Brucie taken ill prior to photo-shoot

Legendary former Reds goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar spent the weekend in hospital after suffering a serious attack of vomiting due to an ulcer on Thursday night.

According to the Reading Evening Post, Brucie was partway through an evening of photo opportunities and public appearances, in association with the National Football Museum. Relaxing in the bar of the hotel just prior to the next round of publicity, the hero of many a Reds trophy win was overcome by nerves which resulted in him being violently sick. Brucie was in a bad way, and even though his wife – herself a doctor – was called on the phone, the goaly couldn’t speak too clearly. Those with Bruce tried to get help from his wife on the phone – she’s a doctor – but Bruce’s condition was serious enough that they felt they needed to call an ambulance. He was taken by ambulance to Royal Berkshire Hospital.

One of the events sponsors were organisors of the event, Reading-based sports firm Sports Icons. Their founder, Andy Findlay, told the newspaper: “We got through the session at the Renaissance absolutely fine. We took them upstairs but I think the nerves got to him. He’s got an ulcer problem and I’m told that nerves can bring on the ulcer. He was sick in the toilet and we had to lay him out flat and get him some milk. He then phoned his wife who is a doctor, but he couldn’t speak very well. He wasn’t well enough for us to get him downstairs so we had to call an ambulance.”

When the paramedics arrived they supplied oxygen to Grobbelaar before taking him to hospital, where he remained for the weekend, in  a stable condition.

The next event of the day was for him to have photos taken in a sports bar in Reading, with former Everton keeper Neville
Southall and the FA Cup.  He was also hoping to see his former club Crewe take on Reading on the Saturday afternoon.

Jerzy Dudek was inspired by Brucie during the penalty shoot-out in Istanbul last May, inventing his own version of Brucie’s famous wobbly knees from Rome when Brucie himself won one of his many medals. According to Andy Findlay he’d have had a good reception had he not been taken ill: “It was a shame about Bruce because there were a few people there to see him, but we wish him all the best. He will be absolutely gutted but there wasn’t a lot he could do about it.”

Yesterday afternoon a spokeswoman for Royal Berkshire Hospital, Carol Deans, said Brucie was in a stable condition. She also had a message from the player: "He also wanted to pass on that he’s sorry to be missing Reading play his old club Crewe.”