Thursday, October 9, 2014

Divine code: similar English surnames at the same World Cup Finals

A few years ago(before World Cup 2006), I discovered a pattern on the surnames of the players on the English team. England kept having players with similar surnames on the same World Cup team, but no one had the same surnames again on other World Cup teams.  Perhaps, there is a divine code with the English team at the WC Finals. Since then, I went back to edit this post and always come up with something.

In 1966, England had Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton on the same World Cup squad.  "Bobby" was probably a popular baby name 30 years before.  So two Bobby's are not surprising at all.  Surnames, on the other hand, are different from given names. They are not trendy. Joe and Ashley Cole playing on the same World Cup team was a coincidence!  But when this happened over and over again, it became a pattern.... a strange one, I would say. 

* BTW, I did this as a joke. I do not believe in any real divine code.

World Cup 1950 
There were Ted Ditchburn, Jackie Milburn and Henry Cockburn on the team. “Burn” in a surname is very common, right? But no other XXXburn ever went to the WC Finals. (see World Cup 1986 for Roy Bentley and Bill Eckersley).

World Cup 1958
England had Eddie Hopkinson and Alan Hodgkinson.  Steve Hodge was on the 1990 team and Jimmy Dickinson was on the 1950 and 1954 team. No other “kinson” ever appeared on any WC team.  And “kinson” is very common too, right? Besides, Hopkinson and Hodgkinson were much more similar than Hodge or Dickinson.

World Cup 1962 
No one knows the origin of word Chile for sure, but one theory said that "chile" is an Native American word for "sea gull".  In 1962, England sent two "birds" to the World Cup in Chile, namely Peter Swan and Alan Peacock.  Tony Woodcock (Woodcock is a name of a bird) went to Spain 1982.  No other "bird" ever went to the WC Finals for England.

World Cup 1966
There were Roger Hunt and Norman Hunter. Fowler (Robbie) means a hunter of bird. Otherwise, there was no other Hunt or Hunter in any other tournament. Bobby and Jack Charltons are brothers.  So they do not count.

World Cup 1970
Alan Ball and Colin Bell. Steve Bull in 1990 was similar. Okay, Ball and Bell does not rhyme. Let's forget this one.

World Cup 1982
Joe Corrigan and Kevin Keegan.  No one with the surname  "XXXgan" in any other WC for England.

World Cup 1986
 In 1950, there were Roy Bentley and Bill Eckersley. For 36 years, no other ” XXXley” ever went to the WC Finals for England. Suddenly in 1986, we have Mark Hateley, Gary Bailey and Peter Beardsley. And no other "ley” ever since(updated we finally got Ross Barkley in 2014) . The team also had Gary M. Stevens, Gary A. Stevens and Trevor Steven, Chris Waddle and Glenn Hoddle, and finally Bryan and Bobby Robson. Of course, no one with surname of Stevens or Steven ever played for England in a WC Finals.  And no one named "XXXddle" too.  Bobby Robson himself was on the 1958 team, but no other Robson anywhere else.

World Cup 1990
Paul Parker, Des Walker and Gary Lineker made up the three "ker's" in Italy. There were no other "XXXker" on any other WC team.  Scott Parker made it to the Euro 2012 team, but he did not go to the WC in 2014.  The divine code kept him from making any of the WC team.  Updated: Kyle Walker finally made it 28 years later.

World Cup 1998
David Beckham and Teddy Sherringham. “XXXham” is very common among English surnames, but George Eastham on the 1966 team was the only other “ham” on any other WC Finals for England.  Laurie Cunningham never played in the WC Finals.  In 1958 and 1962, Maurice Norman went to the WC with England.  For 38 years, England had no one with a surname "XXXman" at the WC Finals.  Then, suddenly, we have David Seaman and Steve McManaman in France. I do not count Les Ferdinand and Rio Ferdinand as a coincidence because they are cousins. Graeme Le Saux was on the team, but Matt Le Tissier did not make it.

World Cup 2002, 2006, 2010
We have Joe and Ashley Cole.  Andy and Charlton Cole never went to a WC Finals. There were no other Cole on the other WC teams.

World Cup 2006
Germany is known for Mercedes Benz, BMW and Volkswagen. In 2006, England sent three "cars" to Germany, namely Michael Carrick, Scott Carson and Jamie Carragher!! No other “car” in any WC Finals(Carrick and Carragher were on the 2010 team too). Steve Gerrard and Frank Lampard are close enough.  No other "-ard" plays in a WC Finals for England.  They also played in 2010 and 2014.  Jesse Lingard made it to 2018.

World Cup 2014
Frank Lampard and Rickie Lambert are the only "Lam's" ever played for England at the WC Finals. And the two backup keepers were Frasier Forster and Ben Foster. In 1982, Steve Foster went to Spain.  But that was 32 years ago. Raheem Sterling and Chris Smalling are both "ing", but we have Stewart Downing in 2006So we cannot count this one, can we? 

World Cup 2018
Jordan Pickford and Marcus Rashford are the only "fords" ever to play in a World Cup Finals for England. John Stones and Danny Rose are funny in a way because the Stone Roses, a 1990's British band.  Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Trent Alexander-Arnold are not the only players with hyphen surname. Shaun Wright-Phillips was on the 2010 team, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain went to the World Cup Finals in 2014.

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