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Rooney found in pubs across UK

sports Updated: Jun 06, 2010 00:10 IST
The Guardian
The Guardian
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If England’s rivals thought the idea of just one Wayne Rooney was daunting, here’s bad news for them: there could be hundreds of them.

Luckily, they exist only in name, may mostly be pulling beers and are unlikely to escape England for South Africa.

For all 15 workers at the Bay Horse pub in East Ardsley, West Yorkshire, changing their name to match the striker's was the best way of showing their support for him during the World Cup.

They have made the substitutions official using the UK Deed Poll service and will keep their new names until the end of the event, at a cost of £33 (approx Rs 2,235) each.

The squad must also get used to calling their two managers, previously Lee and Lorraine Kennedy, both by the moniker of Fabio Capello.

A 23-year-old female Wayne Rooney, formerly Joanne Hill, said it was a team effort. “The managers wanted to do something so we all sat down and decided to do this,” she said. The name change has been a hit with pub regulars. “They think it's ace,” Rooney said. “They shout Wayne and we all turn around. They love it and think it's really funny.”

“It has not been a hassle at all. We could change birth certificates and driving licences but, because it is only temporary, nobody is going to.”

However her family and friends were forgetting to call her Wayne. “They should call me it but it must be weird for them,” she said.

But Bay Horse's staff are not the only ones with the onomastic idea — at the Shakespeare Inn in Manchester, 10 more people became Wayne Rooney.

A barmaid formerly called Katie Hyett said: “My boyfriend is a bit shocked I'm now Wayne. He's a Liverpool fan so he's been sleeping on the sofa in protest.”

As in West Yorkshire, the Shakespeare Inn's boss, once called Chris Hilditch, is also known as Fabio Capello. And the name changing has not stopped. Andy Wilkinson, managing director of pub owner Clover Taverns, also had the same idea of changing workers' names. He is now called Sepp Blatter, after the Fifa president.

“We have over 100 Wayne Rooneys working throughout the country for the whole of the World Cup and I'm glad to say that we have 10 Fabio Capellos keeping them in control,” Blatter said.