Portsmouth defender reveals the origins of his Only Fools and Horses nickname

It's a moniker Matt Casey was given as a 16-year-old - and will now serve him for the rest of his Pompey career.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 9:30 am

Around the Blues' Roko training base, the first-year professional is scarely called by his forename.

In fact, he admits it's strange if anyone calls him Matt ot Matty.

Instead, Casey primarily answers to Rodders.

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Because of the centre-back's 6ft 7in height and slender build, he was nicknamed after Rodney Trotter, the Only Fools and Horses character the nation loves and cherishes.

It was former team-mate Harvey Bradbury who first started calling Casey after Del Boy's younger brother during their days playing for Pompey Academy.

That label was swiftly picked up by members of the first team and it's stuck ever since.

And it's a tag Casey is fully accustomed to.

Only Fools and Horses pair Rodney Trotter, left, and his older brother Del Boy

The Botley defender said: 'It came about when I was a first-year scholar, obviously it got brought in from Only Fools and Horses.

'It's just stuck ever since then.

'I think it was Harvey Bradbury who first started it.

'I don't know what brought it to his mind but he just kept calling me it then everyone started calling me it - it's just stuck ever since.

Matt Casey. Picture: Habibur Rahman

'It was a weird one. From the first team, Burge or Danny Rose started then calling me it - it was one of those two.

'Those two were always picking up on things so it was probably one of those two.

'I sort of got used to it pretty quickly. I guess it was better than lanky or something.

'I'm quite used to it now. Not many people get called that.

'It's just natural to me now. If someone says it then I'll just turn around. It's weirder to be called my proper name at the club.

'If someone said Matt, I'd think "Who said that?" Rodders is what I'm used to.'

Casey answers to Rodders by the majority of Pompey's backroom staff, with first-team coach Jake Wigley calling him the name.

However, boss Kenny Jackett and assistant Joe Gallen stick with the 19-year-old's birthname.

Casey added: 'A few of the coaching staff call me Matt but none of the players.

'Jake Wigley calls me Rodders all of the time, all the strength & conditioning coaches call me Rodders.

'But the gaffer has always stuck by Matt and so does Joe Gallen.'