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  Monday, 2 September, 2002, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Why for art thou, Romeo?

They couldn't have timed it better.

Just as press coverage of the Roy Keane saga reaches saturation point, out pops the latest baby Beckham.

It's almost as if the well-oiled Manchester United PR machine had planned it.

"OK doc, can you take her in now please - we need to deflect some of the heat off Keano.

"Oh and Becks, can you give the child a ridiculous name - sorry, silly question - and keep everyone guessing about its meaning?"

Alfa Romeo
At least he wasn't called Alf.

If that was his brief, old Goldenballs has followed it to the letter.

Romeo? What's that all about?

Never mind all that 'Where for art thou?' nonsense, 'Are you off your rocker?' is nearer the mark.

And of course the press are having a field day in attempting to establish the significance of the mediaeval moniker.

Daft names for offspring are nothing new in the world of pop - witness Zowie Bowie, Rolan Bolan and the Zappa siblings - Dweezil and Moon Unit.

Who was it said the drugs don't work?

Given that the Beckhams' first-born, Brooklyn, was named after the place they conceived him, it throws up a few interesting possibilities.

Showaddywaddy

Did they share a moment of passion on a balcony - hence the Shakespearian reference - or did they make out on the back seat of an Alfa Romeo?

As well as the Italian capital, Romeo is also the name of a small American town and even a crater on the moon, a place Beckham regularly claims to be over.

Romeo Zondervan
Romeo Zondervan - moustachioed genius

More likely is that the child was named after a footballer - maybe the Romeo who played for Brazil in the thirties, or former Ipswich and West Brom favourite Mr Zondervan.

He plied his trade in the eighties, sported a dodgy afro and moustache and, according to The Sun, was once caught trying to bring in mucky videos from Holland.

Maybe not such a good role model, then.

The most popular explanation is that young Becks has been named after MC Romeo, a member of So Solid Crew - one of daddy's favourite bands.

But there is one musical connection that everyone seems to have mystifyingly overlooked.

Has everyone forgotten about Romeo Challenger, the debonair drummer for legendary rock combo Showaddywaddy?

Showaddywaddy's Romeo Challenger
Romeo takes up the challenge

Think about it, he's the father of a sportsman (high jumper Ben), likes getting dressed up in silly outfits and always hits the target.

OK, one of Showaddywaddy's singles might have been the Manchester City anthem Blue Moon, but like Beckham's dad, they were all Teds.

Perhaps even more significantly, in 1982 they released a song called Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp-A-Bomp-A-Bomp).

So when the Beckhams get round to naming their third child, you'll know where they heard it first.

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02 Sep 02 | Entertainment
01 Sep 02 | Features
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