Declan Rice, a 20-year-old Englishman, has made international headlines after waking up speaking in a thick Irish brogue.
The professional footballer, born in Kingston upon Thames, went to bed Friday night still talking with his usual Cockney accent.
However, much to his amazement, he woke to find he was conversing in a soft-lilting Sligo voice instead.
The defensive midfielder played in England’s 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic on Friday night and was assessed by puzzled medical staff early on Saturday morning.
While incredibly rare, cases such as Declan’s are not unheard of either.
Back in 2016, Wrexham-born football pundit Robbie Savage saw his mild native twang develop into a full-blown Welsh accent as the Wales national team progressed to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
Similarly, Cockney pundit Andy Townsend spoke with a north Dublin accent until Ireland exited the same tournament at the Round of 16 stage.
England medical officer Dr Steph O’Scope believes there are two possible explanations for Declan Rice’s condition:
We can’t be certain, but this could be a rare condition known as FAS or Foreign Accent Syndrome.
“With FAS, where people wake up speaking in a different accent, the brain is simply readjusting and rewiring itself after suffering from a trauma – such as a defeat to a shite Czech team.”
“Either that or Declan’s regretting the f**k out of his decision to play for England”, shrugged the doctor.
The England star stunned his teammates during breakfast this morning by sounding like Westlife’s Shane Filan.
“He was shouting pasch the shalt, pasch the orange jusch at us”, recalls a bewildered Harry Maguire.
At first, we thought he’d been on the piss in Prague but turns out he talks like a Paddy now, which is sound.
After breakfast, the West Ham United ace played ‘The Wild Rover’ on the tin whistle before retiring back to his room to watch a Father Ted box-set.
Addressing the media ahead of Monday’s Group A clash with Bulgaria, Gareth Southgate revealed which vegetable he’d like photoshopped onto his head in the event of another defeat:
“I dunno why, I’ve always had a soft spot for parsnips”, said the 49-year-old.
Quizzed on any particular vegetable he’d prefer not to see on his head come Tuesday morning.
“No aubergines please, boys”.