Rovers superfan Alan ‘Birdy’ Birkbeck insists he won’t let his new-found fame go to his head!
Already well known in the local area, the 65-year-old became a global internet sensation this week after starring in Rovers’ new home kit launch video, which was viewed over 250,000 times on YouTube in just 24 hours.
The light-hearted video polarized opinion from fans, but Birdy was more than happy to play his part in the promotion.
“I haven’t read much of the stuff that’s been written about it on the internet, but most of the people who know me have said that they’re happy with it,” said the life-long fan and avid memorabilia collector, whose Rovers obsession began way back in 1953.
“Fans can moan as much as they want, but I’m not bothered. The club asked me to do it and I was happy to do it. I wouldn’t do anything to disgrace this club. I’ve been watching them since I was three years old and if I can help this club to get a bigger profile I’ll do it.
“I’m just Birdy. I’m a Blackburn Rovers fan, I love my club and that’s it. Apparently we’ve had over a quarter of a million hits and if we had that many fans coming through the turnstile, this club would be mega!”
The video, entitled #birdysdate, sees Birdy seemingly preparing for a hot date with a female Rovers fan. He then makes the short stroll from his home – which is very much a shrine to the club – to Ewood Park, before emerging from the Roverstore wearing the striking new Nike kit.
The storyline certainly hasn’t caused any tensions in the Birkbeck household, with wife Annette well aware that her humble husband’s first love will always be football.
“It didn’t bother me one bit,” she said. “Football comes first for both of us, so I wasn’t worried about this ‘new woman’ in his life! It’s all just a bit of fun. People at work think it’s brilliant and want a sequel to it!”
Available at both the Roverstore at Ewood Park, the Oneroverstore on Church Street, Blackburn and online at www.onerovers.co.uk. The new home shirt is available at £34.99 in Juniors sizes and £49.99 for Adults.