Before he hit our screens as one of the stars of Channel 4’s Gogglebox alongside his brothers, Tristan Plummer was earning rave reviews as part of Bristol City’s youth academy. Back in 2006, before the winger had even made a senior appearance, Arsenal were linked to signing him, just a few months after they had secured the services of another talented young winger, Theo Walcott.
Although the move to Arsenal never came off, Plummer continued to be a player of high potential, following in his brother Dwayne‘s footsteps and playing regularly for England at under-17 level. He then went on to impress out on loan at Luton Town, Gillingham and Hereford United, especially at the latter where he scored three goals in five games.
After leaving Bristol City in 2010, Plummer returned to professional football in the summer of 2011 but he was to return to a very different environment as he joined Portuguese second-tier side Portimonense, who are based in the Algarve. It was an opportunity the winger could not refuse.
“It first happened when my agent called me and said that a team in the Algarve wanted me to come on trial,” he says. “I just said yes straight away. I always wanted to play abroad and get the chance to see different cultures.”
Joining Portimonense after their relegation from the top flight, Plummer would be part of the side looking to make an instant return to the highest level. It would not take long for the Bristolian to settle into his new environment.
“I found it very easy to settle because the club sorted out an apartment for me very quickly and in the block there were three other players there and they helped me out a lot. I had made the move alone, I just wanted something new in my life.”
Having settled in well, the winger soon started to make an impact on the pitch as well, scoring on just his second appearance for his new side in a 3-2 win over Freamunde in the League Cup, known as the Taça da Liga.
Plummer then started to feature for Portimonense in the league as well as continuing to be a useful impact player from the bench for the side as they progressed in the league cup. However, difficulties started to emerge for both him and the club as the season progressed.
The club became embroiled in a relegation battle instead of pushing for promotion to the top flight and for the former England youth international who was just 21 at the time, he began to miss family at home. After eight appearances and one goal in all competitions, the winger returned to the UK but it was an experience which he had learnt a great deal from.
“I started off well,” he says. “I scored a goal straight away and was flying high for a bit but then I got a bit homesick because I was missing my son.
“I loved every minute of it and wish I could have stayed out there for longer or even move to a different club in a different country. I was up for anything.
“The standard was very high and a lot of it was technically better than the English leagues I had played in. However, the tempo of the games were a lot slower due to the heat so you had to play smart, which I enjoyed.”
Plummer returned to play for Hereford United, now in the National League, before another opportunity arose abroad when he was given the chance to impress on trial at German second division side Arminia Bielefeld in the summer of 2013, although a deal was never secured.
“I was given a fair chance in Germany and they looked after me very well when I went there but I just wasn’t fit enough at the time and needed some time. I’d be ready now for their team.”
The former Bristol City winger has spent the majority of his career since playing in the National League and National League South for the likes of Aldershot Town and Western-Super-Mare. He even returned to one of his former clubs Hereford, albeit the newly formed phoenix club and not the original Hereford United side. At the end of last year, the 29-year-old joined Southern League Premier Division side Frome Town from Western-Super-Mere, however he has not written off moving abroad once again.
“With two kids now I would love for them to see some of the world with me and play somewhere nice like in Dubai, India, Brazil or America so if there is anyone out there looking, let me know!”
Plummer’s adventure abroad was clearly an enjoyable one and although he may not have matched the career some of his England youth international teammates have gone on to have, he has experienced a new league and culture that many do not get the chance to and has made it onto our screens regularly, even if it’s not on Sky Sports.