By John Burridge

John "Budgie" Burridge is a real journeyman seasoned and a hero to soccer lovers 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 ecu tremendous Cup), Wolves, and in Scotland with Hibernian the place he used to be a hero of their League Cup win of 1991. That satisfied sojourn to Edinburgh may result in acrimony, although, as he ended up in a dressing-room struggle with the chief. hugely revered as a goalkeeper, yet denounced by means of many as an "oddball" (he admitted that he frequently slept donning simply his goalkeeper's gloves), Budgie was once recognized for his madcap antics and his pre-match stretching exercises. He may additionally make some degree of happening a lap of honor to salute his club's lovers on the finish of each video game, win lose or draw—a gesture that endeared him to legions of supporters as a guy of the folk. The Burridge tale was once faraway from over while he ultimately retired in 1997, on the age of forty seven. He lapsed into melancholy and spent months within the Priory medical institution as he struggled badly to deal with the void in his existence. He grew to become player-manager at non-league Blyth Spartans—only to later be convicted for dealing in counterfeit leisurewear. The prosecution case used to be considerably bolstered via the truth that there has been video facts of part the staff donning Burridge's sports clothing sooner than an FA Cup fit. with his spouse of greater than 30 years, Budgie moved to Oman within the center East to absorb a training submit with the nationwide crew. He sustained critical accidents while he was once knocked down by means of a motor vehicle in 1999, yet is again in good health and wellbeing. he's nonetheless hired with the Oman FA, lives there, and acts as a television pundit and newspaper columnist in Singapore. Burridge continues to be interesting and humorous to at the present time, and during this tell-all autobiography he unearths the reality at the back of his wonderful soccer occupation.

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Additional resources for Budgie: The Autobiography of Goalkeeping Legend

Example text

I was in absolute agony. I was still recovering from the smashed nose, and now I had a cracked rib to add to the broken bones collection. But again the never-say-die spirit kicked in. There were no substitute goalkeepers, so I just had to get on with it. I played on and had a good game and we won, so I was starting to believe in the philosophy ‘no pain, no gain’. If I had any broken bones, strains or bruises, they would just strap me up for each game and let me get on with it. I was young, strong and a quick healer.

I was soon well enough to attend group therapy, which was a real jolt to the system. When it was my turn to say my piece, I stood up and said: ‘I’m John Burridge, I’m 47 years old, I’ve played football all my life and I can’t play any more. ’ But the next person to stand up was a woman, who told us how her husband and both her children had been killed in a road accident. That was like a lightning bolt. It woke me up and put things in perspective. There were people in this world with far worse problems than me, and I felt pathetic that I was letting my problems get on top of me when this poor woman had been through far worse.

However, the girl in question wasn’t too put off by my bungling attempts to be Casanova. I spent the next night with her too and, keeping well away from the cushions this time, I lost my virginity. I was starting to grow up, starting to become a man. At training during the week, I was told the manager wanted to see me. I went to his office and sat outside thinking he wanted to haul me over the coals about my night out clubbing, or something else I’d done that I couldn’t remember from my drunken Saturday night.

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