Celebrity Names Blog

The True Story of a Girl Named After an Entire Soccer Team

A new Hyundai commercial, shown during the World Cup, brought to our attention a most unique naming story. (Click here to check it out on YouTube.)  The commercial takes us to England in the 1960s and tells of a fan who named his child after a soccer team.  That's right, you read correctly -- not one player or two, but an entire team.  The result?  Miss Paula St. John Lawrence Lawler Byrne Strong Yeats Stevenson Callaghan Hunt Milne Smith Thompson Shankley Bennett Paisley O'Sullivan.  Intrigued, we decided to investigate -- could this be a true story or was it a fictional car-selling creation?

It's true.  A 1966 issue of Sports Illustrated solved the mystery.  The father in question is Peter O'Sullivan.  Paula was his third child, and in naming her he honored not only his favorite Liverpool players, but also Liverpool's manager, coach and trainer.  We found a picture of the 1963-1964 team, but it seems that the 1964-1965 team was the one that served as Paula's namesake.

The article says nothing about Mrs. O'Sullivan's opinion on the matter.

Any readers out there such feel such loyalty and admiration for a team that you'd want to name your child after an entire roster?  Check out a post earlier this week on America's roster and a reader's comment sharing England's roster -- would these teams make good namesakes?

We wonder what Paula called herself as she got older.  Because not only are there a lot of names at play, but most of them are two-plus syllables. There's the option of forgoing all the middle names and sticking with Paula O'Sullivan.  She could choose her favorite one -- she'd have 15 options.  Or perhaps she liked honoring Liverpool with her name, and signed checks Paula S-J.L.L.B.S.Y.S.C.H.M.S.T.S.B.P. O' Sullivan. 

Thoughts?

Side note: You might be curious as to how this naming story connects to Hyundai -- the commercial ends with, "Fans show their loyalty in all kinds of ways, ours just buy another Hyundai."

--D.J.

Comments

Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

June 16, 2010 6:32 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think if I were Paula and not a soccer fan, I'd think my Dad a fool. However, if Paula is in to soccer, she might have fun changing the middle name when the soccer player scores. She could have fun or be made fun of by chums.
I like the way Hyundai used the unique naming story into a way to promote loyalty to Hyundai cars.

June 16, 2010 6:59 PM
By Sebalek (not verified)

If I were her, I'd use Paisley as a mn. The alliteration is a almost too much for me, but I like Paisley for some reason. Other options I'd go with are Byrne (I Gabriel Byrne, the actor), Bennett and Callaghan.

I'd think I'd want to strangle my dad for giving me so many mns, though and drop them all, or use Liverpool maybe. Then again, maybe she's as fanatic about the club today as he was then and doesn't mind it?

June 16, 2010 6:59 PM
By Sebalek (not verified)

If I were her, I'd use Paisley as a mn. The alliteration is a almost too much for me, but I like Paisley for some reason. Other options I'd go with are Byrne (I Gabriel Byrne, the actor), Bennett and Callaghan.

I'd think I'd want to strangle my dad for giving me so many mns, though and drop them all, or use Liverpool maybe. Then again, maybe she's as fanatic about the club today as he was then and doesn't mind it?

June 16, 2010 7:43 PM
By Dominique

Anon -- I like that idea. Kind of a like a player of the week, represented by name choice.

June 23, 2010 9:21 AM
By Kristina (not verified)

One of my former co-workers named his son Vincent Daniel after this two favorite hockey players: Vincent Lecavalier and Daniel Alfredsson.

The listing of all of Paula's initials makes me think of the episode of the Dick van Dyke show where they explained to their son how he ended up with the middle name ROSEBUD.

December 5, 2013 8:19 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Watch the picture slide-show and check out Page 4, fifth photograph on the following link. Its of photo of Paula O'Sullivan as a baby with the whole team

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/incoming/liverpool-fc-timeless-pictures-archives-6350468

May 26, 2016 6:10 AM
By Janny (not verified)

Awesome Story. Loved to Read it

Janny From http://www.hyundaitucson.in

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