gudni bergsson - fact file
1988 - 2005 defender
Born on 21st July 1965 in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Height : - 1.85m (6' 1")
Weight : - - kgs
Gudni Bergsson was the first Icelandic player to make his mark in the top flight of English football. A talented sweeper, who played much of his Spurs career at full-back, Gudni was a solid performer, who had a good career in this country and played 80 times for his home country.
Gudni's early career began with the local club of Valur Reykjavik, where he started training with the club at the age of 10 and made his first team debut at the age of 17. He carved a name for himself at Valur, beginning as a forward, while also studying law and attracted the attention of TSV Munchen 1860, who took him on loan and also Aston Villa, who gave him a trial in 1985, but the Midlands club failed to show any further interest in the defender.
However, his chance to shine in the English league was not past and Terry Venables snapped up the Icelander for around £100,000, which, at the time in 1988, was a record fee for a player leaving those shores.
Bergsson's debut came pretty quickly with a first appearance at home to Luton Town in a 0-0 draw on Boxing Day that year, but he initially found it difficult to break into the first team as a regular and his appearances were strictly as fill-ins for injuries and suspensions. At the start of the 1989-90 season, Pat van den Hauwe arrived from Everton and kept Bergsson out of the starting XI, but he played in the good run-in to the end of the season to see Spurs finish third in the First Division.
Venables did eventually give Gudni his chance and he played at full back in most games, with a few games in central defence, but there was never really the opportunity to play his natural sweeper position. His good start to the 1990-91 season was brought to an end with an injury at Aston Villa and Mitchell Thomas came in to keep the Icelander out of the team and although Gudni did play a few games towards the end of the season, he missed out on the FA Cup Final against Nottingham Forest. Scant consolation was a first goal for the club against Wimbledon in a 1-5 defeat at Plough Lane, but the next season was the best for Bergsson in terms of appearances, with 28 League games under Peter Shreeves.
With Ray Clemence and Doug Livermore taking over the side, Gudni was restricted to five substitute appearances in the 1992-93 season and when he suffered a back injury, a return to Iceland followed, although he was still a Spurs player.
When Venables left the club and Ossie Ardiles took over, Bergsson found his playing options limited and he moved on to Bolton Wanderers in June 1995, after an unsuccessful trial at Crystal Palace. An initial £65,000 fee had built in conditions to take it up to £110,000.
A Bolton debut came at Wembley as a substitute in the League Cup final, as Bolton lost to Liverpool, but Bergsson created the goal for the Trotters with a cross for Alan Thompson. Captained Iceland and played a part as Bolton went between the Premier League and the First Division. At 36, he stayed on to help new manager Sam Allardyce take the team up once more and scored 10 goals from defence in doing so and then signed on for one more year to help keep the Trotters up on the last day of the season.
Allardyce tried one last time to keep him on by getting Bergsson drunk and trying to get him to sign on while under the influence. However, Gudni decided to return to Iceland to continue his other career in law, which he had been studying when he came to England. He is still in football too, as he is the President of the Iceland former players association and scouts in his homeland for Bolton.
In the Spring of 2012, Gudni was injured when he was stabbed in the leg by coming to the aid of one of his colleagues in the law firm, who was being attacked by a knife-man.
|What they said about Gudni Bergsson|
? ... .. ()
|What Gudni Bergsson said about ...|
settling in at Spurs ... 19.09.1991 (THFC programme)
"I had no problem fitting in socially. There are quite a few Icelanders in London and the fact that I can speak English helped me considerably with the locals.
Living in a hotel for four
months became quite claustrophobic, so I was pleased to get
a house in Broxbourne."
football in Iceland ... 19.09.1991 (THFC programme)
"The clubs in Iceland are
all amateur and you are lucky if you even get a free pair of
? ... .. ()
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