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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He is every bit the nutcase, legend and lovable chap you thought he was (And a bit more)
Warning :

This is a long(ish) review because I was on a particulary long commute and had nothing else to do. If you want a short "Back of the DVD" version skip to the conclusion at the end. There's also the odd spoiler of sorts.

Let's face it, if you bought this book you probably had a good idea what you were getting yourself in for. You wasn't...
Published 4 months ago by C. Jose

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable easy read - not a classic
A very easy read and entertaining. Bullard's very likeable and it does give you an insight into the last of the old school, such as Razor Ruddock. But ultimately lacks any personal input - such as any details regarding his marriage and family life which would help to create a more well rounded book. As a resident of Hull I can also guarantee you he has omitted numerous...
Published 16 days ago by Schotti


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He is every bit the nutcase, legend and lovable chap you thought he was (And a bit more), 23 May 2014
By 
C. Jose "CJv2" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Warning :

This is a long(ish) review because I was on a particulary long commute and had nothing else to do. If you want a short "Back of the DVD" version skip to the conclusion at the end. There's also the odd spoiler of sorts.

Let's face it, if you bought this book you probably had a good idea what you were getting yourself in for. You wasn't expecting something Deep like the Robert Enke autobiography, or cringe worthy ala Harry Redknapp. You bought this book because you knew of the cult icon of Jimmy Bullard. In my eyes he is the last "Normal/One of Us" footballers to have graced these shores.

None of us probably know Jimmy Bullard (althoughy my pal Scott told me about the time he got drunk with him back in Portugal around 2005 ish and the next night Bullard scared the life out of him by banging on the window of the quiet restaurant he was in and shouting "SCOTTTTY" before running off down the road) but for some bizarre reason we can all relate to him, we all seem to have a connection with him, maybe it's cos he played the game we all love with the casual abandon of a kid in a school play ground with his mates. There's none of the snarling of Rooney, none of the Tantrums of Ronaldo, you could see he genuinely loved what he was doing and was grateful for where he was.

And that was it, you've seen him diving over a bundle of team mates, you've laughed and felt empathy as he looked on in fear of Duncan Fergusson and you've no doubt witnessed his sidespliting antics with his Simon Cowell shorts on Sky. The truth is everyone loves Jimmy Bullard and the chance to read more of his stories and find out more about the man is why we're all here, well, it's either that or you felt almost compelled to buy it after his relentless twitter campaign !!!

We are taken through Jimmy's early life as a bit of a hustler on the pool table and darts board, and what seems a fairly regular upbringing, he never particulary excelled at school, although he wasn't thick, he played football, as we all did on a small green near his house for hours on end.

Deemed too skinny to make it and having never really been scouted, he plyed his trade as a Cable TV engineer and a painter and decorator before landing himself a semi pro team and getting paid 30 quid a week (and being very grateful for it) Most of us, normal blokes who still play the game, would love this. Maybe this is why we can relate to Bullard and not the pampered stars we say today who are demanding a move and moaning about the fact that they didn't get a birthday cake. Bullard, is, truth be told, one of us.

He works his way up through the ranks slowly but surely until all of a sudden his boyhood club West Ham come in for him.

The book itself is a bit slow to get going, maybe this is my fault because I thought every other paragraph would be a joke. It's only when you get to the West Ham chapter do you find the laughs coming every 30 seconds or so, the stories about Ruddock "Marking his territory", Moncur and his lack of hat, and Di Canio basically being an absolute fruitcake and not only hilarious but told with such warmth and insight it's hard not to imagine you're there, and in many ways you are, Bullard makes it patently clear he couldn't quite believe it himself and you can really feel this throughout the book. The story about him ringing his parents is actually lovely, what his dad says it basically what any dad would say, what his mum says is beautiful and actually warms your heart.

He also puts a bit of a dent into Harry Redknapp, whilst not coming out and criticising outright, he does dispel a few popular myths about his man management style. Whilst Redknapp is no doubt very good at managing his "Favorites" he clearly has no time for the fringe players and Bullard treads around this quite carefully but it would seem clear that he didn't have that much time for Redknapp as a person or a manager (although he does thank him for the chance)

Barry Fry on the other hand would appear a different kettle of fish, Bullard clearly loves the man and obviously see's him as a bit of a kindred spirit. There is genuine affection from Bullard aimed at his former posh boss. Close to a father son relationship.

I also found the stuff about Dave Whelan quite refreshing, I always considered him a bit of a doddering old git who goes on about his cup final, but he comes across really really well. Especially the Barbados story.

Bullard talks in detail about the knee injuries he suffered, he is candid and the humour level drops a notch around this point. You can really feel how much it affected him (after all a PCL, MCL ACL and Knee Dislocation are pretty much all bad injuries, roll them into one combined injury and it's career ending) this part of the book is the closest you get to a semi serious Bullard.

After these chapters the tone lightens again and some of the stories and pranks he plays on his fellow team mates (and management) are laugh out loud funny (be warned if you're reading this on a commute) the story with Steve Kean was particularly hilarious as was the massage bed story. I already knew of the Chris Coleman story but reading it again still makes you crack up.

The England and Capello chapter is another one that you're grateful for and I found it really engrossing. Usually players talk about the England team and it's all fairly standard cliched stuff. Bullard on the other hand lifts the lid on a few things you wouldn't normally be privy to, mainly the fact that David Bentley had the bouncers on his payroll and his mates bringing him and Bullard late night McDonalds. The Postman Pat stuff is nothing short of side splitting as well as I think it's something we've all done at some point (obviously not telling Capello he looks like postman pat that is)

I think what people sometimes forget is not only was a joker on the pitch he was also a decent player, lovely right foot, good technique, great engine, it's a shame a lot of this gets overlooked to be honest. I do remember him as a decent player to be honest (mainly at Fulham, I have a softspot for them, no idea why)

Conclusion
The book is ridiculously easy reading, you will fly through it if the truth be told, the writing style is that of him actually narrating his way through the whole thing as if he's there with you. And the truth is Bullard is every bit the legend you always knew he was and a bit more. The anecdotes are worth the price alone, but some of the other revelations are a real bonus on top of this. Bullard has and probably always will be the footballer you'd most like to go on a bender with, nothing in this book changes that fact it merely re-enforces it a bit more. My only regrets are that he never properly turned out for West Ham and that his career has ended so soon, professional football is a sadder place without him (Still if he ever fancies a game our vets team could do with a decent marauding centre midfielder)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud , great read, 22 May 2014
This review is from: Bend It Like Bullard (Hardcover)
I never write reviews, but i do read a lot of football biographies, and what makes this so special, is the non pretencious, funny way it is written.
It is entertaining from the 1st page with the Bobby Moore blessing through to the last page.
Such a refreshing change to read a book by a footballer that appricated what they had, and just loves life.
He might have not been the best footballer, but most definatly has wrote the best football biography.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and hilarious., 23 May 2014
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Everything you need to know about the life of a professional footballer. Told in Jimmy 's special way. If you liked him before, you'll love him after this. But if you ever meet him, make sure there's no Ralgex, fire extinguishers or convertible cars anywhere close.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great bloke, entertaining read, 23 May 2014
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Good read, plenty of laughs and nice to read about a footballer with such a love for the game. Legend
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like reading a mates diary, 31 May 2014
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Brought this as a holiday book and got through it in no time. What I like about Jimmy is there is no woe is me it's all unfair, he told us he was lucky and that continued all the way through the book.
A charming easy read from one of the games nice guys. If your a football fan you won't be disappointed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable easy read - not a classic, 15 Sep 2014
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A very easy read and entertaining. Bullard's very likeable and it does give you an insight into the last of the old school, such as Razor Ruddock. But ultimately lacks any personal input - such as any details regarding his marriage and family life which would help to create a more well rounded book. As a resident of Hull I can also guarantee you he has omitted numerous stories about his antics. And not all where a happy go lucky as he'd have you believe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Bullard, 29 July 2014
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A rambunctious book of different stories from one man who was plagued with serious knee injuries. We may never know how good of a player he could have been. The stories about Jewell, Capello, Brown and Keane are epic. This one man jack in a box is the true tonic that football needs. Herr Bullard, well that would have been funny. Postman Pat, Postman Pat and his black and white cat will never be the same
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jaunty Jim's journey, 2 Aug 2014
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A good read for a non-league player turned Premier League star. Bullard tells the inside story of his journey from the bottom of footballs pyramid to the dizzying heights of the Premiership; with plenty of anecdotes thrown in. Relatively shorter than some auto-biographies, but with plenty of heart. Well worth a look.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jimmy Bullard top bloke great read., 21 July 2014
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A scream from start to finish, he is so down to earth and really honest about how it all turned out for him. Appreciates how lucky he has been but seems to be the same daft normal lad you would gladly knock about with.All the stories you will have heard or seen on Youtube - worth a read, I could not put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, lots of hilarious anecdotes from Jimmy, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: Bend It Like Bullard (Hardcover)
A great read, lots of hilarious anecdotes from Jimmy. If anything a bit too short! Only a couple of hundred pages and quite large font, can be read in a day or two really. But fantastic all the same!
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