HomeSportGreat fan gestures that backfired

Great fan gestures that backfired

FERNANDO Torres’s move to Chelsea left one fan red-faced: he had changed his name to Fernando Torres just before Christmas to commemorate his devotion to Liverpool.


We thought it provided the perfect opportunity to get all misty-eyed about crackpot fans whose extravangant gestures to prove their loyalty backfire spectacularly — starting with the aforementioned Torres:

Man changes name to Fernando Torres weeks before transfer

Shaun McCormack’s extravagant gesture to prove his dedication to Liverpool could not have come at a worse time: the 36-year-old from Scunthorpe changed his name to Fernando Torres just before Christmas.

“I did think about changing my name to Steve Gerrard but I wanted something a little more flamboyant,” said Fernando.

Ice hockey fans change street name to commemorate victory, team loses next match

Fans of the Montreal Canadiens ice hockey team were thrilled to see their side beat the Pittsburgh Penguins to make the finals of last year’s Stanley Cup.

So much so, in fact, that they decided to mark the occasion by changing the name of one of the French-Canadian city’s major thoroughfares, Rue de la Gauchetiere, to Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montreal. A swift bit of sign-making work and the street was unofficially re-named.

Sadly, it proved a bad omen: they got thrashed 4-1 by the Philadelphia Flyers to see their dream of Stanley Cup glory fall flat.

Manchester City fans’ triple tattoo trouble

Tattoo parlours and tattoo removal clinics in the Greater Manchester area have long been offering secret prayers of thanks to Manchester City. And, more specifically, fans’ habits of getting pre-emptive tattoos done before players have been signed or trophies have been won.
Take 25-year-old Kirk Bradley, for example, who had “ Manchester City — Champions League Winners 2011” tattooed on his left arm before the start of the 2009-10 season. City failed to qualify for the Champions League.

Then there was Chris Atkinson, who had the name of Brazilian superstar Kaka tattooed on his chest after becoming convinced that the playmaker would move to Eastlands from AC Milan. Kaka chose to go to Real Madrid instead, and Atkinson was left red-faced.

Not that he learnt his lesson: Atkinson later got a Robinho tattoo after a bet with a friend, this time sensibly waiting for the player’s deal to be confirmed. The forward has since left at a loss of around £20m to the club’s owners.

Atkinson is not worried, however, and has come up with a novel alternative to having his tattoos removed:

“I’ll just wait until I have kids and call them Robinho and Kaka,” he said.

Those well-publicised bits of body art proved to be no deterrent for City fan Simon Hart, who spent £500 having a massive image of Wayne Rooney etched into his back with the words “Rooney — City Legend” beneath it last autumn when the England striker seemed set to leave Manchester United.
Needless to say, Rooney decided to stay at Old Trafford leaving Hart with egg on his face as well as ink indelibly injected into his back.
American football fan forced to change name to that of hated rival

Chicago Bears fan Scott Wiese was so convinced that his team would beat the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl in 2006 that he made a bet with his friends: if the Bears lost, he would change his name to Peyton Manning, the same name as the Colts’ star quarterback.

The Bears lost 29-17, and Wiese duly went to court to file the paperwork to change his name to that of his team’s nemesis. Unlike the Deed Poll process in the UK, Wiese was forced to go in front of a judge to explain why he could no longer go by his original name.

But to Wiese, there was no choice. “ I made the bet, and now I’ve got to keep it,” he said.

Bulgarian fan denied right to change name to Manchester United. Marin Levidzhev fought a two-year legal battle to force Bulgarian authorities to let him change his name to “Manchester United”.

Magistrates eventually refused to allow him to do so, but did allow him to rename himself “Manchester Levidzhev” — a half-way measure that left him feeling short-changed.

“I feel as if I am only at the half-time break,” he said. “I won’t feel right until I get all my name changed to Manchester United.

Levidzhev has yet to be successful in having his surname changed, but is continuing his fight to be named after the club. —

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