A Yorkshire man has regained consciousness after 11 years in a coma and caused hilarity amongst the medical staff at St James' Hospital in Leeds by tipping Michael Owen to star against Andorra on Wednesday evening.
Gavin Bardsley of Otley had been in a coma since July 1, 1998 - the day after Owen scored a wonder goal against Argentina in the World Cup second round.
"Mr Bardsley regained consciousness this morning and we asked him a few questions to assess his level of neural function," doctor Paul Furrow revealed. "As is standard practice, I asked him who he expected to start up front against Andorra and he replied 'Michael Owen'. Obviously we couldn't contain ourselves!
"We had to very calmly explain to the patient that Owen's career had taken a scarcely believable downturn since his kamikaze transfer to perennial underachievers Newcastle United. I think it'll take a while for this to sink in - there's no easy way to break that kind of news."
There was another shock in store for a groggy Bardsley, who had to come to terms with Adrian Chiles' appointment as anchor of Match of the Day 2.
"He looked terrified to hear that," Furrow said gravely. "He had this notion that Chiles' dry presenting style would quickly grow stale and that he would have to fall back on increasingly laboured 'long-suffering' West Brom references. He kept crying 'I can't live like that', but he seemed a lot happier when I told him that Garth Crooks had more or less disappeared lately."