Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli will not wear his surname on the back of his Spurs shirt this season after revealing he feels 'no co...
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli will not wear his surname on the back of his Spurs shirt this season after revealing he feels 'no connection' to it.
The England playmaker, 20, was given away aged 13 as his mother Denise battled alcoholism, being taken in by couple Alan and Sally Hickford.
Alli is said to call the Hickfords his adoptive parents despite not being formally adopted by the pair. The former MK Dons man, whose shirt will now bear 'Dele' on the back, said: "I wanted a name on my shirt that represented who I am and I feel I have no connection with the Alli surname.
"This is not a decision I have taken without a lot of thought and discussion with family close to me."
Alli's Nigerian father, Kenny, currently lives in the United States. He split from Denise within a week of their wedding, shortly prior to the birth of the Spurs star in April 1996.
Tottenham confirmed the news on Twitter, posting: "@Dele_Alli will retain number 20 but for personal reasons has elected to have the name 'DELE' displayed on the reverse of his match shirts."
In January, Denise told the Sun on Sunday: "I knew that [giving him away] was the only way he could fulfil his dream of becoming a professional footballer.
"It was tough to give up my son but it proved to be his salvation. I'm so thankful for how things have turned out."
The story is similar to that of Manchester United winger Memphis Depay, who also uses his forename on the back of his shirt after his father left him and his family when the flier was aged just four.