Bullard playing for Ipswich in March 2011
|Full name||James Richard Bullard|
|Date of birth||23 October 1978|
|Place of birth||East Ham, London, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|West Ham United|
|1998–1999||Gravesend & Northfleet||30||(7)|
|1999–2001||West Ham United||0||(0)|
|2011||→ Ipswich Town (loan)||16||(5)|
|2012||Milton Keynes Dons||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14:14, 2 October 2012 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
James Richard "Jimmy" Bullard (born 23 October 1978) is an English former footballer who played as a midfielder. He played youth football at West Ham United before moving to Gravesend & Northfleet in 1998. Two seasons at Peterborough United was followed by a spell at Wigan Athletic where he scored ten goals in 145 league appearances, helping them to their first promotion to the Premier League. Bullard was known for being a passionate leader on the pitch and for his funny antics, playing football with a smile throughout his career. Paul Jewell described Bullard as the heart and soul of the dressing room.
A transfer to Fulham in 2006 resulted in six goals in 39 league appearances before Bullard moved to Hull City in 2009. A loan move to Ipswich Town commenced in 2011 where he scored on his debut. He later moved permanently to Ipswich and ended his career at Milton Keynes Dons. On 1 October 2012 Bullard retired from professional football, because problems with his knees meant he was unable to keep up the playing demands of up to two games a week.
Bullard was born in East Ham, east London. He played schools' representative football for Bexley Primary Schools FA and Kent Schools FA whilst at primary school, and then represented North Kent Schools FA whilst a pupil at Erith School. He was a painter and decorator but turned his career to professional football aged 20. He started his career in non-League football with amateur club Corinthian before moving to Dartford, where he made 26 appearances in the 1997-98 season. He then moved to Gravesend & Northfleet before being signed by the club he supported as a boy, West Ham United, for a fee of £30,000 in 1999. He did not manage to break into the team, however, and was given a free transfer at the end of the 2000–01 season. After a three-week trial, he then signed for Peterborough United, where he first made a name for himself, scoring 11 goals in 62 league starts for Barry Fry's team. This earned him a move to Wigan Athletic for £275,000 in January 2003.
Bullard quickly established himself in the Wigan first team and was named in the PFA Division Two Team of the Year for 2002–03. He helped Wigan secure promotion to the FA Premier League in the 2004–05 season and an appearance in the 2006 Football League Cup Final, which they lost 4–0 to Manchester United.
On 11 February 2006, Bullard was honoured by Sky's morning football show Soccer AM for running the length of the pitch in an attempt to score when the floodlights went out during Wigan's League Cup semi-final home leg against Arsenal and leapfrogging a pile of players in a goal mouth scramble in the Premier League against Everton, resulting in him falling on his face. They decided to rename the studio doors and they are now known as Jimmy Bullard's Back Door.
On 28 April 2006, it was announced that Bullard would sign for Fulham at the end of the 2005–06 season after a £2.5 million offer from the London club triggered a release clause in his contract. On 16 May 2006, Bullard was officially confirmed as a Fulham player.
Bullard's Fulham debut came as the team lost 5–1 to Manchester United on 20 August 2006. His first goal for Fulham came against Bolton Wanderers on 26 August, a last-minute penalty kick to level the scores at 1–1. Three days later, after he scored a 28-yard (26 m) curling free kick against Sheffield United in a 1–0 win, Fulham boss Chris Coleman hailed Bullard as "the best £2million we've ever spent".
On 9 September 2006, Bullard dislocated his kneecap in a match against Newcastle United. This injury was thought to keep him out for six to eight weeks. However three days later it was revealed that Bullard would in fact be out for up to nine months with cruciate knee ligament damage. Fulham's new manager Lawrie Sanchez announced that the midfielder was aiming to return around October 2007. However, he did not make a first team appearance until 12 January 2008, coming off the bench to play against West Ham. Bullard then came on as a half time substitute in a 2–1 win against Aston Villa on 3 February, setting up the equaliser then scoring the winning goal from a 25-yard (23 m) free kick and winning the man of the match award. He scored an identical free kick weeks later, to rescue a point against Blackburn Rovers and keep Fulham's hope of Premier League survival alive.
After missing a large part of the season due to injury, his return to the team, along with club captain Brian McBride, sparked Fulham into a run of form which saw them move out of the bottom three with one game remaining, after a 2–0 victory over Birmingham City. After helping Fulham out of the relegation zone, Bullard vowed to stay at Fulham to remain loyal with the club.
At the start of the 2008-09 season, Bullard found himself being linked with various clubs, with his former club, Wigan, expressing an interest in signing him. However, newly appointed manager Roy Hodgson said that he would not sell Bullard, insisting he was a key player. Bullard claims he is in talk to sign a new deal with the club. However, this was denied by the club. The surrounding of Bullard's future at Fulham left him "very confused". Despite being regularly featured in the first team in the first half of the season, it was reported on Sky Sports that Bullard was told by the club that he could leave the club.
On 23 January 2009, Bullard completed a move to Hull City for £5 million, a record transfer fee paid by the club. In an interview broadcast on BBC's Football Focus on 31 January 2009, Bullard discussed his reasons for leaving Fulham:
|“||I had sixteen months left on my contract, which to me – I've been out sixteen months, I know it isn't a long time – and I wasn't willing to play with sixteen months... with one year left on my contract, and I did tell them that, I made that clear, even though I am under contract. Also I didn't feel I had the backing from the club, so I felt like it was time to move on. I felt like Fulham didn't want me and it was as simple as that really. I was in talks with Fulham over a contract and I was told I'm not getting a new contract and I can leave in January. So for a player to be told that was quite harsh, you know, and I came up to speak to Hull and it was totally different, and it sort of made it a lot easier for me. I'm only human, I just wanted to play for a team who really wanted me, and Hull showed me that really.||”|
—Jimmy Bullard, 
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson said "He's been seeking the type of contract we couldn't give him. I congratulate Hull and Jimmy on getting the contract he wanted. It wasn't just wage demands prompting Jimmy to go, but the length of contract too". Bullard signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with Hull.
Bullard made his Hull debut as a substitute in their 28 January 2009 match against West Ham, but picked up a knee injury during the game. The injury was to the same knee that Bullard dislocated whilst at Fulham, but was not initially thought to be related to the prior damage. However, it was sufficiently serious to necessitate Bullard flying back to the same surgeon, Richard Steadman, in the United States for further knee surgery. On 19 February it was declared that he would be out for the rest of the season after the cruciate ligament surgery. He returned to action on 6 October, in a reserve team match against Bolton, scoring a long range effort after cutting in on the inside of a Bolton defender. His Premier League return was off the bench on 19 October 2009 against his old club, Fulham, a 2–0 defeat. He scored his first goal for Hull, a free kick, against West Ham on 21 November 2009. He also scored his second goal for the club in the same game, this time from the penalty spot. His third goal for Hull came against Manchester City, again from the penalty spot. After the goal he imitated Hull manager Phil Brown's on-pitch team talk from the same fixture the previous season.
Against Aston Villa on 5 December, Bullard went up for an aerial challenge against James Milner and landed awkwardly, injuring his knee. After a scan it was confirmed that he will be out for six to eight weeks with an injury to the left knee. This came after receiving the player of the month accolade the Friday previous. He made a scoring return in February 2010 for Hull reserves. On 27 March he scored from the penalty spot against former club Fulham, giving Hull the lead in a 2–0 victory. His next penalty came against Sunderland on 24 April, but he hit the post with Hull a goal down receiving jeers from some of the Hull support, who viewed his high transfer fee and wages partly responsible for the club's financial problems. Bullard was substituted at half-time, with Hull needing to win to avoid relegation.
On 27 June, Hull's chairman confirmed that Bullard was available for loan and was free to speak to Celtic. However, Hull officials said on 12 July that Celtic and the player had been unable to reach agreement on his wage demands. The club opted to exclude Bullard from pre-season friendlies to reduce the risk of injury preventing the player's sale. Hull were facing the prospect of administration to tackle the club's heavy debts; they had very little choice but to offload Bullard, who was one of the club's highest earners, in order to raise additional revenue and reduce the club's large wage bill. At the start of 2010–11 Bullard was not given a squad number, but some time later he was handed number 27 and played the full 90 minutes against Derby County, before going on to play in a further three games. Bullard scored a last minute winner against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on 26 December, returning after an injury.
On 22 July 2011, Bullard was suspended by Hull City following an incident at Hull's training camp in Slovenia the previous week, which was believed to be a breach of the club's alcohol policy. On 18 August 2011 Hull announced that they have terminated Bullard's contract. Bullard received an out of court settlement after the unlawful termination of his contract.
On 27 January 2011 he joined Ipswich Town on loan. He scored on his debut in a 2–1 victory at Derby County on 1 February 2011. Hull City say his exit has saved the club £320,000 in wages, as he had signed a £45,000-a-week contract for them while they were still in the Premier League, although Ipswich have disputed the Tigers' figures.
The loan spell turned out to be a huge success, with Bullard netting five times in 16 appearances for Ipswich. Bullard was very popular amongst the Ipswich fans, winning the Supporters' Player of the Year award, despite only being with the club for three months. The majority of supporters called for the manager, Paul Jewell to sign him on a permanent basis. However, with Bullard's wages being so high at Hull, chances of a permanent move being agreed looked unlikely. On 3 April 2011, Bullard admitted that he would be interested in a move to Ipswich, and that he would be prepared to take a pay-cut. In an interview with the Daily Star, he said: "Money isn't everything to me, I've really enjoyed my time on loan at Portman Road and would love a permanent move."
On 25 August 2011 Bullard joined Ipswich Town on a permanent deal, signing a two-year contract. After starting positively, injuries meant he spent the majority of the remainder of the season on the bench. Bullard was suspended for two weeks while Michael Chopra was fined two weeks wages by the club due to being late to training after a drinking spree. Jewell explained that Bullard and Chopra committed the same offence, but Chopra was suffering from off the field issues therefore it would be inappropriate to suspend him. Jewell highlighted that Bullard "loved playing football and training" deciding that a two week suspension was the best way to discipline him. Jewell admitted "It’s never easy to suspend a player who I have signed twice, who is the life and soul of the dressing room".
After serving his suspension Bullard was reintroduced back into the first team making a number of first team appearances, but was widely used as an impact substitute. Bullard left Ipswich by mutual consent in August 2012; even though he was highly rated by Jewell he was unable to guarantee him regular first-team football.
Milton Keynes Dons and retirement
On 28 August 2012, Bullard signed a short-term contract with Milton Keynes Dons, with a deal running until 31 December, but he announced his retirement from football on 1 October of the same year. His career had been severely impacted by serious injuries including ruptured cruciate ligaments in his knee twice in three years, playing for Fulham in 2006 and on his debut for Hull City in 2009. Bullard stated "In the summer I knew I wanted to give it one last crack and show people what I could do, But what I think with my strong head and what I could physically do are two different things. My head tells me I can do it, but my body tells me, no Jim, you can't." The following day, he was reported to have joined non-League side Holland as a player coach, with Holland chairman Mark Sorrell saying: "Jimmy is a family friend and has agreed to help us out. He will take the coaching sessions and will play three or four times a season". However, the deal fell through, with Sorrell saying: "The situation has got right out of hand. Jimmy likes to keep himself to himself and he was just coming down to help us out".
Although English by birth, Bullard has a German grandmother and was therefore eligible for the German national team. In the run-up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, it was reported that Bullard was contemplating an international call-up from the Nationalmannschaft, having made his interest known to the national coach Jürgen Klinsmann. He was called into the England squad in August 2008 for the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Croatia in September, but did not feature in either match. He was called up on three separate occasions.
- Football League Second Division: 2002–03
- Football League Championship: 2004–05 (Runner-up)
- League Cup: 2005–2006 (Runner-up)
In 2014 Bullard released his autobiography Bend it like Bullard which told the story of his footballing career and became a best-seller. Bullard has made a number of appearances as a pundit for BT Sport and the BBC most noticeably in the 2014 FA Cup final between Arsenal and Hull City, the latter who Bullard had previously played for. In addition Bullard has made mutiple television appearances on Soccer AM and Goals on Sunday In November 2014, he was announced as a contestant in the fourteenth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Since his exit from show Bullard has made special appearances on ITV's annual charity show, Text Santa, The Xtra Factor and Alan Carr's Specstacular. Bullard has continued to make television appearances in 2015, most recently as a guest on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch and as a pundit on Match of the Day for the FA Cup third round tie between Arsenal and Hull City.
Bullard created a free podcast named "The Magic Sponge" in association with the UK television channel Dave, staring alongside Rob Beckett and Ian Smith. Special guests who have appeared on the podcast include former England striker Emile Heskey and Bullard's former Hull teammate Craig Fagan. Bullard has also made appearances for Sportlobster TV.
Bullard founded Extra Time Management with his friend and manager James Erwood. Extra Time Management is an organisation which helps professional sports persons who are about to or are already retired from their chosen sport, to open doors to new careers in media and broadcasting. Extra Time Management firstly helps sports persons deal with depression and other mental health issues and then begins to find new careers for their clients. A percentage of the company's commissions is donated to multiple charities.
Bullard is engaged to his long-term girlfriend and has two children. He is widely known for his funny antics both on and off the pitch. Paul Jewell described Bullard as the "heart and soul of the dressing room". Bullard dedicated his autobiography "Bend it like Bullard" to his parents who inspired him to become a professional footballer, adding that his father's confidence in his ability gave him additional self-confidence on the pitch. In 2009, Bullard brought his father the One Bell pub in Crayford as appreciation for his support throughout his career. In 2014 his father had a stroke; Bullard paid for private healthcare and a top speech therapist for his father, who has since recovered.
- "Jimmy Bullard: MK Dons midfielder retires after knee injuries". BBC Sport. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- "Bullard seals Ipswich move to enjoy Jewell reunion for the rest of the season". Daily Mail (London). 27 January 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
- Gregory, Ross (3 September 2008). "Jimmy Bullard has brushed up well after going from painter and decorator to England star |Sport|Football". The Sun (London). Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- "Jimmy Bullard Bio, Stats, News – Football / Soccer – - ESPN Soccernet". ESPN. 23 October 1978. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- "10 Things you need to know about England's Jimmy Bullard". mirrorfootball.co.uk. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
- "Wigan dominate PFA team". BBC Sport. 28 April 2003. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
- English League Cup Final 2006 Soccerbase. Retrieved 23 June 2008
- "Fans team appear on Soccer AM – Burnley FC". Clarets Mad. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2011.
- Jimmy Bullard Stats Soccerbase. Retrieved 23 June 2008
- "Bullard joins Fulham from Wigan Athletic on a four year deal". Fulham Official Website. 16 May 2006. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "Bullard kick-starts Fulham". The Daily Telegraph (London). 27 August 2006. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
- Newcastle 1–2 Fulham BBC Sport, 9 September 2006
- Bullard eyes October return Yahoo! UK & Ireland Sport, 5 September 2007
- West Ham 2–1 Fulham BBC Sport, 12 January 2008
- Blackburn 1–1 Fulham BBC Sport, 8 March 2008
- Fulham 2–0 Birmingham BBC Sport, 3 May 2008
- "Bullard plans Cottage stay". Sky Sports. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "Latics want Bullard back". Sky Sports. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "Hodgson — Bullard is Key". Fulham Official Website. 9 June 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "Bullard in new deal talks". Sky Sports. 30 July 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "No Fulham talks for Bullard". Sky Sports. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "Bullard confused by Fulham". Sky Sports. 10 August 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "Bullard told he can go". Sky Sports. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "Hull complete £5m Bullard swoop". BBC Sport. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2009.
- "Bullard critical of Fulham". BBC Sport. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
- "Bullard has scan on knee injury". BBC Sport. 3 February 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
- "Bullard seeks assurances". Hull Daily Mail. 2 February 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
- "Bullard's season ended by injury". BBC Sport. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- "Hull City | Reserves Beaten by Bolton – Full Report". Hullcityafc.net. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- "Hull 3 – 3 West Ham". BBC Sport. 21 November 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
- "Man City 1–1 Hull City". BBC News. 28 November 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
- "Brown hails Bullard celebration". BBC News. 28 November 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2010.
- "Hull City sweat on new Jimmy Bullard knee injury". BBC Sport. 6 December 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
- Asthana, Anushka (7 December 2009). "Hull City midfielder Jimmy Bullard out for up to two months with knee injury". The Times (London). Retrieved 7 December 2009.
- "Bullard claims monthly honour". Premier League. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 5 December 2009.
- Sheringham, Sam (24 April 2010). "Hull 0 – 1 Sunderland". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 27 April 2010.
- "Celtic looking to Bullard". Clubcall. 27 June 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
- "Jimmy Bullard's loan move to Celtic falls through". BBC Sport. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- "Bullard frozen out by Hull". Sky Sports. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
- "Sheff Utd 2 – 3 Hull". BBC Sport. 26 December 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- "Bullard to have Hull contract cancelled two-years early". Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- "Bullard drops £3m claim against former club Hull after settlement". Retrieved 10 December 2014.
- "Bullard Joins Ipswich On Loan". Hull City AFC. 27 January 2011. Archived from the original on 3 March 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- "Derby 1–2 Ipswich". BBC Sport. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- "Jimmy Bullard's loan saves Hull City £320k". BBC News. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
- Bullard not ruling out staying at Town
- Jimmy Bullard: I'll take £25k pay cut
- "Ipswich 3-0 Bristol City: Daily Mirror match report".
- "Bullard Suspended, Chopra Fined".
- "Jimmy Bullard to leave Ipswich Town by mutual consent".
- "Dons snap up Bullard". MK Dons FC. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Fans' favourite Bullard calls time on injury-hit career after spells with Fulham, Wigan and Hull".
- "Jimmy Bullard: MK Dons midfielder retires after knee injuries". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- "Bullard's back: Jimmy ends the shortest retirement in history to be Holland coach!". Daily Mirror. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
- "Jimmy Bullard’s non-league move to Holland hits the buffers". Green Un. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- Bullard hopes for Germany call-up BBC Sport, 19 March 2006
- "Bullard called into England squad". BBC Sport. 31 August 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2008.
- "Telegraph FA Cup final 2014, Arsenal v Hull City: as it happened".
- "Who's on I'm A Celebrity 2014 line up? Celebrities round upI'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here contestants".
- "Soccer AM Christmas Special: Peter Crouch, Jimmy Bullard and a host of guests for a bumper festive edition".
- "It's the last Xtra Factor live from the Final!".
- "Reunited! Carl Fogarty, Mel Sykes and Jimmy Bullard celebrate meeting outside the jungle".
- "Goals on Sunday - Jimmy Bullard".
- "Sunday Brunch Episode Guides Series 3".
- "The Magic Sponge".
- Sportlobster Jimmy Bullard's Best Pranks.
- "Extra Time Management Who are we".
- "Extra Time Management What we do".
- "I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jimmy Bullard says he can be a 'nightmare' but is no bully".
- "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! contestants revealed".
- "Jimmy in the jungle!".
- "Jimmy Bullard on I'm a Celebrity: My secret heartache over dad’s stroke".
- "PUB REVIEW: The One Bell, 170 Old Road, Crayford".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jimmy Bullard.|
- Jimmy Bullard career stats at Soccerbase
- Profile at UpThePosh! The Peterborough United Database
-  Jimmy Bullard joins I'm A Celebrity: Watch his top 10 funny moments in football