By John Burridge
John "Budgie" Burridge is a real journeyman professional and a hero to soccer fanatics up and down the rustic. In a different occupation spanning 30 years, Budgie performed 771 league video games for 29 groups, together with Crystal Palace and QPR (under Terry Venables at either clubs), Southampton (alongside a tender Alan Shearer), Manchester urban, Aston Villa (where he may play opposed to Barcelona within the eu large Cup), Wolves, and in Scotland with Hibernian the place he was once a hero of their League Cup win of 1991. That chuffed sojourn to Edinburgh might lead to acrimony, in spite of the fact that, as he ended up in a dressing-room struggle with the executive. hugely revered as a goalkeeper, yet denounced through many as an "oddball" (he admitted that he usually slept donning simply his goalkeeper's gloves), Budgie used to be well-known for his madcap antics and his pre-match stretching workouts. He could additionally make some extent of occurring a lap of honor to salute his club's lovers on the finish of each online game, win lose or draw—a gesture that endeared him to legions of supporters as a guy of the folk. The Burridge tale used to be faraway from over whilst he ultimately retired in 1997, on the age of forty seven. He lapsed into melancholy and spent months within the Priory health center as he struggled badly to deal with the void in his existence. He turned player-manager at non-league Blyth Spartans—only to later be convicted for dealing in counterfeit leisurewear. The prosecution case was once considerably bolstered by way of the truth that there has been video proof of part the group donning Burridge's sports clothing ahead of an FA Cup fit. along with his spouse of greater than 30 years, Budgie moved to Oman within the heart East to take in a training put up with the nationwide staff. He sustained critical accidents while he used to be knocked down by means of a motor vehicle in 1999, yet is again in good overall healthiness. he's nonetheless hired with the Oman FA, lives there, and acts as a television pundit and newspaper columnist in Singapore. Burridge remains to be attention-grabbing and humorous to today, and during this tell-all autobiography he unearths the reality in the back of his incredible soccer profession.
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Extra resources for Budgie: The Autobiography of Goalkeeping Legend
I told her how much I wanted to be a footballer and that I didn’t want to play rugby or go down the pit. A few weeks later, it was the turn of my local club Workington Reds to try their luck. The manager Bobby Brown came to the house, and said he was aware that other clubs had been keen to sign me. He made a really strong case based on the benefits of signing for my local club, including being able to stay at home. My dad was just about to give him the usual response straight to his face, but then amazingly my poor old mum stepped in.
I was thinking to myself, ‘Stand up to him, stand up to him’, so I held my ground till the last second, and when he feinted to take the ball round to my right, I went down at his feet with all I could muster, and took the ball cleanly. ’ It wasn’t big and it wasn’t clever to say something like that to somebody as classy as George Best, but I was just carried away with the moment and the adrenaline had kicked in and taken over my mouth. I had been getting his autograph just a couple of hours earlier, but here I was doing my best to sort him out on the football pitch.
I hadn’t shaved, I hadn’t brushed my teeth for days. I was a complete mess. I had got depression and I had got it bad. I’d been called mad often enough in my career – for walking on my hands during warm-ups, doing somersaults, sitting on the crossbar during games, having brawls with my manager, sleeping in my goalie gloves, following the same diet as African tribesmen. None of that was seen as normal behaviour, but I hadn’t been mad, just ‘Mr Dedication’ – someone who was way ahead of his time.