Made a very positive start to his first season with a hat-trick at
Southampton and kept up a reasonable, if not outstanding, scoring
rate. He does hold the ball up well, he works well for the team and
has an excellent shot, but could really do with a more experienced
partner - when he was paired with one of Kewell, Smith and Huckerby,
and the latter two weren't fully fit he found himself carrying most of
the attacking burden on his own.
A final goal tally of 21 in his first season at the club was a good
achievement - and once again, that was done without Bridges being
completely fit: he was the most substituted player in 1999-2000. After
a poor start to 2000-01 - with the goals just not coming and his
confidence low - he damaged his knee when he caught his studs on the
pitch in the Champions League match away at Besiktas and was out for
the remainder of the season. Rumours surrounded his possible departure
as a part-exchange for Kieron Dyer once he regained his fitness, but
he stayed at Leeds to continue his comeback.
2001-02 was another terrible year for Bridges: he came close to a
comeback but picked up another ligament injury and was out until the
start of the 2002-03 season.
Sure enough, he made it through the pre-season and started to
regain match fitness in the reserves, finally getting back onto the
pitch as a sub in the first leg of the UEFA Cup tie against Metalurg
and made the winner for Alan Smith. Two more months of substitute
appearances followed and he finally managed a full game at Fulham at
the start of December. But in the very next game - against Malaga
at Elland Road - he broke down again and will miss the rest of the
season. He deserves a huge amount of sympathy, and nobody could
knock him if he decided to throw in the towel rather than face
another year of operations, physio, training alone. We all hope
he decides to give it another go - he is a great striker and an
asset to the team when he is fit, and it would be a great boost
to the team if he was fit and ready to go at the start of the
Michael returned early for pre-season training for 2003-04 but
played little part in the practice matches as the coaching staff tried
to ensure he didn't overdo things and break down again. He made
sporadic appearances through the first half of the 2003-04 season
showing his customary great touch but still looking well short of
match fitness and the sort of robust strength any striker needs. With
just a few months remaining on his contract, he was loaned out to
Newcastle on deadline day in January 2004. Newcastle were challenging
for a Champions League spot, but Bridges didn't get much of a look in
until the very end of the season when an injury crisis built up to
crisis proportions, and it was no surprise to see Newcastle fail to
make an offer to take him on permanently. With his contract due to
expire, it was announced that Bolton had agreed terms to take him on:
it will be interesting to see just how many games he manages to play
for them next season - but if he does stay fit, the goals will surely
follow for this talented striker.
Stormin Norman says: I would like to see Bridges stay and Viduka
go. People say Viduka was brilliant scoring 20 odd goals last season
but it was Bridges' 20 odd goals that fired us into the Champions
Vicki Winter says: Hi! I'd just like to add a little story about
Michael seeing as no-one else has!! (Or have I just not found them??)
About a month or so ago I went to meet Michael as he re-opened a cafe
in York and would just like to say that he was a lovely lad! All my
friends at work dared me to go and see him (knowing that I am a big
Leeds fan and think Michael is class!) and I don't think any of them
thought I'd go on my own - but I did! And am very glad too as I now
have his autograph and got to meet one of our best players of the last
couple of seasons! Just hope he gets playing again for us as soon as
possible and gets knocking in those goals again cos I reckon we need
him more than Viduka!!!
Charlie Bridges says: Hello, Leeds Fans. Just thought I would Pass
a few comments on about Michael Bridges' bottle. I'm Charlie Bridges 37
years old born as Michael was in North Shields. Although we have never
met my Dad Charlie now deceased was cousin to Michael's Dad Joe. Our
great great Grandad Charlie Bridges served in the Crimea War - he
survived the Battle of Balaclava (Charge of the Light Brigade) amongst
other battles in that campaign. My Grandad Charlie was captured at
Dunkirk and survived the prison camps. Michael's Grandad Joe served as
a Royal Marine during the second world war. I'm a Colour Sergeant in
the Royal Marines and have now served 16 years. My point is that the
lad is bred well, he's got heart and when your team is up against it
you want him in your side. By the way I've got a good left foot and
the grace of a gazelle. But alas I'm not for sale.
PLA Leeds United FanClub says: He is one of the best striker of
Leeds. I hope when he come back he can plays as well as last year.
He has good skills and he is a cool man when he plays football.
Ceri Jones says: I've seen Michael play on television and although
I'm not a leeds supporter I am a great fan of Bridges. I seen him at
Maine Road and can honestly say he has more ability than Viduka. I
hope he plays soon as he is what Leeds are missing.
Sam C says: I love Michael Bridges. I've met him loads of times. I
started to like Him since he was seventeen. Can't wait to see him play
again. Please come back to Sunderland.
David F says: well i met Michael just after he broke his leg - he
was in a lot of pain - id seen him score that hat-trick at southampton
the day of the total eclipse of the sun!! (Aug 2000) and thought what
a gr8 prospect! He sar next to us at a premiership game at Elland Rd
and was a very happy and well-mannered player - which is a lot more
than can be said about one or two of our 'imports'. Oh please Tel get
rid of Viduka - prima donna - sell him to Roma or lazio or somewhere
else - give Bowyer away before he does any more spiritual damage but
dont sell Micheal or Robbie!!
Katie Thorne says: Hiya, I've been in conctact with michael since I
went to the same knee surgeon as him. he has been really supportive
and I know it sounds cheesy but he has really helped me cope.he is one
of the nicest people i've ever known and probably ever will know.
Andrew Loughran says: The worst news this season is that Michael is
injured again! We need class players like him.
Martin Caulton says: Michael is an incredibly talented player who,
if injury hadn't stopped him, would be playing for England with
Owen. Disappointed to see he is out for then rest of the season, he
deserves better than that and would have helped Leeds out of the
position they're in without doubt!
Donna smithys number1 says: Micky m8 i was sooooo gutted about wat
happened the other day so so gutted iw as crying 4 u and everything!
uve worked so so so hard n then this happens but keep strong uve bin
thru a hell of alot but i have so much faith in u work even harder U
WILL b our highest scorer again 1 day ull see! I remember the time
wher every1 hd ure name on their shirts n u were every`s fave playa u
work harder then ever 2 get fit for next season m8 well all b w8in 4
ya 2 run bak owt on 2 the pitch and score more n more goals ull b bak
just like the cheif always is!
Daniel Woodhouse says: you are my best player at leeds fc . you are
my best player please do not leave leeds fc i will be devesteted
Ricky says: i think brigdes is a good forward if leeds united put
smith along side brigdes and kewell on the left side,leeds would put
all the other teams to shame. so i think tell should do it like how i
said when brigdes is fit.
Kim H says: Hiya Michael! Its kim Harte here. hope all is well, say
hi to Kate! Ill be over soon so it'll be nice to catch up! Take Care,
Nicky says: Hi Michael, congratulation to you and Kate on getting
married!!!! Hope you will continue to be very happy!!!!!!
Isobel Shanks says: Met Michael and his Dad when he played for
Mardon Bridge School team just want to send all our Best Wishes to him
and his family.from all in Aberdeen
Lorenzo says: i'm french and i saw Michael Bridges a few times, at
television, when i was living in Chile from 99 to 2002. I'm 36 years
old, i've loved football since ever, and i can say that i saw great
players, very famous Cruijf, maradona, platini, van basten, but also
other ones less famous like arnesen, mancini, polvsen, futre...I've
just known from internet that he had a lot of troubles lately. When
he's playing, Michael has something. He must come back. I hope this
message could help him to find courage and to come back stronger and
lee casewell says: Dear Michael Bridges I am one of your big fans I
have seen you play football on tv and I just want to say you play
fantastic of Leeds United and Iam just woundring if you are going to
play in the pre-season
A life long Michael Bridges Fan! says: Hey Michael, I'd just like
to say congratulations on your marriage to Kate! I'm so pleased to
hear that you are going to be featuring in Peter Reids plans at
Leeds!(i was worried when he was appointed manager after what happened
at Sunderland!) Good Luck for the Season and i will hopefully see you
soon! Love your number 1 fan!
josh hoy says: i like m brides a lot and hope that he scores lots
of goals next season and his wife makes him go running every morning.
bunminho says: Michael Bridges' game reminds me of a certain
"Sniffer" and we certainly need Bridgey back to spice up competition
for places .. Viduka and Chapuis fighting it out for the top nine
role, Smudger and Bridges for the foil. Come to think of it, Smudger
is a decent center-forward himself ... and could well play alongside
nathan lunn says: i think michael bridges is best striker in the
world i just hope he don't get injured again or leave because i
would'nt ever dream of selling him if i was in charge best ever
supporter of bridges in the world
Laura(natalies sista) says: My sista thinks that Michael Bridges
luks like David Flint!!
Sam says: Congrats on getting married, you deserve all the
happiness in the World. Please don't go to the Mags, they won't
appreciate you, come back to Sunderland, the crowd still loves you up
Sam says: I'm very disapointed in you Michael, how could you go to
the Scum. Well I suppose its only for three months. You should have
come to Sunderland!
Max Harlow says: Just want to say Good Luck for the future,
Bridgey. We don't blame you for getting the Hell out of Elland Road,
given the misery you've endured in the time you've been here. I just
wish you'd had the chance of a decent run in the side with us, instead
of having to go through the exit door. Still, with Woody and Bow
already up there, you'll have a few friendly faces to greet you. All
the best, and please don't score when you play against us!
amanda says: Briges played wkd today i reacon he should stay with
dave says: ve seen Michael in 42nd street in Whitley Bay numerous
times as he is a local lad this must be his favoriate haunt.
stefan says: michael bridges you are a class act good luck at
newcastle. i had to stop playing football last year for a spleen op. i
hope u never get injured again mike your an inspiration to anyone who
has like meself
Gino says: i think bridges should stay if we go down cos he owes us
for all the money we have been giving him during his injury plus i
think he could become the best player in division one cos it was not
long ago that he was a good player in the prem.
Guy says: Michael Bridges will be our top striker next seasona in
Division 1 so I hope he gets his contract renewed.
stefan says: congratualtions michael on signing with
bolton.everyone supports you we know u can do well keep your head up
dave says: he never hit it off for leeds and never will have a
chance like that again