The Story Behind Jack Grealish's Knackered Boots For The Play-Off Final

Jack Grealish captained Aston Villa to promotion back to the Premier League with a completely knackered pair of boots but there's a very good reason as to why.

The 23-year old has a boot deal with Nike but has persisted with the same pair for superstitious reasons despite them being in poor condition and having rips all over the place.

It was Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder who posed the question to Grealish when the Villa skipper was doing a post-match interview with Sky Sports after the Wembley triumph.

And Grealish offered a simple explanation for why he's been channelling his inner Jimmy Grimble of late.

Grealish went for superstition over style and it definitely paid off. After coming back into the side following his injury and taking on the captaincy role, the boyhood Villa fan was unplayable and fired the Midlands club up to fifth in the Championship.

Having secured the penultimate play-off spot, Dean Smith's side bested local rivals West Brom on penalties in the semi-finals over two legs and then avenged last year's play-off final disappointment by beating Derby 2-1 at Wembley on Monday.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Grealish will surely celebrate by getting himself a new pair of boots but one superstition he is bound to retain in the Premier League is his classic 'low socks' look.

Some people have been tricked into thinking that the skilful playmaker doesn't wear shinpads. In fact, he wears junior 'shinnies' and his trademark look is down to an accidental shrinking incident.

Image: PA
Image: PA

"Obviously your socks are supposed to go above your calves," Grealish said in 2015, as per MSN.

"But one year when I was here, the socks once shrunk in the wash. So they wouldn't go higher.

"That season, I ended up playing really well. So it became a superstitious thing for me. I thought 'I'm going to keep doing this because I've done well'.

"It's a superstition that I've done all my life and I'm going to keep it that way. A few referees have tried telling me but I've got to keep it like that."

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

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