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Leo Woodall (“Jack”): Love Island (2015-) or West Ham United at Palermo (2006)

Meet the Islanders ready for a summer of love 💞 | Love Island 2022

Leo hasn’t been in as many projects as his costars, which leaves us two options: If you want more cocky boys with English accents and fancy underwear, Love Island will certainly scratch that itch. But if you were pleasantly surprised by this minor side character’s complexity—and can bear to watch four and a half minutes of European soccer highlights—have I got an Easter egg for you.

I stumbled upon the real-life inspiration for Jack’s incredibly embarrassing solo hooligan moment in Palermo. The song he sings in the street about “forever blowing bubbles” is a Vaudeville-era tune called (shocker) “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles,” which today is best known as the anthem for West Ham United. So Jack’s not just a drunk English idiot hollering in the streets of a warm, southern European vacation spot—he’s a drunk West Ham supporter hollering in the streets of Palermo. There’s history there.

08 Palermo v West Ham United, 28 September 2006

On September 28, 2006, West Ham supporters traveled to Palermo for a UEFA Cup match wearing T-shirts that said “Mafia” on them. Needless to say, the Palermo supporters did not appreciate this. West Ham lost the match, riots broke out afterwards, and the police claim they “came under missile attack” while trying to break it up. In the end, 17 people went to the hospital and 20 West Ham supporters were arrested. It was a whole thing. According to a morning-after report in the Guardian:

One eyewitness told Guardian Unlimited: “West Ham fans behaved like animals, roaming the streets, bottles in hand searching for anyone to fight.”

Sound like someone we know? Man, this show is good. I can’t wait for season 3.

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