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Rooney is top dog

Britain's football passion extends to our pets' names

'Rooney' is top dog among football-mad pet owners according to research by Tesco Pet Insurance. Research of over a half a million pet names reveals that many of us have named our pets after our sporting heroes.

Rooney tops the list of sporting hero pet names by some margin, proving six times more popular then Beckham, with legendary Brazilian striker Pele close behind.

Sven is the only football manager to creep into the top 11, a legacy of his last high-profile role in England - we'll see if he starts rising further up the ranks in his new role at Notts County.

Reflecting its champion status, Man United is the winning team, with current and former players accounting for five of the top 11 football-related pet names. Liverpool is second with two players and Arsenal takes the kudos of being the only team to have pets named after the club itself.

Michael Owen, Dennis Bergkamp, Crouch, Didier, Ronaldhino, Vieira and Vinnie Jones also make an appearance among cat owners, while dog owners favour Sir Bobby Moore, Steven Gerrard, Redknapp, Drogba and Lineker. Blast from the past Peter ‘The Cat' Bonetti also gets a couple of nostalgic mentions but Maradona has proven to be absent from the list.

While football related names outweighed other sports, several stars also featured including; Lomu, Gooch, Lewis Hamilton, Dallaglio, Strauss, Flintoff, Shaq as well as 15 dogs named Hatton - perhaps a popular name for Boxers!

The top 11 Pet Rovers are:

  • Rooney
  • Beckham
  • Pele
  • Kolo
  • Figo
  • Fernando
  • Ronaldo
  • Ferdinand
  • Keegan
  • Giggs
  • Sven

Rachel Cutler, Head of Tesco Pet Insurance comments,

"We are known as a nation of animal lovers and football fans and our research shows that many of us express our sporting allegiances through our pets' names. With any research there has to be a 'lead' story but we didn't expect Rooney to be quite so dominant as a pet name."

Until 19 August, new Tesco Pet Insurance customers can get up to 35% discount off their policy online. Tesco Pet Insurance is offering all new Standard policy customers a 35% online discount. Customers buying the ‘Extra' policy will receive a 20% online discount. To apply or for more information, customers can log on to


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Tesco Bank is a trading name of Tesco Personal Finance plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC173199. Registered Office: 2 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9FQ

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