• Sarah



A horse called Southgate, dogs called Kane, and Vardy the cat are among a flood of World Cup-themed names for new pets as England fans pay tribute to their new heroes.

A pet insurer says it saw "a sharp increase" in the sporting monikers from the start of the tournament – but giving our animals football names is nothing new.

Pet and horse specialists The Insurance Emporium have revealed the most popular cat, dog and horse names from the England squad, as well as the most imaginative nomenclature of British football-loving pet owners.

Real names people have called their four-legged friends include Dogba, Kenny Dogleish and Paulo Di Catteo, as well as dozens of pooches dubbed Zola, Beckham, and Messi, horses named Zlatan, Ronaldo and Gazza and cats called Fifa, Vuvuzela and even Football itself.

The most common pet name shared with the 2018 England World Cup squad was Rose, according to the insurer’s records, while Alli was more popular among cats and Kane was a favourite with dog owners. Rashford, Cahill, Vardy and Pope all featured among dogs and cats, with horses called Walker, Henderson and Sterling.

And new enquiries recorded by The Insurance Emporium since the first World Cup match on 14 June – including Mo Salah, Pogba and Moscow - could hint at a new popularity in certain baby names. According to a survey by the Channel Mum website, Gareth is expected to make a comeback among 2018 boys, with Jordan and Harry also tipped to boom.

The Insurance Emporium Chief Executive Officer Francis Martin said: “Our customers never cease to amaze us with their ingenuity. Just when we think we’ve seen every witty pet name we get a Macatma Gandhi or a Stitchbob Catpants.

“Even more so than baby names, pet names are a barometer for what’s topical because people have more freedom to use their imagination when naming their pets.

“Big events like the World Cup, the royal wedding and even political developments are all seen through our pet names data. We’ve certainly seen a big rise in Borises.”

Employee Dan Clark is one of those to name his cat after a football hero. The Leicester City fan named white moggy Esteban Catbiasso after Argentinian midfielder Esteban Cambiasso who helped keep his club in the Premier League.

Dan said: “Esteban is a great cat, with a classic feline attitude of aloof but loving, acting like he doesn’t care about me one minute then hassling me for cuddles the next.

“It suited us both to name him after one of the greats who helped my home club in its historic rise to the top of English football.”

The Insurance Emporium said the UK’s overall top pet names according to its own data from 2017 and 2018 are Alfie for dogs and Charlie for both cats and horses.

For more information contact Sarah at The Insurance Emporium on 01423 333419 or scrooks@emporium.co.uk

The Insurance Emporium is a one-stop shop for a range of different insurance. Based outside of York, the Emporium offers flexible protection on over twenty products, from pet and horse to wedding and motor, and many more. For more information visit: www.theinsuranceemporium.co.uk

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