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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.
You can buy some new boots now, @JackGrealish1 :athletic_shoe:#EFLPlayOffs ' #StepUp ' @AVFCOfficial pic.twitter.com/vhqfn5I4av
- EFL (@EFL) May 27, 2019
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.
What are those! :athletic_shoe:
Jack Grealish reveals the story behind his lucky boots
Report: https://t.co/NrJKXdNYcn pic.twitter.com/TyJgYQsylR
- Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 27, 2019
:athletic_shoe: Jack Grealish on his boots: "I came back from injury and obviously, these were like this. I got a few goals and I got a few assists and thought these were my lucky boots, I had to keep them!"#PlayOffFinal#AVFC pic.twitter.com/GJjFxIFCXZ
- The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) May 27, 2019
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.
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.
"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."
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