The youth academy manager at Queens Park Rangers, Marc Bircham, has imposed a 'no colorful boots' rule on his youth team players. Former Hoops star Bircham believes wearing colorful boots gives the wrong message to young hopefuls more interested in glamour than football. The Canadian international Bircham was himself prone to gallous episodes as a professional player and would regularly play for QPR wearing blue and white boots matched with streaks of the same colors in his hair. He streaked his hair red and white when playing for Canada. The Bircham chant from the Loftus Road faithful was
"We love you Bircham because you got blue hair,
We love you Bircham because your everywhere,
We love you Bircham because your rangers through and through
Oh Bircham, we love you."
However he now feels youngster have to earn their “colors” and put away the dilettante desire to emulate their heroes until they can join them on the field. Bircham is adamant players in colorful boots are more easily marked by their opposition which adds a burden to the young players learning their trade. Bircham has also introduced the “bootboy” discipline back into the academy where young players are responsible for cleaning the senior player’s boots. One of the more famous boot boys was Rod (the Mod) Stewart who signed with Brentford FC. Fortunately for football and pop music Rod kicked the profession football and took to the road.