I’m still not sure if this is an apologetic article, a filler due to not writing anything recently, or an ego booster despite not actually claiming full credit.
First of all may I categorically state it’s a complimentary nickname. In no way shape or form was this intended to disrespect our new right back nor was it a statement/dig about us English not learning new pronunciations.
So, in the days before his transfer was officially announced on 24th August 2012, twitter was its usual hive of activity about our latest signing. We’d already confirmed the summer hot shot in Hazard and needed to fill the gap left by Bosingwa. It looked to me as the perfect time for Ivanovic to cement the right back position as his own, but I didn’t know how good Azpilicueta was. Many fans in my generation and above had never heard of Azpilicueta, let alone how to pronounce his name. We hadn’t played FIFA 2012 for 40 hours a week for the last 6 months. Of course we didn’t care what his name was or how to spell it, we’d learn that in time; first things first- is he any good?
Plenty of the youth generation would be chatting on twitter about what his stats are, what sort of right back or wing back he would be and then I kept seeing a common conversation crop up. How do you pronounce Azpilicueta? Is that the correct spelling? How much will his name cost on your shirt?! Anyone fancy having a go at a new song? How do you say his name again?
I started chatting to @CLBrosnan93 at how people are wasting their time talking about his name and we should start having a joke with them.
So, having recently been catching up with Only Fools & Horses, and having grown up with it therefore ingrained in me anyway, I tweeted this tweet;
I was in a jokey mood and must have been somewhat adamant that this was funny, at least it made me laugh. The hashtag #CallAzpilicuetaDAVE had begun. So I became a little more persistent with spreading it around. With the help of my followers that were on the same wave length it started getting around.
The more afield the Dave thing went the more I found it funny. Then it was just a case of how far can it go! I was fairly new to twitter so I never imagined it would get that out of hand!
And then Chelsea started using it themselves when the lovely Gigi tweeted;
And then I started hearing that even the players had joined in!!
In May 2014 he rightly received the Players Player of the Year, with Gigi announcing the ‘winner is known as Dave’. I was even at this POTY to witness this first hand (although missed the chance to get a picture with the great man himself).
And here’s the club Facebook account getting in on the act.
We’d done it. A small piece of a Chelsea anecdote all to myself. As I’m sure you’re aware Cèsar has since fully embraced the phenomenon and sees it as a craic, which is utterly is.
Cèsar, “I’m okay with it. I think they know my name really, and they probably all spell it [right], but its an affectionate nickname for me, so I don’t mind.”
He’s even joined in by producing his own tongue in cheek video of teaching us how to pronounce his name.
Now, as with modern football you get modern fans, and fans that had never heard of Chelsea before 2012, let alone a Dixon, Canners or a David Lee. And with many of these, and indeed home grown match going fans too, there’s those that don’t like other having a bit of a laugh. These people are boring and I tried not to waste my time with them. The majority ‘got it’ and knew it was a bit of fun.
There were also those that tried to claim they started it. Fine, great, crack on. I genuinely don’t care and I genuinely believe there’s tens of people, not on tweeter, that were in the pub up and down the country saying to just ‘sod it call him Dave’ as I was. I’m not claiming to be the only person that started this. Im just the only one that started it successfully (if I can put it like that) on twitter, as it reaches further afield than a pub conversation.
I still like saying Dave and it brings a wry smile when I hear it from a new outlet. Although the ‘we’ll just call you Dave song is even a little tiresome to me now too. I think the joke has had its day, but can’t see why the nickname can’t stay.
So there you have it. A little joke turns into an endearing nickname for what we now know is the best right, or left, back in the country (undisputed best now Ash is in Italy!!).
And here’s how another player received his nickname, in his own words. From ‘King’ Canners:
Not to sure there Darren Gormley.
I use to have an Afro being called ‘Huggy Bear’ from ‘Starsky&Hutch’, then when my sister plaited my hair for me the lads said it looked like a crown & started calling me ‘King Canners’
THERE YA HAVE IT DARREN.