Friday, 1 February 2008


Burridge face Hythe & Dibden Reserves in the Southampton Senior League tomorrow afternoon.

There I was thinking, "Two-thirty kick off over in Hythe? Are they mad? It'll be dark," but no, they've got floodlights! Many of the Burridge lads are in their golden years now, or how good old windmill swinging Saints legend Mick Channon would describe as, "Climbing up the glass mountain."

Chelsea's Ruud Gullit (Pictured above) in tangerine and graphite, circa 1995. It looked good with jeans apparently.

Other than the fact that it bored the arse out of me, the main reason for paying no attention during either physics or chemistry lessons at the age of thirteen, was due to the firm belief that their principals would be unnecessary to my footballing career. Back then I thought I'd have earned a move to the continent by now, to maybe Bari - like David Platt, or Marseille - like Chris Waddle. Not sat with a tie round my neck making sales calls in the world of recruitment.

Steve Bull did it. Jamie Redknapp did it too, but when I turned twenty-two I was unsure of being named in Peter Taylor's England Under twenty-one squad. That despite bagging four first half goals in a twenty-one nil win over Marchwood reserves in the Hampshire Cup on an autumn Sunday morning. Yes, alright - they only had nine men, and it appeared their goalkeeper hadn't been told he could use his hands, but four goals is four goals.

I think Lee Bowyer got the benefit of Peter Taylor's doubt alongside Frank Lampard.

Nevermind, the world of recruitment's not so bad. As I write, my work colleagues are talking Championship football, someone's declaring Nathan Ellington as the best player in the division bar none. When the Palace fan to my right states that this is bollocks, he's asked, as is par the course, what he's basing that on and, "You don't know, you haven't played the game."

"How about three years training with Perry Suckling at Palace."

"I don't count that as high level." and then, "I was with St Albans Rangers."

Being a Saints fan I haven't a leg to stand on. The only excitement of late has been the announcement that our kit is going to be made by Umbro, whose diamond logo's not just synonymous with the Man Utd kit with draw strings around the collar, but also classics like Chelsea's tangerine and graphite third shirt, worn by the likes of Jon Spencer and Ruud Gullit, reminded me of more innocent times, when free transfers to Bari didn't seem an impossibility. How Burridge need three points tomorrow.

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