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They Played For Both Clubs: Danny Shittu

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I take a nostalgic look back at the nomadic career of the absolute man mountain that is Danny Shittu, or Daniel Olusola Shittu to give him his full moniker.

Danny Shittu
Danny Shittu
Picture courtesy of www.nairaland.com
The fearsomely statured, beast of a man was born in Lagos, Nigeria on the 2nd September 1980 and joined Bolton Wanderers in his supposed prime at 27 years old from Watford FC in August 2008.
Serial tit Gary Megson shelled out an eye watering £2m plus add-on's for his signature.
We apparently beat off competition from the then-mighty Glasgow Rangers to sign the huge stopper.

His debut came in a typically uninspiring Megson home scoreless draw against West Bromwich Albion on the 30th August. Shittu took in 9 more Premier League games that season, 8 of them being starts and a couple of cup appearances in defeats.
These included the infamous 2-1 reverse to Northampton in the 3rd round of the Carling Cup at the Reebok, in a game remembered chiefly for Adebayo Akinfenwa showing Shittu who has the real 'beast mode', dominating the battle of the behemoths with a first half double to see us off.
The following season saw it dawned on Megson that Shittu in fact had the turning circle of three Kevin Nolan's and may not quite have had the pace to deal with the elite forwards of the game plying their trade in the Premier League.
Four unused substitute appearances were the wretched footnote of the BWFC career of a two million pound mistake.

He was given a free transfer on September the 1st, transfer deadline day 2010 and wound up at his current club Millwall FC in October of that year. He he has gone on to become somewhat of a club legend, still turning out for The Lions this season and was in fact culpable for Darren Pratley's winner at The New Den back in October.
In between his two stints at the South-East Laaaaandan club, Shittu also took in a short second spell at QPR, the club that gave him his proper break in the game after failing to make the grade at then Premier League Charlton Athletic.
A brief loan move to Blackpool as a fresh faced 20 year old preceded a fruitful temporary switch to the Loftus Road outfit.
A sending off on his debut for the Hoops failed to dampen his spirits and his first goal for the club shortly after returning from suspension was followed by another red card in the very same game, such was Shittu's youthful exuberance.
QPR made his move a permanent one for the bargain figure of £350,000 in January 2002.
Four and a half impressive seasons as Rangers defensive lynchpin came to an end as newly promoted Watford took notice of his imposing play and threat from set pieces and stumped up the princely sum of £1.6 million for his services.

The Hornets however suffered an immediate and inauspicious relegation back to The Championship, which is clearly Big Dan's level, bless him.
An impressive 9 goals in 41 games in all competitions in 2007/08 gave him his best goal return by far and alerted muggins Megson to his talents.
I'm taking a wild guess here that most of these strikes were headers from corners but I'll stand corrected if there were any Le Tissier style free-kicks or Tony Yeboah esque volleys in amongst his collection...
Shittu has been an iconic figure in the English game due to his huge build (have I mentioned this? Running out of adjectives to describe it now) and more pertinently his rather unfortunate surname, which means spiritually calm in Nigerian, according to one unreliable and no doubt made up website I half heartedly stumbled across on Google.

He counts UK rapper Dizzee Rascal as a close friend and is an interesting figure off the pitch.
He even has an amusing ditty dedicated to him and sung by fans of his various clubs:
'Dan Shittu, Shittu;
He's bigger than me or you;
His name sounds just like a poo;
Dan Shittu, Shittu'
What a witty and well thought out song that is...

We shouldn't chuckle as he'll probably have the last laugh against us on Saturday, if he plays.
He's bound to score a towering header now isn't he...
Don't forget this is a man who has transferred clubs for £4m more than either you or I ever have and hilariously matched up against none other than football god Lionel Messi in the 2010 World Cup for Nigeria.
He only went and kept the little magician quiet too, along with Carlos Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain as the Argies struggled to a narrow 1-0 win; Gabriel Heinze heading in the winner.
This was the undoubted highlight of 32 international caps (0 goals) for a player who has made the most of his limited abilities to forge a pretty decent career for himself.

Now I can't think of anything but his name and his career now and I think I might be going a bit mad.
So I'm signing off, I'm sure you'll be glad to find out.
Dan Shittu, Shittu....