FORMER Plymouth Argyle defender Julian Broddle has brought out a book about his life as a professional footballer in the English and Scottish leagues.
It shares with the reader the up and coming rising star from the tender age of six years old, when he was picked up by a local club, right through his professional career, ending in a league and cup double with Raith Rovers.
Broddle then takes you through his second career as a police officer with Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Police, which came to a dramatic end last December when he was sacked at a misconduct hearing, where it was claimed by a senior police officer that Broddle was a ‘regular abuser of cocaine’.
It is a part of his life that Broddle tackles in the book, which he has been writing for the past four years.
It was launched on Kindle yesterday, and comes out on Amazon later this week as a paperback.
Broddle told me: ‘I am from Sheffield and my dream team as a boy was Sheffield United, and it was the only club I was interested in at the time. I therefore signed schoolboy forms there and eventually signed on as an apprentice when I finished school.
‘It didn’t take too long for me to make my debut for the club, and at the time, I was the youngest player in 100 years to play for them.
‘However, I left shortly after that to join Scunthorpe United, where I went on to have several seasons, having a successful career until I signed for Barnsley.
‘Again, I enjoyed three great seasons there before Ken Brown signed me for Plymouth Argyle in 1990 (he made nine league appearances for the Pilgrims).
‘Ken was one of the nicest human beings, not only in football but life in general.
‘The lads helped me settle in and I even stayed for a few weeks with David Byrne until I got my own place.
‘At the time there was the legend Tommy Tynan, and his banter was typical Scouser and he was great at winding the lads up.
‘However, Ken resigned after approximately two to three weeks of me being there, and that was basically the end for my career with Plymouth before it had even really started.
‘David Kemp took over and I wasn’t his player and he wouldn’t play me unless there were injuries.
‘I loved living down in Plympton and the area was beautiful and my first child was born at Freedom Fields Hospital.
‘After only 11 games, I left for St Mirren and enjoyed my Scottish football for various clubs, and I eventually signed for Raith Rovers and won the championship, the League Cup by beating Celtic and then went to play several games in Europe, eventually losing out to the winners Bayern Munich.
‘However, our little club in the Olympic Stadium was beating them at half-time 1-0. Amazing.’
Broddle added: ‘I finished my career at Ross County, where a young Derek Adams joined us.
‘I also played with Craig Brewster at Raith Rovers.
‘When I retired from football I joined Greater Manchester Police and went on to have 16 years before I was dismissed by South Yorkshire Police and the book explains what happened.
‘I have been writing the book for approximately four years.
‘There’s lots of stories in the book, good and bad, funny and serious, and I hope people enjoy the ups and downs of a travelling footballer of that era.’
Broddle says he is hoping to organise a trip to Home Park this season if possible, and added: ‘I cannot wait to see the place again and hopefully bump into my old mates
‘Plymouth have fantastic support and deserve to be in the top two tiers of English football, and if they can establish themselves this year then I don’t see why they cannot push on.’