A fascinating and funny tell-all autobiography from a man with an astonishing football career
John "Budgie" Burridge is a true journeyman pro and a hero to football fans. In a unique career spanning 30 years, Budgie played 771 league games for 29 teams, including Crystal Palace and QPR (under Terry Venables at both clubs), Southampton (alongside a young Alan Shearer), Manchester City, Aston Villa (where he would play against Barcelona in the European Super Cup), Wolves, and in Scotland with Hibernian where he was a hero in their League Cup win of 1991. That happy sojourn to Edinburgh would end in acrimony, however, as he ended up in a dressing-room fight with the manager. Highly respected as a goalkeeper, but denounced by many as an "oddball" (he admitted that he often slept wearing only his goalkeeper's gloves), Budgie was famous for his madcap antics and his pre-match stretching routines. The Burridge story was far from over when he retired in 1997 at the age of 47. He spent months in a clinic struggling with depression. He became player-manager at non-league Blyth Spartans, only to late be convicted for dealing in counterfeit leisurewear. Together with his wife of more than 30 years, Budgie moved to Oman in the Middle East to take up a coaching post with the national team. He sustained serious injuries when he was knocked down by a car in 1999, but is back in health, and ready to tell his true story.
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