BLACKBURN Rover's manager Allardyce has changed his name, according to Lancashire County Court officials. Contrary to popular opinion, he was actually christened "Big" by his parents in 1936. "Sam" became his nickname in primary school for no particularly good reason and persisted up until very recently, with most people just assuming it was his actual name.
A local newspaper report from 1864 records the birth of Big Allardyce, made famous after his weighing in at a hefty 97 pounds. The name was deemed fine, with Big Sam earning a place in the heart of the nation for guiding Bolton to 16th place in the Premier League table seven years on the trot, not to mention his famed good-natured ribbing of rival bosses like Arsene Wenger.
Big would frequently have a good chuckle in a press conference, reminiscing fondly after his team of hired goons had single-handedly kicked all the beauty out of football on a cold February evening. Things sadly changed after his recent move to Blackburn, where although the results were as pleasantly mediocre as expected, Big was seen by some as developing illusions of grandeur when he insisted he was good enough to manage Real Madrid.
Things went from bad to worse, when subsequent rantings included an interest in becoming Chairman of the Bank of England, and threatening to use the Colonel's secret blend of herbs and spices to start his own fried chicken franchise.
Shocked by the public's amused yet indifferent response to the Madrid outburst, Big started to have serious doubts in his managerial ability and Blackburn's results suffered, slipping all the way from 13th to 15th in the league table.
Realising something was seriously wrong, he saw a therapist and traced these doubts all the way back to bullying childhood feelings of inadequacy over his awkward name. He decided to change his name by deed poll, hoping this would reflect in his managerial performance.
Sure enough, his team are back to strangling the life out of every match they play in, and he looks his usual wasp-eating self; all thanks to a simple change of name. We wish Marion Allardyce every success in the future.