Bruce salutes fans' hero DJ
By Lewis Rutledge. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Steve Bruce has paid tribute to DJ Campbell after the striker produced an eye-catching performance in Birmingham's 1-0 victory over Sunderland.
Campbell posed The Black Cats' defence all sorts of problems as a second half substitute, but failed to open his Blues account.
However, Bruce insists he has been impressed by the 24-year-old's attitude, and more importantly, that he has the sort of background and work ethic that will endear him to the fans.
Campbell was playing non-league football for Yeading a year ago at the same time as holding down a permanent job, before transferring to Birmingham after a successful spell with League One side Brentford.
"It is refreshing. You detect he could become a cult hero here. The crowd enjoy someone who plies their trade like him," Bruce praised.
"We were on the lookout for someone with an extra dimension and extra pace.
"He knows what it's like to get up at six o'clock in the morning and go to work in a warehouse.
"He has come from nowhere and they can associate with him. These fans have always been working class people and they respond to a person and a player like DJ.
"He has a big smile on his face and he is not overawed by anything. He is loving the occasion and is just glad to be a footballer. It's an incredible story."
Campbell was disappointed not to score against Sunderland, but with Chris Sutton limping off with a groin strain, he could get his chance from the start in the key games against Middlesbrough and West Brom over the coming fortnight.
"I should have scored at least one but it wasn't meant to be," he sighed. "I enjoyed it.
"Chris Sutton got a knock so I got my chance. Playing with Heskey was good. It is the first time we have played together. He is a good man to learn from.
"I just need a goal and I should have got one."