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Bridge was rewarded by being voted the Southampton Player of the Year for the 2000–01 season.Bridge's temperament and consistency, together with a high level of fitness, enabled him to continue to play every match until 18 January 2003 when he limped off with an injury in a 1–0 defeat to Liverpool. His finest moment came in the Champions League quarter-final against Arsenal in 2003–04.The move seemed to benefit him as he managed to secure his place in the 2006 World Cup English squad for the tournament in Germany.Chelsea won the Premier League again, but Bridge was not eligible for a medal this time as he had not made a single league appearance for them all season.In the League Cup fourth round tie against Burnley in the 2008–09 season, Bridge wore the captain's armband in the absence of John Terry and Frank Lampard, but the Blues lost on penalties.Bridge was unveiled to the home fans that day at an FA Cup home tie against Nottingham Forest, and two weeks later made his debut for the club in a 1–0 win against Wigan Athletic in the league. For the 2009–10 season, Bridge switched to the number 3, which was previously worn by Michael Ball.On 6 July 2012, it was confirmed that Bridge would join Brighton & Hove Albion on a season-long loan.Bridge played 37 league games for Brighton, scoring three goals and helping them reach fourth place in the league to qualify for the play-offs.
Following Cole's injury in the 3–0 Premier League win against Blackburn Rovers early in 2007, Bridge became Chelsea's natural choice for left-back.Chelsea went on to win the Premier League in his absence but Bridge had already made enough appearances (15) to receive a winners' medal.and Bridge faced a challenge to get back into the side when he recovered from the injury that kept him out of the team in the latter stages of the 2004–05 campaign.He played in both semi-final games against Crystal Palace where Brighton were beaten 2–0 on aggregate.At the end of the season, Bridge thanked Brighton manager Gus Poyet for revitalising his footballing career.