Square Bet North play-off semi-finals.
And back, looking to right those wrongs, Dudfield can’t wait to run out in front of the York Street faithful yet again.
“I retired for the first time because I wasn’t enjoying football anymore,” he said.
“But being back at Boston last season made me realise how much I missed that buzz of playing in front of the fans.
“I really enjoyed my football for the first time in years, so it wasn’t a tough decision when Jason called.
“I won’t lie and say match fitness doesn’t matter, but I’ve been keeping fit in the gym.
“I’ll do everything I can for as long as it’s asked of me.
“But I know I’ll feel it for a few days after playing - after all, I’m 31 and I’ve been retired twice.”
Mickey Stones, Ryan Semple, Mikel Suarez and Julian Joachim are the Pilgrims attackers who have been on the treatment table this week, while Kevin Holsgrove picked up a dead leg playing on Saturday.
Dudfield was expected to feature in last night’s clash with Histon.