May I have a word about… ‘Chopper’ Harris and other top nicknames | Jonathan Bouquet

Where are the modern equivalents of Peter ‘The Cat’ Bonetti and Frank ‘Mad Axeman’ Mitchell? And now, in other news... Mmm, doesn’t seem to have been much, apart from Krakatoa erupting, so let us press on to this week’s subject – nicknames. We have recently seen the deaths of former Chelsea goalkeeper Peter “The Cat” Bonetti and Leonard “Nipper” Read , the detective who was ceaseless in his pursuit of the Krays, while former Leeds United hard man Norman “Bites yer legs” Hunter has sadly died of Covid-19 . Bonetti was remembered on the Today programme by Ron “Chopper” Harris, while an obituary of Read mentioned Jack “the Hat” McVitie and Frank “Mad Axeman” Mitchell. (My abiding memory of “Chopper” Harris was him being propelled into orbit by Portsmouth’s Harry Harris, who, if memory serves, was affectionately known as “Peg Leg”. Not a man to cross.) Such evocative names and yet sadly, we seem to have no equivalents in recent years. The best we can muster are Gazza, Stevie G and Frankie Lamps (former