Burn Budgie Byrne, Football Inferno
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Johnny 'Budgie' Byrne was alongside Moore, Peters and Hurst in the great West Ham team of the 1960's. Byrne was widely thought to be one of the greatest players ever to have pulled on the claret and blue West ham shirt.
In this fascinating new biography, Brian Belton tells the story of Budgie's life and career, focussing on the football and resisiting the tempatation to cast Johnny as a 'loveable rogue'. There was much more to Budgie than his life off the pitch.
This is a book about a football hero who played like a demon and was adored by fans of all clubs he played for. It was at West Ham though where he is most associated.
At Upton Park, he delighted fans as he made goals, scored goals and put in fearless tackles. He was on a par with the England legends Moore, Peters and Hurst but was left out of the 1962 World Cup squad in Chile so never fulfilled his potential.
About the Author
Like so many West Ham supporters Brian Belton was born only five minutes walk from the club ('I heard 'em cheering in me cradle'). As a teenager Brian worked primarily to support his habit of following West Ham around England.
In his twenties the Mayflower Centre shanghaied him to work with young people in the Canning Town area. Brian was now a youth worker and eventually was persuaded/ bullied/ bribed into taking a professional qualification with the YMCA College in London.
He gained a degree at City University and then became a Senior Youth and Community worker in Islington, whilst gaining a Masters Degree at Essex. He has published over 50 books, mainly on football.