Byrne: Football Inferno
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).