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Clive Tyldesley And George Hamilton : Two Very Different Men

Clive Tyldesley And George Hamilton : Two Very Different Men
Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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Clive Tyldesley has attracted a great deal of comment for his stubborn refusal to indulge Colombian striker James Rodriguez's suggestion that the rest of the world pronounce his first name 'Ha-mez.'

Stout Lancashire man that he is, Clive can not look at the name 'James' and pronounce it as if there was a 'H' at the start of it rather than a 'J'.

He will not do it.

Clive patiently explained his position to the 'Kick it Out' blog.

If some of the most famous of the household names at this World Cup were to be pronounced totally correctly, familiar players like Van Persie, Ronaldo and Luiz would suddenly sound rather unfamiliar.

So, at the risk of upsetting the multi-linguists, I admit that I do lean towards 'anglicising' names for popular consumption.

George Hamilton adopts a very different view. A diehard exoticist, the RTE man has said in the past that he always checks pronunciations with locals before games to see if he's getting it right.

So, which is to be? Clive Tyldesley's imperially minded, no, we have it right, God speaks with an BBC/ITV voice attitude or George Hamilton's sensitive, courteous, post-colonial studies mindset.

Before one goes any further, one must acknowledge that George's way can lead one into trouble.


Now, I am personally a big fan of George Hamilton. Not only was he the presenter of one of the finest sports quiz shows of all, but he also bestowed good luck upon the Irish team when commentating, or at least better luck than most of his colleagues.

Before the TV3 curse was ever heard of, Irish football fans lived in fear of the Jimmy Magee curse. For back during the Charlton era, with Georgie perched excitedly in the commentary box, microphone pressed up against his philtrum, Ireland would go game after game without losing.

This would continue was until the powers that be decided that the memory man was to be given the next game, whereupon the whole thing would crashing down around our ears. This is essentially what transpired during Italia 90 (during USA 94, George did the Italy game, while Jimmy Magee did the Holland game. However, George was also in the commentary box for the Mexico match, impartially roaring 'Oh No' after Mexico's second goal).


However, he did get into awful bother one time when pronouncing Jaap Stam's name.

He proudly announced before some Manchester United game that he had consulted with some Dutch football fans and they had told him that the rest of the world had it wrong and that Jaap Stam was in fact known as 'Jaap Shtum' in his native Holland.

Conscientiously, George proceeded to call Jaap Stam, 'Jaap Shtum' for much of that season.


Now, maybe in certain parts of Holland, it is the case that Jaap Stam does indeed go by 'Jaap Shtum'. Certainly, the man himself never corrected the hundreds of British presenters, commentators and interviewers down the years who resolutely insisted on calling him 'Stam.'

It has been suggested that George may have been taken in by a few Dutch fans who were in fact taking the piss. But we can't be sure.

Can any Dutch people out there clarify this issue for us?



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