Headline promise hilarity from joker Jimmy Bullard's footballing memoirs

Headline have revealed the cover for Bend It Like Bullard, the in which Jimmy Bullard, the former Wigan, Fulham and Hull City midfielder who was forced into premature retirement because of persistent knee injuries, dispenses his own Twelve Pillars of Football Wisdom.

Bullard, 35, earned a reputation for playing practical jokes during his 13-year career in the professional game and Headline say his sense of humour shines through in Bend It Like Bullard.

"We are extremely excited to be publishing Jimmy's first book," Headline announce in the publicity accompanying the cover picture. "We've read it, and trust us, it's hilarious."

According to the publisher's blurb, Bend It Like Bullard is "a rip-roaring, life-enhancing, hilarious memoir from a football cult hero; very much in the same vein as recent bestsellers from Paul Merson and Jeff Stelling."

Bullard, who grew up in the East End of London, worked as a painter and decorator but, after being spotted playing for Gravesend and Northfleet, was determined enough to recover from rejection by his beloved West Ham to work his way up from the lower levels of league football with Peterborough before making a name for himself in the Premier League and three times being named in England squads.

"Having played under the likes of Barry Fry, Harry Redknapp and Phil Brown, appeared alongside names as diverse as Neil Ruddock and Paolo di Canio, and as long as Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Jimmy has racked up an amazing collection of tales and pranks both on and off the football front-line," Headline's blurb continues. "Told with candour, Bend It Like Bullard is the extraordinary story of his journey from cable TV fitter to cult hero. It will make you smile, chuckle and, occasionally, ROFL."

Clearly with plenty to live up to after that kind of promise, Bend It Like Bullard is due to be published in May.

Pre-order from Amazon or Waterstones

More reading: Football books to look out for in 2014 - A Sports Bookshelf Guide


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