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Broke team borrows soccer's famous names

Friday, August 16, 2013 - 01:35

Aug. 16 - A soccer team in England has taken a highly unusual step to get sponsorship and stay in business, renaming its players after some of the sport's most famous figures. Andrew Potter reports.

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You thought he'd retired, but David Beckham is the newest signing for tiny English soccer club Farnborough. His teammates go by some illustrious names too. (SOUNDBITE) SCOTT DONNELLY, WHO HAS NOW CHANGED HIS NAME TO "DAVID BECKHAM", SAYING (English): "Well, I think with the squad that we've got, we've obviously got Zidane and Messi and Maradona, I think if we don't finish top then we've let ourselves down massively this season." Beckham used to be known as Scott Donnelly, but legally changed his name to that of the famous English midfielder as part of a bizarre arrangement with Irish bookmaker Paddy Power. His teammates in the lowly non-league team have taken on famous alter-egos too. Farnborough Manager Jose Mourinho explains. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPENCER DAY, MANAGER OF FARNBOROUGH FC, WHO HAS NOW CHANGED HIS NAME TO JOSE MOURINHO, SAYING: "It's a part of the sponsorship deal, it is a bit of fun, we have all changed our names to iconic footballers and managers, such as Messi and Pele and Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson, so it is a very exciting and fun item that the players will be wearing those names during the season and hopefully they can get some inspiration from those names and people will come and watch them and cheer them on." Legally changing your name in the UK involves signing what's called a Deed Poll. Players can also have their passports or drivers licenses changed, but don't have to. David Beckham doesn't expect competitors to lose sleep over his his dream team. (SOUNDBITE) SCOTT DONNELLY, WHO HAS NOW CHANGED HIS NAME TO "DAVID BECKHAM", SAYING (English): "We will get a bit of stick from maybe the away fans, but I think that is only going to be maybe a bit of jealousy on their part that their club is not involved in it." Farnborough's home ground is now called Paddy Power Park. It's an unorthodox deal to be sure, but does keep the club team fielding the most famous names in football from going bust.

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Broke team borrows soccer's famous names

Friday, August 16, 2013 - 01:35