Euro 2016: Daniel Sturridge scores the winner for England, but why on Earth does he do that dance?
In the biggest fixture of the UEFA Euro 2016 Group B involving England and Wales, Daniel Sturridge was the hero as his second half introduction completely changed the game. The Liverpool striker came on at half-time for Tottenham star Harry Kane before delivering the cross that led to Jamie Vardy’s equaliser. Then, in the 91st minute of the match, he struck like a true hitman to win the game for Roy Hodgson’s men at the death. The England squad including Joe Hart, and even Gary Neville rushed to join the celebration and piled up on the Liverpool striker. As usual, he performed his trademark dance celebration right after scoring the goal – but why does Daniel Sturridge dance like that after every goal?
It’s a question that's been on the lips of football fans at Bolton, Chelsea, Liverpool and now every single country in Europe. When Daniel Sturridge scores, no matter the occasion, no matter the game time, no matter the score (okay, that might matter), he will wheel off to face the crowd and show off his slick dance moves. With 97 goals for his various top-notch clubs and for his country, he’s about to become the first person to do the exact same dance 100 times! Everyone wonders why, but he's probably the best person to ask.
Speaking in an interview, the fit-again England forward tells us it started in the family – his is a genuine football one, as he is the nephew of Dean (ex-QPR, Leicester & Derby) & Simon Sturridge (ex-Birmingham, Stoke City and Blackpool). What began as an inside joke has turned into common knowledge around the world, as Orlando Pirates striker Kermit Erasmus performed Sturridge’s celebration after netting in South Africa’s Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates two seasons go. Speaking to Shortlist magazine, Sturridge said, "It's crazy... it started as an inside joke and has now become something more than that.”
Although (like most of us) Daniel Sturridge grew up watching the likes of Ryan Giggs whipping their shirts off to celebrate a great goal, and if he had a choice, that’d be his trademark. “Back in the day the best celebration was the shirt over the head, but now that's a yellow card – that's how this one started.” 97 goals sounds pretty good, 97 yellow cards – not so much. Either way, the ‘Daniel Sturridge dance’ has become a trademark, and the England forward of Jamaican descent knows that. "It got to the point where if I didn't do it, the fans were starting to say why didn't you do the dance as a celebration?” – and that’s your answer, folks. He does it because we love it!
Sturridge’s celebration is also part of the popular FIFA game franchise and is one of the most popular ones in the game. You can see him do it here after he downed Denmark in 2014.