‘People called me a fat waste of space, a stupid, inept cabbage head’: Steve Bruce reveals he could quit football entirely at 60, after suffering abuse by fans that left his wife ‘worried’ before sacking by Newcastle’s Saudi owners
Steve Bruce has revealed he could quit football entirely after vile abuse from angry Newcastle fans affected not only his mental health, but his wife Janet’s too.
The 60-year-old was sacked by the club’s new mega-rich Saudi owners on Wednesday, and has already admitted he may bow out of management just days after his 1000th game in the dugout.
‘I think this might be my last job,’ he told The Telegraph. ‘It’s not just about me, it’s taken its toll on my whole family because they are all Geordies and I can’t ignore that.
Steve Bruce has spoken out about vile abuse he received during his time as Newcastle boss
Bruce has praised his ‘fantastic’ wife Janet, and says she has been affected by the abuse too
‘They have been worried about me… especially my wife Jan. What an amazing woman she is, incredible, she’s just a fantastic woman, wife and mother and grandmother. She dealt with the death of my parents, hers have not been very well. And then she had me to worry about and what I’ve been going through the last couple of years.’
Bruce has been with his wife Janet since their schooldays, and the pair tied the knot in February 1983. They have two children – Alex and Amy – the former a professional footballer for Macclesfield.
Bruce felt the wrath of Newcastle’s fans on Sunday despite the celebratory atmosphere at the first game under new ownership, with the team going on to lose 3-2 against Tottenham.
The former Manchester United centre back was booed by the crowd, and it was only a matter of time until the club’s new bosses pulled the trigger.
Bruce, though, is well aware that the abuse is not a recent trend, and he has instead been receiving criticism right from the very start in 2019.
Newcastle fans have been calling for Bruce to be sacked for months and finally have their wish
Bruce managed his 1000th game at the weekend but has now been sacked by Newcastle
He says he was called a ‘fat waste of space’ and a ‘stupid, inept cabbage head’ by angry fans
BRUCE’S MANAGERIAL CAREER
1998–1999: Sheffield United
1999–2000: Huddersfield Town
2001: Wigan Athletic
2001: Crystal Palace
2001–2007: Birmingham City
2007–2009: Wigan Athletic
2012–2016: Hull City
2016–2018: Aston Villa
2019: Sheffield Wednesday
2019–2021: Newcastle United
‘By the time I got to Newcastle, I thought I could handle everything thrown at me but it has been very, very tough,’ he added. ‘To never really be wanted, to feel that people wanted me to fail, to read people constantly saying I would fail, that I was useless, a fat waste of space, a stupid, tactically inept cabbage head or whatever. And it was from day one.
‘When we were doing ok results wise, it was “yeah but the style of football is rubbish” or I was just “lucky.” It was ridiculous and persistent, even when the results were good.’
Newcastle currently sit 19th in the Premier League, above only newly-promoted Norwich City.
They have failed to win any of their eight games so far this season, and will have Graeme Jones in temporary charge for the trip to Palace on Saturday.
Paulo Fonseca is the early bookies’ favourite to take the permanent job at St James’ Park, with Lucien Favre, Eddie Howe and Steven Gerrard also in the running.
If Bruce’s managerial career does end here, it will be after 1000 matches exactly, and spells at the likes of Birmingham, Wigan, Hull, Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday.
He achieved promotion from the Championship with both Birmingham and Hull City – twice – and got to the FA Cup final with the latter, where they were beaten by Arsenal in 2014.
Bruce was also voted Premier League Manager of the Month as recently as April of this year, but has now been relieved of his duties just six months later.
Bruce poses with his wife Janet; he says he may not ever take another job in management
Graeme Jones has now taken temporary charge at Newcastle until the owners find a new boss