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The trauma that changed everything

In the same summer of 2006, as part of pre-season training, Fulham went to Austria and stayed at the same hotel as Real Madrid. While most of the London club’s footballers wandered modestly around the foyer, Bullard headed straight to the bar to find David Beckham and company. Taking his mandolin with him, he gave the Real Madrid players a mini-concert, starting with a song about “Old MacDonald Who Had a Farm,” and got a standing ovation.The then coach of the “summer residents” Chris Coleman said that the £ 2 million paid for Bullard was the club’s best investment. But Jimmy failed to justify such advances. It’s all to blame for the terrible injury received in a harmless collision with Scott Parker of Newcastle in September 2006. “I remember getting into a fight for the ball and then twisting my leg. Scott landed on me and I took all of his weight onto my knee. At first I was shocked. Then I heard Collins John exclaim, “Oh my god, no!” I looked down: my leg was bent at a completely wrong angle. And then the pains began. Pain that I would not wish on anyone, ”recalls Jimmy. His knee was so crippled that John and Parker vomited on the field.
Bullard traveled to Colorado to meet with surgeon Richard Stedman. He was shocked by what he saw. “He said it looked like a bomb exploded in the kneecap. I tore three out of four ligaments in my knee. But the doctor assured me that I would play again, and it made me think that I would get through it, ”says Bullard. He had to go through several operations, followed by a long course of recovery. During this time, he received about 5,000 letters of support from all over the world and from fans of various clubs. He returned to the field only in January 2008, and in February he scored a brilliant winning goal from a free kick against Aston Villa. Jimmy helped Londoners avoid relegation, and in August 2008, at the age of 29, he received the first call from the England national team. True, he never played a single game for the “three lions”.

In 2009, Bullard went to Hull and received an unexpected gift from fate. “I came to sign the contract and noticed that instead of the promised 40 thousand pounds a week, there were 55 thousand pounds,” Jimmy shares his recollections. The player said that he and the agent immediately noticed a typo, but decided not to show it, and the midfielder signed that contract for 4.5 years. “I am very grateful to this damn day! Thank you very much Hull for changing my life. It was an amazing contract, amazing! Now I am scattering money everywhere, as if it tears me up, ”Bullard did not hide his delight in 2016 when he publicly told about this story.

Of course, on the playing field, the footballer did not recoup the money spent on him. But he continued to have fun and entertain everyone around. Many remember his famous celebration of the goal against ManCity at the Etihad, when he chastised the partners who sat around him.