By John Burridge
John "Budgie" Burridge is a real journeyman seasoned 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 used to be a hero of their League Cup win of 1991. That chuffed sojourn to Edinburgh might result in acrimony, besides the fact that, as he ended up in a dressing-room struggle with the executive. hugely revered as a goalkeeper, yet denounced by way of many as an "oddball" (he admitted that he usually slept donning in simple terms his goalkeeper's gloves), Budgie used to be well-known for his madcap antics and his pre-match stretching workouts. He may additionally make some degree 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 folks. The Burridge tale was once faraway from over while he eventually 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 used to be considerably reinforced via the truth that there has been video facts of part the staff 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 center East to take in a training submit with the nationwide workforce. He sustained severe accidents whilst he used to be knocked down via a automobile in 1999, yet is again in good future health. 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 this present day, and during this tell-all autobiography he finds the reality at the back of his awesome soccer occupation.
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Extra resources for Budgie: The Autobiography of Goalkeeping Legend
No more Southport and Southend United; now it would be Manchester United and Arsenal. I was about to leap up three divisions in the blink of an eye. I may have been a 17-year-old kid, but the Blackpool manager, Bob Stokoe, didn’t see signing me as a gamble. He’d seen me play while he was manager of Carlisle United and knew what I could do. Blackpool had gone through a lot of managers in the years before Stokoe was appointed and were proving to be a bit of a yo-yo club, bouncing between the First and Second Divisions.
Because I hadn’t turned up in time for the Bradford game, the manager was blazing mad with me, saying he was going to fine me. But when I explained to him what had happened, both he and the club couldn’t have been more helpful. He didn’t fine me, of course, and he really helped my mum cope with the grief. The club told my mum that if there was anything they could do for the family, they would do it. The club helped with the funeral, the ceremony and all the arrangements for the crematorium. I was just a young kid and wouldn’t have known where to start with the arrangements, even though I was now the man of the house.
But his face dropped when I told him: ‘I’m not playing. ’ He could see I was upset about something and when I pointed to Tommy Hutchison and Tony Green and told him they’d been taking the piss out of my suit, Stokoe went down the bus to have a quiet word with them. Tommy came up a couple of minutes later, arms out apologetically, and said: ‘C’mon Budgie, we were only pulling your leg. We just wanted you to feel like one of the lads,’ but I still had the hump and told him to sod off. I lightened up a bit as the journey wore on; it was hard not to because everyone was full of praise for the way I’d played and making me feel like a million dollars.