Ricardo Fuller: I’ve invited Usain Bolt to The Den - Football League - Football - The Independent

Ricardo Fuller: I’ve invited Usain Bolt to The Den

New Millwall striker tells Jack Pitt-Brooke that Jamaican friend will be cheering on Ian Holloway’s side

Millwall signed veteran striker Ricardo Fuller this summer to add experience, presence and expertise up front but he might also bring them someone they had not expected: Usain Bolt.

Fuller and Bolt, both from Kingston, Jamaica, are great friends and Millwall’s new centre-forward will try to  persuade the fastest man on the planet to come down to The Den, even if he is known to support a different club.

“The next time Bolt is in London I am going to invite him to watch a Millwall game at The Den,” Fuller said, speaking on the pitch of his new home ground. “Though he supports Man United, I know he will come here. Who knows? He might even start supporting us!”

It has been an enjoyable summer for Fuller, who signed a one-year deal for Ian Holloway’s Championship side after spending time with his old friend back at home. “I saw Bolt when I went home for the summer,” Fuller said, “I was with Ricardo Gardner as well. We always hang out and go for a drink, everybody knows everybody in Jamaica. Bolt’s trainer, Glen Mills, used to coach me on the track as well. People might see Bolt as this so-called ‘superstar’ but he’s a normal guy. It’s different in Jamaica.” Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates after anchoring the Jamaican team to the gold medal in the Men's 4x100m relay at Hampden Park Stadium during the Commonwealth Games 2014 Fuller says the world's fastest man is just a "normal guy"

Fuller’s commitments at his new club, and Holloway’s pre-season, prevented him from watching in the flesh as Jamaica won eight track gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. “I wanted to go to Glasgow but could not get there because of training,” Fuller said. “Was I pleased with how we did? What do you think? We always run the track.”

Fuller said that, even at 34, he is the fastest in training at Millwall along with Carlos Edwards, a 35-year-old Trinidadian. “For me age is just a number,” Fuller said, “I train the hardest every day. The stats show it.”

After spending last season at Blackpool, where he turned down a contract extension this summer, Fuller is delighted with the challenge of Millwall and working under Holloway – an old friend of Tony Pulis, for whom Fuller did so well at Stoke City.

“A manager has to connect and do something for me,” Fuller explained. “The gaffer reminds me of Tony Pulis and I know the two of them go way back. They are both straightforward and speak the truth, and like to crack a joke when they need to and sometimes even when they don’t need to. That’s football and sometimes as a player you need that to get the stresses and strains off your mind. The gaffer does that and he is also a nice guy.”

Holloway and Pulis played together for Bristol Rovers in the early 1980s and, while they have different understandings of how the game should be played, they are certainly both true to themselves, which Fuller appreciates.

“Mr Pulis was straightforward and so is Mr Holloway. I read people and go with my intuition, and I had a good feeling about coming here. I have blended straight away with the group. Football needs more characters like the gaffer. It’s what the game’s all about, whether it is on the pitch, off the pitch or in interviews. It’s good for the game.”

Holloway wanted to sign Bobby Zamora as well as Fuller, but values Fuller’s ability to win the ball, hold it up and to beat opponents, as well as off-the-field duties. “The manager explained he needed players with experience to show the young lads around,” Fuller said. “We have some strikers coming through with good attributes.

“The Germany squad have a good mix of old and young players and they are world champions. You need that in any successful squad.”

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week