Smokey and the Bandit

The British, in their oh-so-British way, love their footie players, and are particularly fond of renaming their favorite potato crisps after them. But one of their biggest stars has decided enough is enough.

Chip company Walker’s Crisps, which sponsors the Leicester City football club of the English Premier League, has made good use of former Leicester man Gary Lineker and current Liverpool phenom Michael Owen—featuring them in its advertising and renaming its Salt & Vinegar and Cheese & Onion brands as Salt & Lineker and Cheese & Owen. But David Beckham, Manchester United bad boy and husband of Posh Spice, has nixed a move by Walker’s to turn Smokey Bacon into Smokey Beckham, according to London newspaper The Guardian.

The decision is a bit odd, considering Posh, a.k.a. Victoria Adams, has herself appeared in Walker’s ads, along with the other Spice Girls. But perhaps it’s for the best. Beckham is one of the world’s top celebrities, but he’s actually among the more reviled people in the U.K. His reckless behavior doomed England in the last World Cup, leading a top British newspaper to blare, following his ejection from a crucial match against Argentina: “10 Heroic Lions. One Stupid Boy.”

Not exactly a brand strength, you would think. Michele limina/afp/newscomphoto discchuck gonzales