Jimmy Bullard may not have had the perfect hairdo, his Granada Ghia may not have been the flashiest of cars, and he definitely didn't have a string of Page 3 girls trying to sell kiss and tell stories about him to the tabloids. But what he has in spades is a genuine love for soccer that few of his peers can match. One of the last graduates from soccer's old school, Jimmy actually worked in the real world—including as a painter and decorator—before turning pro. Maybe that's why he played football with a smile on his face, always said what's on his mind, and was no stranger to a spot of mischief. Having played under the likes of Barry Fry, Harry Redknapp, and Phil Brown, appeared alongside names as diverse as Neil Ruddock and Paolo di Canio, and as long as Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Jimmy has racked up an amazing collection of tales and pranks both on and off the football front line. Told with candor, Bend It Like Bullard is the extraordinary story of his journey from cable TV fitter to cult hero.
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Jimmy Bullard joined the club he supported as a boy, West Ham, from non-League Gravesend & Northfleet in 1999. He never played a first team game for The Hammers and moved to Peterborough United on a free transfer in 2001, where he started to make a name for himself under manager Barry Fry. A move to Wigan Athletic followed in 2003, and Bullard played his part in securing promotion to the Premier League in 2005 and a League Cup final appearance in 2006. He left The Latics to join Fulham, but his time there was blighted by injury, as was his spell at Hull City, the club he joined in 2009. Brief spells at Ipswich Town and Milton Keynes Dons ensued, but Bullard brought his career to an end by announcing his retirement in October 2012. As far as international football was concerned, Bullard was called into the England squad in August 2008 for the World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Croatia, but did not feature in either match.Review:
"In an increasingly toxic and humorless football world, an hour in Bullard's company is great therapy. Apropos of nothing, he reveals he bought his house without realizing it has no mobile phone reception. He discusses his passion for fishing. [...] Funny things happen in the orbit of Planet Jimmy." —The Observer
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