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Delap looks to play into forties

Rory Delap
Delap has played in over 400 games in his career

Stoke City midfielder Rory Delap has said he wants to continue his playing career beyond his 40th birthday.

Potters manager Tony Pulis has previously hailed the 32-year-old as one of the fittest players he has ever worked with.

Delap told BBC Radio Stoke: "I've always said that I'll keep going until I start making a fool of myself.

"Even if it's in the Conference, as long as I'm still enjoying it, I'll play until I'm 40. Why not 41?"

The Republic of Ireland international added: "I've got a little girl now, and my wife's always saying that it would be nice if she could remember me playing. It's just those little things that make you want to carry on."

Delap began his career with Carlisle United, making his senior debut for the Cumbrians in 1996.

He joined Derby County for £200,000 in 1998, but said he would like to return to Brunton Park before he retires.

"Hopefully they'll be up at the top of the leagues by then, but I've got no qualms about dropping into the lower divisions," he added.

After spending three years with Derby, Delap joined Southampton for £4m in July 2001 before joining Sunderland five years later.

Delap left the Black Cats to join Stoke on a free transfer in October 2006 and has shot to prominence this season because of his trademark long throw-ins.

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