By Izuchukwu Okosi

Portugal and Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Rui Patricio has opted to wear the jersey number 11 at the club for the 2018/2019 season in a show of respect to former Nigerian international Carl Ikeme who called time to his football career due to the effect of the leukemia that he was diagnosed of in 2017.

Ikeme was the first choice keeper at the club but last month announced his retirement from the game despite being in ‘complete remission’.

While Patricio will dorn the number traditionally reserved for forward players, last season’s first-choice keeper, John Ruddy, according to the club’s information on squad numbers as published on its website, on Friday, will continue to wear his No.21 shirt, and Will Norris, now third choice at the club, will wear No.31.

Patricio arrived from Sporting Lisbon albeit rather controversially following the termination of his contract at the Portuguese club.

The 32-year-old spent 18 years at the club.

“When Carl came to tell us his news, yes there was sadness, but also great happiness to see him so healthy and hungry for the opportunities that lay ahead of him,” revealed Wolves’ executive chairman Jeff Shi.

“Carl is strong, a fighter, something he has proven in his playing career and also during what has been a very challenging time for him, so I have no doubt he will be a success in whatever he does next.

“We wish Carl all the very best for the future, but remind him he will always remain a part of the Wolves family.”

The number 1 will not be allocated to any player at Wolverhampton Wanderers this season.

Wolves will kick off their Premier League campaign on Saturday with a game against Everton.