Distin explains that Pompey shirt gesture

There can be no mistaking the identity of the player positioned two places along from joyous skipper Sol Campbell.

Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 12:00 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:23 am
Sylvain Distin with his shirt reversed for the trophy presentation

After all, unusually, his name – and number – is emblazoned across his chest for the world to witness.

Sylvain Distin stood out as an outstanding presence in Harry Redknapp’s 2008 FA Cup final team.

And he also cut a distinctive figure during the presentation of the trophy in front of Wembley’s Royal Box.

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Sylvain Distin with his shirt reversed for the trophy presentation

Distin’s decision to turn his shirt around was distinctive, a heat-of-the-moment action conjured up having earlier removed it during on-pitch celebrations.

Sure enough, when the moment of Pompey’s coronation was captured in front of a world audience, everyone knew who that number 15 was.

Distin told The News: ‘I don’t know why, I just did it at the time.

‘I feel proud of winning the FA Cup and my family name.

‘I am very proud of my family, they did a lot for me and were at the stadium, my partner, my daughter, my parents. It was just a way to share it with them.

‘I didn’t prepare it. I took my shirt off, I can’t remember why, the final whistle blew and we all went crazy.

‘When I put it back on I decided to put it the wrong way round to have my family name on my chest.

‘I am wearing my shirt in the cup final the wrong way round! But there was no meaning behind it.

‘It wasn’t for people to know who I am, I like to be discreet, so it was not that at all. It was really for my family there for the FA Cup.

‘I don’t think they needed to be shown that, they know the feelings I have for them but it was a nice moment.’

It represented the first and only silverware in the 15-year Premier League career of the classy defender.

During that time he saw service with Newcastle, Manchester City, Everton and Bournemouth before retiring in the summer of 2016.

Yet it was at Pompey were he collected that FA Cup as Kanu’s goal secured a memorable Wembley triumph over Cardiff.