News broke yesterday that a former favorite of ours, Jimmy Bullard, had been forced to retire at the age of 33.
Bullard was one of those infectious characters that are so missed in the modern game. His ability to motivate, through humour, his team-mates coupled with his undoubted ability to influence matches, made him a favouirte at Craven Cottage.
In fact there are may who attribute our ‘Great Escape` in the season whereby a result at Portsmouth on the final day of the season, to Bullard and his inspirational antics.
Sadly, there was a parting of the ways at Craven Cottage and Bullard headed for pastures anew, at Hull City, under the tuition of Phil Brown.
Up at Hull, Bullard orchestrate done of the most amusing incidents I`ve witnessed on a football pitch by mimicking something Brown had carried out the previous season.
With Hull underperforming, at Manchester City, Brown proceeded to sit his players down on the pitch at half-time and give them a right old finger wagging. Therefore, the following season, upon scoring, Bullard instructed the Hull players to sit down in a circle and proceeded to give them a finger wagging, much to everybody`s amusement.
Unfortunately knee injuries were to blight Jimmy`s career and a budding international career was ended, much before it had even begun, when a knee injury sidelined the effervescent Bullard.
Announcing his retirement, after playing a mere five games for his latest club, MK Dons, Bullard admitted,
“My old injury has never allowed me to get back where I want to be as a footballer. It has always hindered me.”
Although we never parted on the best of times, we`ll admit that Bullard was one of our favourites and the news that he has been forced to retire is a sad thing with football losing one of its last remaining true characters.
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