OMAR BUGIEL moved to the UK at the age of 16 to study English and was only expected to stay for a year before returning to Germany.
But striker Sutton ended up on an extraordinary journey that has seen him become the first Lebanese international to play in the EFL and score at Wembley Stadium.
However, that would never have happened without a famous family of footballers who received Bugiel to follow and raise him.
Crystal Palace and Oxford legend Paul Hinshelwood – who died last month aged 65 – and his wife Rita wore his bangs while without family or friends.
They are a family rich in football heritage.
Paul’s father Wally, who also passed away in 2018, played for Reading, Bristol City, Fulham and Chelsea – while brother Martin, 68, is at Crystal Palace and manages Brighton.
And his son Adam, 38, has played for Brighton, Wycombe and Aldershot – and is now manager of the Isthmian League Premier club Worthing.
Bugiel attended his mentor’s funeral on Friday – admitting: “I owe Hinshelwoods my career. I would never have been successful without them. “
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Striker Sutton, 28, was raised in Berlin by his Lebanese father Khaled and Polish mother Ewa and began honing his skills at cageball.
And then he was discovered by TSV Munich after moving to the city with his mother but was released at the age of 15 because he was not old enough.
So his mother paid for him to go to the University of Chichester in Sussex to study English – and it proved to be a life-changing event.
He was tutored by another son of Paul Hinshelwood, also called Paul, who introduced him to his parents and brother.
Sutton’s trump card told me: “I can barely speak a word of English and have no friends here.
“A lot of us expats play five people every Monday at the university. Paul (Jr) saw me play and thought I was better than the other players. He was coaching the college football team that used to play at Selsey and invited me to play for them.
“At that time, I asked if anyone knew if anyone would let me share a house with them because college is very expensive.
“And that’s when Paul (Jr) introduced me to his parents and I ended up being their home for two and a half years.”
Bugiel continued to play under Adam while he managed at Selsey and Worthing.
He said: “I didn’t realize then how great a player Paul was in his day or how big they were in a footballing family – but we built a relationship. wonderful.
“They helped me a lot. First, they gave me a place to sleep. I pay my rent every month and do all sorts of jobs to earn money. I am a bricklayer, a builder, I work in a shop and a golf club.
“I wanted to get paid my own way because my mother took on a huge debt to send me here.
“And the Hinshelwoods are great. If I have to go somewhere, they take me there because I don’t have a car. They always support me.
“They are still close to my heart and I talk to them weekly. If I had never met them, I probably wouldn’t be in this situation now.”
Bugiel remembers how intensely love Paul Sr gave him when it came to football.
The striker recalls: “Paul was always the first to criticize me, but at the same time he knew there was something in me.
“I remember him starting down Worthing from Selsey just to watch us play.
“Every time I scored, then he would say, ‘You only score one.’
“And then I scored two goals, he would say, ‘You’ve only scored two.’
“Whatever I did, it was exactly the same. He kept pushing me more and more.
“And you only become a top player like him if you don’t stop working to do better.
“I remember always listening to him talk about football and the things he went through in his career – and it inspired me. I wanted to experience and achieve some of the things that he did. ”
Bugiel has also been fortunate to share a lot of quality time with Adam, whose promising career has been marred by injury.
Adam – made his Brighton debut by Uncle Martin – captained the Seagulls and was called up to the England Under-21 team but two ACL surgeries eventually led him to retire from professional football at the age of 26.
Bugiel said: “I remember a trip away to Folkestone where we talked about the injuries he faced.
“He has to take a different path. He already has 5 children but his love of football is as strong as ever and he wants to manage in the EFL.
“Worthing is at the top of the Isthmian League and he is doing very well. I am sure that he will achieve his ambition”.
Bugiel finally achieved his dream of becoming a professional footballer when Forest Green signed him five years ago and he helped the club win promotion to League Two through the play-offs.
He made 19 appearances for Rovers in League Two to become the first Lebanese player to play in the EFL.
He moved to Bromley and scored at Wembley in the FA Trophy final against Brackley before winning gold with Sutton by winning his second EFL promotion.
And the club is flying again – aiming for promotion to League One again.
“We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing for the past 18 months and see where we are,” Bugiel said.
“One thing I’ve learned in football is that anything is possible if you work hard.”
Birmingham’s Halloween Horror
I NEVER realized Michael Myers was a Birmingham fan.
City faithful wore white masks to represent their “faceless owners” during a protest before, during and after Friday’s game against Sheffield United.
It looks like a Halloween party.
But the real horror at the moment is in the form of clubs. Just one win in 10. It’s enough to make any Blues SCREAM fan.
Give Boro some credit
ALL the talk after Middlesbrough’s stunning win over Manchester United was about, er, Manchester United.
When did Beeb and other broadcasters realize that much of the country really didn’t like Manchester United?
Thank goodness we won’t all suffer a game against the Reds in the next rounds – because it doesn’t matter who they’re held to, that’s televised.
It was an incredible performance by Chris Wilder’s men – and you won’t see many of their better penalties at Old Trafford on Friday night.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4628682/bugiel-efl-lebanon-crystal-palace-hinshelwood/ First Lebanese EFL star Omar Bugiel is indebted to Crystal Palace hero Paul Hinshelwood after moving to England at the age of 16