Footballer David Stockdale's Website Has Delighted The Internet

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<strong>David Stockdale playing for Brighton and Hove Albion in 2017</strong>. (Photo: Reuters Staff via Reuters)
David Stockdale playing for Brighton and Hove Albion in 2017. (Photo: Reuters Staff via Reuters)

Trying to figure out why the internet does what it does can leave your heading spinning. So quite why a corner of social media was obsessing over the website of a third-tier professional football player on Tuesday afternoon perhaps defies explanation.

But let’s give it a go, since David Stockdale, the 36-year-old Wycombe Wanderers goalkeeper, was the toast of Twitter.

The opening line of the ex-Fulham and Brighton and Hove Albion stopper’s website sets the tone: “You know the goalkeeper – now find out about the personality.” Straight away it’s quite presumptive about a player who, beyond football obsessives, is not really a household name despite his 19-year, 16-club career.

Pretty quickly, there’s a familiarity to the phrasing that brings to mind one man: David Brent.

The sections the website is divided into – The Man, The Athlete, The Businessman, The Philanthropist, The Pundit – brings to mind the Wernham Hogg regional manager’s assessment of himself: “I suppose I’ve created an atmosphere where I’m a friend first and a boss second. Probably an entertainer third.”

The set of glossy photographs speaking to the facets of the man also delighted many, whether it was perusing a broadsheet newspaper while perched on a Chesterfield sofa to indicate “pundit”, or the various moody poses worthy of a Top Man model.

Perhaps the winner, however, is “The Businessman” – Stockdale besuited, alongside a globe and a chessboard, while toying with a cigar.

But it’s all in the words.

Who knew about his “unswerving respect for women”, or that his favourite shirt number is 13, or his accumulated 132 clean sheets? The reference to “his classic 1986 Ferrari Mondial” is almost Alan Partridge-esque. And Stockdale’s “international call-ups” that were “alongside the likes of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard” raised a few eyebrows since his only actual appearance was in the England ‘C’ team.

But it’s easy to mock.

Almost 20 years in professional sport is no mean feat, and who can blame a young man coming to the end of a short career for trying to branch out. For sure, he’s probably done more good than most of the people ripping his site, given the charities and fund-raisers he’s involved in-– even if he’s having a short toot on his own trumpet as they’re all listed on davidstockdale13.co.uk.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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