The mind games have begun - and thanks to PP and El Tel it's 1-0 to England!
Forget Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - We've got HartRoseWalkerSmallingCahillDierAlliWilshereRooneyVardyKane
England and Wales face off in a crunch Euro 2016 Group B clash in Lens on Thursday, but the Three Lions are already ahead thanks to Paddy Power and everyone’s favourite mischievous former manager, Terry Venables.
Forget Gareth Bale, Charlotte Church, or Shakin’ Stevens – Wales’ real jewel in the crown is ownership of the 58-character longest place name in Europe: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (58 characters). Or at least it was the longest until this morning…
Thanks to Paddy that proud title now belongs to England after the bookmaker renamed the Borough of Barking and Dagenham after Roy Hodgson’s England team – which works out at a handy 59-characters.
With the help of local Dagenham lad and former England manager Terry Venables, the London Borough – which is steeped in English football history – was renamed after the Three Lions team: HartRoseWalkerSmallingCahillDierAlliWilshereRooneyVardyKane (59 characters).
It’s hoped the cheeky move will be a hammer blow to Wales’ big match preparations, and Venables, who was a master of mind games himself said:
‘Dagenham, or should I say HartRoseWalkerSmallingCahillDierAlliWilshereRooneyVardyKane, will always hold a place in my heart and this is a great move by the bookie. Throughout my managerial career I was always looking to land the first blow before a big game but this is the equivalent of a Stuart Pearce two-foot tackle – it could make all the difference.’
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, now Europe’s 2nd longest place name in Europe, is a large village and community on the island of Anglesey in Wales.
HartRoseWalkerSmallingCahillDierAlliWilshereRooneyVardyKane is already well known as an English football heartland with the likes of Venables, Sir Bobby Moore, and Sir Alf Ramsey born there.
England were held to a 1-1 draw by Russia in their opening match after conceding a late equaliser on Saturday night, while Wales top Group B courtesy of their 2-1 win against Slovakia earlier in the day. The Three Lions are odds-on favourites at , with Wales the outsiders. We’ll wait and see whether Paddy Power’s cheeky antics give Roy’s boys the upper hand!