Thursday, 29 January 2015


DON'T mention John Burridge - the much-travelled goalkeeper of yesteryear when World Cup winner Ossie Ardiles is booked  to be one of the guest speakers at a dinner in McMenemy's Bar at Grimsby Town's Blundell Park ground on March 6.

The pair famously fell out in the last minute of a First Division match on Boxing Day, 1987,   between Ardiles' side, Spurs, and Burridge's Southampton at the Dell.

According to Burridge, who was briefly on The Mariners' books in the 1995-96 season, Ardiles tried to tread on his feet at a Spurs corner - but the goalkeeper managed to get his stamp in first.

In his 2011 autobiography, Budgie, he writes: " I gave him the old two studs combination on the metatarsal and he went down in absolute agony."

Ardiles (and other opponents) were doubtless unaware that Burridge had a habit of filing  down the back studs on his boots so they were sharp as bullets.

He says: "When people came up to me at a corner and tried to bully and intimidate me, I'd seize the moment.

"I'd bring my left or right boot down on the striker's metatarsal - BANG!

"It sounds sounds cruel and dirty but it was kick or be kicked."

Did the officials not  inspect  the players studs before the match?  Apparently, it tended only to be a cursory check in which they ran their fingers over the front studs.

Burridge claims that, following the match, which Saints won 2-1, Ardiles shouted at him:

"You animal!" then tried to push him  down the 10 steps that led to the dressing rooms  - to which he  responded by "smacking" him

Alas for Burridge, the incident came back  to haunt him later when he was first-team choice for  Newcastle United.

Out of the blue, Ossie Ardiles was appointed Toon manager - and Burridge was soon shown the door. The following season, he was plying his trade with Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League.

Budgie - The Autobiography of Goalkeeping Legend John Burridge 
is published at £16.99
by John Blake.

It also available, on loan at North East Lincolnshire  libraries.

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