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I’ll name that shirt in…32

When Manchester City announced to the world, and in particular to the red side of Manchester that one Carlos Tevez had signed for them back in 2009, the divide between the two clubs was probably at its widest, billboards depicting Tevez in a blue shirt under the banner welcome to Manchester caused huge controversy in the city and did nothing for blue/ red relations. Who would have thought that just two years later a derby game played in October between the two sides and a local skip company would help heal some of the wounds.

Putting the game aside, although a 6-1 thrashing for the boys in red was a little hard to ignore, the most interesting and intuitive aspect of this derby happened outside old Trafford, someone somewhere had the idea to place a skip outside the ground with the slogan “Trash your Tevez” shirt on the side in red and blue. Fans of both persuasion were encouraged to place their emblazoned Tevez shirt into the skip in return for a new jersey and the promise that the skip will be sent to Argentina to benefit local charities in that country. It must have been an amazing site seeing all those shirts come together and watching united and city fans coming together in shared loathing for a man they once both loved, just before normal service was about to resume.

With constant talk of Tevez coming to my own beloved Spurs, this event opens up the debate of having a footballers name on your shirt, if ever an act was likely to cause future hurt this is surely it, unless you were lucky and chose a Scholes or a Giggs these shirts have a limited time span and will eventually end up in a charity shop depicting a past love as the original owner can’t bear to look at it. You would have thought we would have learnt our lessons at a young age around placing loved one’s names on something precious, who didn’t write the name of that special girl from the school over the road onto your school bag, only to be mocked by it for years to come after you saw her kissing Neil Limbrick behind the bikes sheds! Yet we go through life repeating the same mistake, some people even go as far as a tattoo, so they go through pain for it and then have a painful reminder if it doesn’t end well. As football fans we even extend this ritual to people we don’t really know……

For me the whole name on the shirt deal has always been a little alien. Only once have I queued outside the Tottenham printing shop to part with a load of cash for a few white letters and this only because my Wife took a notion that she would like to have the words ‘Mummy’ printed on the back of her Spurs shirt along with the number one. To me this is a safe bet and not likely to bring any hurt further down the line, my Wife is indeed a fantastic Mother and my Son will always regard her as number one, as he tells her everyday. My Son also took this opportunity to have his shirt put under the hot press, the outcome told the world he was called Glen and the number four depicted the day he was born, another safe bet, you can’t change your birthday date and who wouldn’t want to be named after the King of White Hart Lane for the rest of your days.

Names on shirts should always and only ever take the safe route to avoid hurt and pain, why does anyone want to be reminded of the player we once adored, who now doesn’t love us anymore, no longer kisses our badge and in some cases is seen kissing others whilst appearing to have forgotten the times we had.

A named shirt is a constant reminder, like a memory of a break up and at this point I would strongly suggest you don’t have any current player emblazoned on your shirt, experience shows us that love is a fickle thing and who wants to be reminded of a broken relationship when you’re about to watch your chosen team. Football is an emotional game; it does not need to dredge up long gone personal issues as a sideshow to the events on the park.

If you can’t resist the lure of the hot press then be safe with the naming of your shirt, ask yourself some simple questions first, if the blue and red army had thought about these first, that skip would be struggling for donations today:

Is the Chairman going to give me a replacement shirt, every time he sells my favourite player?
Does his Wife look like the type of woman who can survive our winter months?
Has he ever played for one of your closest rivals?
Is he the sulky type?
If he is not from these shores, has he made any attempt to learn the language?
Is he ugly?

For some reason I have a nasty feeling that all spurs Supporters currently forking out a fortune to have Adebayour on their back maybe also be heading to a skip in the future with Arsenal fans, don’t ask me why, just ask the questions……

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