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Burn Budgie Byrne: Football Inferno

Brian Belton

Johnny ‘Budgie’ Byrne played for Crystal Palace, Fulham and England, as well as several clubs in South Africa, but he is most associated with West Ham, where he delighted the fans as he made goals, scored goals and put in fearless tackles. In the heady days of the 1960s he was on a par with the greats: Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters and Johnny Sissons. But Budgie was left out of the squad for the 1962 World Cup in Chile, so in some ways he never completely fulfilled his enormous potential.

In this fascinating new biography Brian Belton tells the story of Budgie’s life and career, focussing on the football and resisting the temptation to cast Johnny as a ‘loveable rogue’ in the manner that others have written about such famous subjects as Alex Higgins and George Best. There was much more to Budgie than his life off the pitch, and this is a book about a football hero who played like a demon and was adored by the fans.


"Breedon Books have produced a book that has the feel and look of quality written all over it."
The West Ham Retro Magazine


About the Author

BRIAN BELTON was born only five minutes walk from the West Ham ground, and has been a life-long supporter of the club. He is an experienced writer on football and has travelled the world talking to players and fans, which has provided the inspiration and information for his various books. His other books for Breedon include Bubbles, Hammers and Dreams, The First and Last Englishmen and Days of Iron (1999).





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