Jimmy Bullard and Nick Barmby went ‘toe to toe’ in a scrap on the Humber Bridge while team-mates at Hull, Phil Brown has revealed.
Bullard and Barmby both played in midfield for the Tigers during the 2009-10 season, when their stay in the Premier League came to an end.
Brown was the man in charge when they were beaten 5-1 by Everton in March, during which the two midfielders shared words in the changing room.
But tempers boiled over the following week, when the Women’s Institute called the police after a fight broke out between the two English midfielders.
‘At half-time Nicky Barmby said to me, ‘Can I have a word?’ so I let him go in and him and Jimmy went at each other. Just verbally and it became a little bit personal,’ Brown told talkSPORT.
‘Anyway come the Monday we’re doing a warm down and I’m taking them across the Humber Bridge. What I’ve said to the backroom staff is I’ve got to be watching the video so I stayed back at the training ground.
‘Next thing I know, the players and staff have gone across the Humber Bridge, I get a phone call from the police. Jimmy and Nicky are going toe to toe on the Humber Bridge and the Women’s Institute were doing a march that day.
‘The complaints were coming in left, right and centre. They had a little swing for each other. I wouldn’t call it a heavyweight bout, it would have been a lightweight bout. But they were just passionate.’
Bullard, in particular, became known for his good humour and pranks during his stint with Hull.
“We’d just lost 6-0 to Everton.” 🤦♂️
“I get a phone call from the police.” 👮♂️
“Jimmy & Barmby had a swing at each other on the Humber Bridge!” 🤜 🤛
“The Women’s Institute were doing a march that day!” 😳
Phil Brown tells us about life managing @JimmyBullard at #HCAFC 😂 pic.twitter.com/7FcHh3vCrn
A year after Brown gave a team-talk on the Etihad pitch when his side were 4-0 down against Manchester City in 2009, Bullard imitated his manager after netting a penalty in the same stadium.
Brown admitted tensions were always going to build in ‘volatile’ changing rooms but he insisted: ‘I would have put those two last in line for having a little battle with each other. Nicky was a great little footballer, fantastic, great at getting in little pockets of space and Jimmy could find a pass.
‘They weren’t the tacklers, they weren’t the hardmen of the sport but they were just passionate about winning and they went toe to toe on the Humber Bridge.’