Football team goals

“Where you can where a kilt and a turban, where you can wear a hijab covered in poppies. Where you can support Man United, the W’Indies and Team GB all at the same time.”

He added: “Of course I’d rather you supported West Ham.”

There was a pause as the audience in Croydon, south London, laughed – apparently unaware of the slip – and the Prime Minister coughed before moving on.

However a BBC journalist came back to the remark in a question and answer session after the speech.

“You’ve said I think before that to govern is to choose. Do you choose West Ham or do you choose Villa?” the Prime Minister was asked.

Tim Sherwood, the new manager at Aston Villa, was praised by David Cameron when appointed in February

He replied: “Sorry, I had what Natalie Bennett [the Green Party leader] would describe as a brain fade. I’m a Villa fan. I don’t know what happened to me, I must have been overcome by something this morning.

"But there we are, these things sometimes happen when you’re on the stump.”

The blunder comes despite Mr Cameron often seeming fully briefed on the latest Villa news, the club he has supported after being taken to a game aged 13 by Sir William Dugdale, his uncle and former Villa chairman.

In February, Mr Cameron was asked what he thought of the club’s “new signing” by a Rolls Royce employee in what appeared to be an attempt to catch the Prime Minister out.

Mr Cameron replied by waxing lyrical about Tim Sherwood – the former Tottenham boss who had been installed as manager a few days earlier – and said he believed the coach would save them from relegation.

The Prime Minister has also been asked about his favourite player at the club in recent months and picked Christian Benteke, the Belgian striker who has bagged 10 league goals for Villa this season.

However there have been persistent questions about the strength of Prime Minster’s support - exacerbated by comments he made soon after joining the Commons in 2001.

“Many of those who have spoken in the debate or have written about the subject are either lawyers or football fans, but I have to confess I am neither, ” Mr Cameron told fellow MPs during a Commons debate on 15 October 2001.

Yet Mr Cameron can take solace from knowing he is not the first Prime Minister to get into hot water over the sincerity of football support.

Tony Blair got into trouble over reported comments he made about Newcastle support

Tony Blair famously once reportedly said he watched Jackie Milburn play at his beloved Newcastle United, only for it to emerge Mr Blair would have been four and living in Australia at the time. It later emerged the remark, which made headlines in 1997, was misreported by a local newspaper journalist.


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