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Berbatov slept in a Toon shirt


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Berbatov slept in Toon shirt

 

By MARTIN BLACKBURN

 

Published: Today

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DIMITAR BERBATOV grew up worshipping Alan Shearer — and slept in a No 9 Newcastle shirt!

 

The Spurs striker was bought a Toon strip bearing his name and Big Al’s number as an 18th birthday gift from his parents.

 

And that was the reason he chose the No 9 shirt when he moved to Tottenham in the summer of 2006.

 

The Bulgarian, 26, will be relishing the chance to walk out at St James’ Park on Monday night where Shearer was so popular for 10 years.

 

Berba’s mum Margarita, 45, a former champion handball player, recalls how the Shearer shirt became her boy’s prized possession.

 

She said: “Dimitar wore this shirt all the time.

 

“He even used to sleep in his Newcastle shirt! It’s that special to him.

 

“Dimitar told me it was his dream to play for Newcastle United one day and wear the same shirt as Alan Shearer, who is my son’s hero.

 

“Shearer was a major inspiration for him to work hard for himself and the team. He liked the fact that Alan Shearer scored goals but was not a selfish player.

 

“Dimitar thinks this shirt may even have been a sign he was meant to play in England.”

 

Berbatov was brought up in a sports-mad house. His father Ivan was a striker for CSKA Sofia but the youngster chose Newcastle as his team. Berbatov was such a fan of Toon legend Shearer he even tucked into the ex-England hitman’s famous pre-match meal of chicken and beans.

 

Shearer netted 148 league goals in 295 games for Newcastle and in his schooldays little Dimi got into trouble for scribbling Shearer’s name and records on his school books.

 

Then when he hit the big-time, he bought his mum a Honda Civic with a personalised number plate that included the No 9.

 

His old schoolmate Mario Bekov, who has known Berbatov for 20 years, said his admiration for the former Toon ace bordered on obsession.

 

He said: “Dimitar never missed a Newcastle game when it was on television. And Shearer was up there with Pele as a God for him.”

 

Another pal, Stefan Damianov, recalled how Berbatov considered himself to be an honorary Geordie as he followed the Toon and grew up in a mining region of Blagoevgrad.

 

He said: “People in this part of Bulgaria like the Newcastle team especially and identify themselves with the football-mad culture of the people there and loyalty to the team.”

 

Dimitar Berbatov

 

PAST TIMES ... Dimitar aged eight, flat in Blagoevgrad, and with dad Ivan, brother Asen and mum Margarita

 

Sadly for Berbatov, Shearer had hung up his boots by the time he made his first visit to Tyneside last December.

 

But this next visit will still be crucial with only goal difference separating Spurs from the bottom three at the start of the weekend.

 

Berbatov enjoyed an explosive first season in English football and scored 23 goals after his £10.9million move from Bayer Leverkusen.

 

He is idolised by Spurs fans and is already considered as good as White Hart Lane legends Alan Gilzean, Glenn Hoddle and Jurgen Klinsmann.

 

But Berbatov has not enjoyed as much success so far this term with just two goals to his name in nine appearances.

 

He remains highly ambitious and is unlikely to be impressed by Tottenham’s shaky start to the season.

 

His mum added: “Dimitar has told me he’s hungry to win cups and wants to play in the Champions League in the next few years.”

 

Tottenham came within a minute of taking all three points from Liverpool two weeks ago until Fernando Torres stole a point with his header.

 

And Berbatov’s fellow striker Darren Bent has called for a repeat of the Anfield performance as Spurs look to kick-start their league campaign.

 

England forward Bent is warning they could face an early bombardment from Toon — who have won three and drawn one of their league home games this term. The Geordies have also beaten Spurs 3-1 on their last two visits to St James’ Park.

 

Bent said: “If we play like we did at Anfield then we can go there and get what we want.

 

“Newcastle start really fast and we’ve got to be prepared for that — but we know what we’ve got to do.

 

“People think it will be straightforward after what we did at Anfield but it doesn’t always work like that.”

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The Spurs striker was bought a Toon strip bearing his name and Big Al’s number as an 18th birthday gift from his parents.

 

 

 

Berba’s mum Margarita, 45, a former champion handball player, recalls how the Shearer shirt became her boy’s prized possession.

 

She said: “Dimitar wore this shirt all the time.

 

“He even used to sleep in his Newcastle shirt! It’s that special to him.

 

What?

 

Is the bloke a mong or summit? I love me toon shirts but the only time I slept in them when I was 18 was if I fell akip on the bus after the match.

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“Dimitar never missed a Newcastle game when it was on television. And Shearer was up there with Pele as a God for him.”

 

 

So much so ,he signed for Spurs :razz:

 

Did we bid for him ?

 

 

He shouldn't have ever signed for any club until we came in for him tbh! Two faced wanker that he is!

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“Dimitar never missed a Newcastle game when it was on television. And Shearer was up there with Pele as a God for him.”

 

 

So much so ,he signed for Spurs B)

 

Did we bid for him ?

 

 

He shouldn't have ever signed for any club until we came in for him tbh! Two faced wanker that he is!

would rather play for Bulgaria than us! :razz:

 

we know where his loyalty lies!

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wouldn't bet against a cheeky bid for him in the January window now. I really rate him but I can't figure out why he's been so far off form for the spuds?

 

All this talk of Man Utd coming in for him unsettled him i reckon and he form what I've seen of him this season he doesn't look happy...offer them a swap deal for Owen

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wouldn't bet against a cheeky bid for him in the January window now. I really rate him but I can't figure out why he's been so far off form for the spuds?

 

Everyone's off form for Spurs. If he doesn't get service, he can't perform. On top of which, I think last season was a flash in the pan for him and this season's showing is closer to his actual skill.

 

I wouldn't have him. He gets an 8 on the mag scale though for having a personalized shirt, loving Shearer, etc.

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wouldn't bet against a cheeky bid for him in the January window now. I really rate him but I can't figure out why he's been so far off form for the spuds?

 

Everyone's off form for Spurs. If he doesn't get service, he can't perform. On top of which, I think last season was a flash in the pan for him and this season's showing is closer to his actual skill.

 

I wouldn't have him. He gets an 8 on the mag scale though for having a personalized shirt, loving Shearer, etc.

 

I assume you never seen much of him at Bayer Leverkusen?

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