Trying to figure out why the internet does what it does can be mind-boggling. So why a corner of social media was obsessed with the website of a third division professional soccer player Tuesday afternoon is perhaps beyond explanation.
But let’s try, because Wycombe Wanderers goalkeeper David Stockdale, 36, has been Twitter’s toast.
There’s been a lot of tribal feuding between different fandoms over the past week and it’s gotten pretty ugly. So how about we end this and focus on David Stockdale’s personal website instead, as I’m sure we can all agree that it’s absolutely gorgeous. https://t.co/bd68DWdZge
— Sachin Nakrani (achSachinNakrani) January 20, 2022
The opening line on the former Fulham and Brighton and Hove Albion stopper’s website sets the tone: “You know the keeper – now find out the personality.” It’s immediately quite suggestive about a player who, despite spanning a 19-year career, has ended up in 16 clubs is not a household name beyond football obsessives.
The phrase, which reminds you of a man, quickly becomes familiar: David Brent.
The site’s breakdown into The Man, The Athlete, The Businessman, The Philanthropist, The Pandit echoes the self-assessment of Wernham Hogg’s Regional Manager: “I think I’ve created an atmosphere where I’m a friend first and a boss second . Probably an entertainer third party.”
First friend, then goalkeeper. Probably entertainer third party.
— #BSHLOUT (@Andy1875KRO) January 20, 2022
The series of glossy photos that spoke to the man’s facets also delighted many, whether it be reading a broadsheet newspaper while seated on a Chesterfield sofa to hint at “experts” or the various moody poses that one Top Man models are worthy.
Perhaps the winner, however, is “The Businessman” – Stockdale in a suit, next to a globe and chessboard while toying with a cigar.
Is David Stockdale’s website legit or an expert piss? Difficult to tell. Nothing says the League 2 standard goalie quite like a massive Cuban and a world map. pic.twitter.com/ZjfA7UrN7T
— No question about it (@nqatpod) January 20, 2022
I can’t wait to see the trailer for The Businessman, which sees Tom Hardy as an injured and battered David Stockdale defending his real estate empire from a truly hostile mafia takeover, with Stephen Graham as his rival and Gareth Ainsworth in the role of Gareth Ainsworth https://t.co/KsLxHiB2Ga
— The Classic (@LeClassiquePod) January 20, 2022
But it’s all in the words.
Who knew about his “unwavering respect for women”, or that his favorite 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’, taking place ‘alongside the likes of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard’, caused quite a stir as he only appeared on the England ‘C’ team.
Nearly 20 years in professional sports is no small feat, and who can blame a young man at the end of a short career for trying to branch out. Given the charities and fundraisers he’s involved with, he’s certainly done more good than most people who rip his website — albeit briefly on his own trumpet, since they’re all listed on davidstockdale13.co.uk .