Phil Jagielka has revealed that he is more than happy to have football fans and commentators mispronounce his surname – or what he refers to as his ‘stage name’.
The Everton club captain sat down with the Toffees’ official TV Show to discuss why he has grown accustomed to people butchering his surname throughout his career.
The centre-back’s surname is of Polish descent and, as such, the letter ‘J’ that begins his name is actually pronounced as a ‘Y’ in the original accent.
Unfortunately for Jagielka, many citizens within football just take the name at face value and mispronounce it – something that used to frustrate the 35-year-old.
However, the ex-Sheffield United star has admitted that he doesn’t mind how his name is pronounced anymore as he enters the final few years of his time as a professional footballer.
He explained: “I have this conversation quite a lot. ‘Jagielka’ as everyone pronounces it is my name - it’s my football name.
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“It’s what I’ve been used to getting called. I wouldn’t pull anyone up on it, I don’t get frustrated by it, but obviously I pronounce it properly when I have to do something to camera and you get a few surprised looks! But I’m not going to say it wrong, am I?
“In football, it’s my stage name if you like. It’s what everyone expects me to turn around to and 'Jags' wouldn’t work with the correct pronunciation!
Love our Jags!! 😍💙💙— Sarah ⚽️💙 (@BlueSarah1878) January 26, 2018
“So 'Jags', the commentator’s way of saying ‘Jagielka’ - they’re both fine.”
The veteran defender is often referred to as ‘Jags’ by his teammates, Evertonians and some members of the press in a bid to reduce the length of his surname.
Jagielka has turned out 19 times for the Blues this season, but has seen his regular starting berth become something of a rarity since Sam Allardyce took up the reins at Goodison Park.
The former England international has made five appearances under the 63-year-old, but only three of those have come from the start as Allardyce has chopped and changed his backline in a bid to arrest the club’s poor recent run of form.