Bred A Blue: Ruddy & Jutkiewicz On Everton Debuts, 12-Goal Thriller & Birmingham Reunion

Our latest Bred a Blue podcast is a little bit different!

We travelled to Birmingham City’s training complex to catch up with John Ruddy and Lukas Jutkiewicz – two players who had one game each for the Everton's senior team but have since compiled excellent professional careers.

Ruddy came from Cambridge United in 2005 and Jutkiewicz arrived from Swindon Town two years later.

“The year I left Cambridge, they had been relegated to the Conference and Everton had qualified for the Champions League!” Ruddy recalls.

The 'keeper was instantly loaned back to the Abbey Stadium outfit and trained twice a week at Bellefield before playing for Cambridge at the weekend.

Jutkiewicz came under the spotlight after helping Swindon Town to the quarter-finals of the 2006/07 FA Youth Cup.


“I remember my first session with the Everton first team, I was absolutely blowing!” he says. “I couldn’t believe the change in pace, training with players that a few weeks earlier I was watching on Match of the Day.”

Ruddy’s senior debut, in February 2006, came in the most bizarre of circumstances – he came off the bench against Blackburn Rovers when Iain Turner was sent-off after just nine minutes.

“It was probably the best thing because I didn’t have time to think. The fans understood that we were down to the bare bones, and it was a situation that nobody could foresee.”

Everton won 1-0 but David Moyes moved quickly to bring in Sander Westerveld on loan.

“There was an international break after the Blackburn game unfortunately, so that gave the manager time to do something,” added Ruddy.

As for Jutkiewicz, he replaced Steven Pienaar late in a 3-0 home victory against Sunderland in December 2008. It was an opportunity that he thought had passed him by.

“We’d had a game when I was on the bench and we were chasing a goal,” he says. “David Moyes brought Victor [Anichebe] off and I thought I was going to get a chance, but he put Phil Jagielka up front! That’s when I thought it wasn’t meant to be.”

Ruddy eventually left Everton in 2010 – but it was a close-run thing! He’d just checked his bags in for the Blues' pre-season tour to Australia when Moyes pulled him over and told him to get them back as he was going to Norwich.

Jutkiewicz made the trip but then agreed to move to Coventry City while he was Down Under!

The two players have since racked up over 500 senior appearances between them and they both have fascinating stories to tell.

Ruddy was in goal for Motherwell on the night Jutkiewicz slammed home a stoppage time equaliser in a 6-6 draw with Hibernian! The stopper also revealed that Everton also had a future England international on their radar when they signed him from Cambridge.

And which player made Jutkiewicz's life a misery on the pitch at Everton but couldn’t have been kinder or more helpful off it?

Listen to Bred A Blue below or by clicking here. To catch up on other episodes of Bred A Blue, featuring names including Ian Bishop, Fraser Hornby and Sean O'Hanlon, click here

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