Monday, 20 May 2013

Has Sunderland player Phil Bardsley turned into my fictional footballer Ryan Fisher???

Now, they say life can sometimes imitate art, but I hadn't really expected to see players from Sunderland AFC imitating the behaviour of my fictional "bad boy" footballer Ryan Fisher. However, it's happened. Sort of.

When I first started writing Striker I was reading a book called I Am The Secret Footballer - a biography written by a professional footballer who has chosen to remain anonymous, for obvious reasons. He gives a sometimes fascinating but always interesting insight into the world of a top-flight player, and after I'd read it I realised that nothing I made Ryan do within the pages of my book could possibly be too far-fetched. Believe me. In fact, what Ryan gets up to could be considered tame in comparison to what really goes on at times.

So it was no surprise when news of Sunderland full-back Phil Bardsley's behaviour at a Newcastle casino last week was made public. I'd actually seen the pictures a few days before the papers got hold of them - my Sunderland-supporting husband showed them to me via a fan forum he's a member of. And it would appear, allegedly, that what happened at the casino was Mr. Bardsley's way of celebrating Wigan's defeat at the hands of Arsenal last Tuesday that saw Sunderland survive relegation and remain a Premiership team. Although why he couldn't just knock back a glass of wine like the rest of us I don't know. But why should he? When he can go throwing pots of money around and act like an idiot? 

Phil Bardlsey during his now-infamous casino night out.
It was the image of him lying there on the floor of the casino, covered in £50 notes, that most people have taken offence at. Another millionaire player doing nothing to counteract the somewhat stereotypical image a lot of people have of professional footballers. Although, to be fair, I've never met the bloke so he could well be a thoroughly decent guy who just let a night out and news of Sunderland's Premiership survival run away with him. However, if he'd like to help me with further research so I can continue to make Ryan Fisher as realistic as possible I'm happy to listen to anything he has to say. Shameless, I know, but an author has to try anything she can these days...

However, whatever the circumstances, this is yet another incident that made me realise, once again, that my fictional player isn't doing anything that some (but not all) real-life players don't do. You couldn't make it up half the time, and it would appear I don't need to. It's happening anyway.

My fictional footballer - the rather gorgeous, and sexy, Ryan Fisher - spends quite a bit of time in casinos himself in Striker, although I would like to point out that the book was written long before Bardsley's display of childish behaviour, and Ryan never ended up on the floor. At least, I don't think he did... not the casino floor, anyway... 

I digress... Ryan also gets into trouble with his manager because of his antics, something else which has been mirrored in real-life after Sunderland Head Coach Paolo Di Canio got wind of Bardsley's playing out on a "school night". He was subsequently dropped from the squad for Sunderland's final game of the season against Tottenham, and he's probably been fined, too, although I can't confirm that. In fact, I listened to a press conference Di Canio gave after the Tottenham game where he, basically, laid into Bardsley, and other Sunderland players, over their attitudes. Not a surprise. I always imagine that some of these players revert to acting like over-grown (and over-paid) schoolboys just because they think they can get away with it. And, believe me, if women ran football clubs they wouldn't get away with much of anything. Could be a bit distracting though, having to discipline all those players in their shorts... sorry, mind wandered for a bit there... Where was I? Oh yeah. Disgraceful behaviour from footballers...


It's all proving to be great research for me, though, as I forge ahead with the next book in the Striker Trilogy - 'Extra Time'. And all of this news of Bardsley being dropped and Di Canio shaking things up at Sunderland is quite apt, as things hot up over at Ryan's fictional club in Striker, Newcastle Red Star. And once again it feels like life imitating art as some of the things going on over there on Wearside are spookily close to what's happening over at Red Star right now...

So, as this house eagerly awaits to see just what Paolo Di Canio has in store for the players at Sunderland, I'll continue to write 'Extra Time' once again safe in the knowledge that nothing is too far-fetched in the life of a Premiership footballer - nothing. Mario Balotelli proved that. And if you think it is, then you really need to read I Am The Secret Footballer, or just take more notice of the headlines some of these players create, because we have those that are making them for all the right reasons, and they're usually on the back pages. And those that end up on the front pages - usually for reasons of the wrong variety. And, as an author currently trying to immerse herself in the world of the professional footballer, both kinds are good news for me...



And just incase you fancy reading about a fictional (and very hot!) bad boy footballer, come and meet Ryan Fisher in my sexy soccer romance Striker. Containing action you ain't ever gonna see on Match of the Day... 
 



No comments:

Post a Comment