888 Michael Bridges

Biography

Striker Michael Bridges signed for City in September 2006 for a £350,000 fee and opened his goal account in his second start at Leicester City. However he soon drifted out of the first team picture due to injuries and was then chosen irregularly by manager Phil Brown for the second half of the season. He was similarly underused during the 2007/08 season, as City ascended the Championship table Bridges headed to Australia for a three month loan spell at Sydney FC, scoring once in 9 appearances. Bridges spent the 2008/09 season, City’s first Premier League tilt, on loan at Carlisle United were he scored eight goals in 34 appearances before leaving the Tigers in May 2009.

Bridges was born in North Shields on the banks of the River Tyne and cut his footballing teeth at the famous Wallsend Boys Club. He joined Sunderland at the age of 16 and made his debut in a February 1996 League Division 1 match against Port Vale. He scored his first senior goal three weeks later against Southend United and ended his first senior season with four goals. Promoted to the Premier League as champions, Sunderland continued to use Bridges as an youthful impact substitute during the 1996/97 season as the Black Cats immediately dropped back to the second tier, he then missed a large chunk of the 1997/98 season due to injury. Returning to first team action at the start of the 1998/99 season, Michael became a more prominent part of the first team and contributed 12 goals as Sunderland again lifted the Championship title and reached the semi-final of the League Cup. His form attracted the interest of Premier League sides and he left Sunderland in the summer of 1999 having scored 21 goals in 92 senior appearances.

In July 1999 Bridges joined Premier League side Leeds United for a £5 million fee, a proposed move to Tottenham Hotspur having collapsed after Bridges met Spurs owner Alan Sugar and experienced his unique brand of personnel management. Bridges debuted against Derby County in early August 1999 and announced his arrival in grand style four days later, netting a hattrick against Southampton. Bridges played in European competition for the first time as Leeds progressed to the Third Round of the UEFA Cup and by Boxing Day 1999 he had netted 13 times for his new club. He ended his first season at Elland Road with 21 goals as the Whites finished 3rd in the Premier League table. However a serious injury suffered in October 2000 in a European Cup tie against Besiktas kept Bridges out of football for nearly two years and when he returned to first team action in September 2002 his game time was severely restricted. He began the 2003/04 season on the fringes of first team action at Leeds and as the Whites slipped to Premier League relegation, Bridges was loaned to his home town club, Premier League rivals Newcastle United, where he made 9 appearances. Bridges left Leeds in July 2004 having scored 21 goals in 82 appearances.

In July 2004 Bridges joined Premier League side Bolton Wanderers but was unable to break into the first team and in September 2004 he returned to Sunderland, who were once more challenging to win Championship promotion. An initial loan move was made permanent in January 2005 and he ended the 2004/05 season having added one goal in 21 appearances for the Black Cats. He joined League 1 side Bristol City in August 2005 but after just one goal in 13 appearances he was on the move again in November 2005, joining League 2 side Carlisle United. At Brunton Park Bridges rediscovered fitness and form, netting 15 times as the Cumbrians lifted the League 2 title. He started the 2006/07 season at Carlisle ahead of his August 2006 transfer to Hull City, taking his tally to 15 goals in 31 appearances.

Michael joined League 1 side Milton Keynes Dons in August 2009 but made only 2 senior appearances for the Dons before returning down under in September 2009 and signing for New South Wales-based A-League side Newcastle Jets. Newcastle Jets carefully managed Bridges’ first team game time due to his previous injuries and he scored 12 goals in 66 appearances during a five season stint – indeed he announced his retirement from playing in April 2011 due to a knee injury, only to be lured back seven months later. He spent 2015 playing for Australian lower league side Lambton Jaffas before finally hanging up his boots.

Following the end of his playing days Michael took his coaching badges and worked as a football pundit in Australia while seeking work as a first team manager. That job eventually came in 2020 when he was appointed manager of regional Northern NSW league Edgeworth FC, a role he fulfilled until February 2022 when he decided to return to England. In October 2022 he began work as a football pundit of the BBC Look North news programme, covering professional clubs across the North East of England. He also worked as an ambasador for former club Leeds United.

In April and May 1997 Bridges won two appearances for England Under-18s. At that time he had already made his debut for the Under-21 side, playing a few weeks against Switzerland – he added two further Under-21 caps in February 1999 against France and in October 1999 against Denmark.

Details

Nationality: England
Date/Place of Birth: 5 August 1978, North Shields
Hull City First Game: 9 September 2006, Birmingham City A (Championship), 28 years, 35 days old
Hull City Final Game: 15 March 2008, Southampton H (Championship), 29 years, 223 days old

Clubs

Sunderland (1994-1999), Leeds United (1999-2004), Newcastle United (2004, loan), Bolton Wanderers (2004), Sunderland (2004, loan), Sunderland (2004-2005), Bristol City (2005), Carlisle United (2005, loan), Carlisle United (2006), Hull City (2006-2009), Sydney FC (2007-2008, loan), Carlisle United (2008-2009, loan), Milton Keynes Dons (2009), Newcastle Jets (2009-2014), Lambton Jaffas (2015)

Hull City Record

Career: 24 apps, 3 goals

Michael Bridges
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2006/078 (7)2
2007/081 (6)02 (0)1
2008/09

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