Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

London's Too Scary

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

London's Too Scary

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Gibson

When Peter Reid shunted Michael Bridges out of the Stadium of Light he might easily have signed for Spurs rather than Leeds United.

Bridges was a Spurs supporter as an impressionable kid whose bedroom walls were plastered with photos of his hero Chris Waddle.

However, he admits that "London scared me" and he returned home to Whitley Bay. Two days later Leeds clinched a pounds 4.5m transfer.

Bridges had risen spectacularly to stardom with Sunderland and become a huge fans' favourite but eventually it came down to a straight choice between him and Kevin Phillips. Reid opted for Phillips.

"I was only 16-and-a-half when I made my debut for Sunderland against Port Vale," smiled Bridges. "I was partnered by Paul Stewart. Next game we were losing 2-1 at Huddersfield when I went on and scored two goals. We won 3-2."

Reidy, says Bridges, liked a Little and Large partnership at the focal point of his attack. Niall Quinn was signed to go with Phillips and Danny Dichio was the understudy along with Bridges.

"Kevin was an unknown when he joined us but I told everyone he was going to be a great little striker," maintained Michael. "I was right."

An ambitious Bridges stalled over a new contract with first-team opportunities at a premium ( and an irate manager promptly shunned him, banishing him to training alone when all the others had gone. …

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