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Picture:
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images/Twitter

As England set off on another World Cup, let's remember Sven Boy, the real hero of the 2002 World Cup.

Back then, football fans were in a state of euphoria for the then-England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson.

The enigmatic Swede, who possessed the charm of a wily fox and had way with the ladies, had rejuvenated the England side.

Not only had they beaten Germany 5-1 in the build-up to the World Cup, but they were starting to look like real contenders ahead of the tournament in Japan and South Korea.

Such was the hysteria surrounding Sven that one schoolboy inexplicably decided to get his head shaved to resemble the manager's infamous barnet.

He made headline news 16 years ago but what happened to him afterwards? That's exactly what Twitter user @thepigeonpost tried to learn in 2016.

His quest would take him to the far reaches of social media including a few red herrings and disappointments.

The search for 'Sven-Boy' in essence began in November 2015.

Was this the actual Sven Boy or a case of mistaken identity? A year later, our Twitter friend decided to conduct a tougher investigation.

This involved Facebook direct messages and even a look back at some footage of the lad in action.

Alas, it wasn't to be and Sven Boy candidate number one had to be ruled out.

Low and behold a new contender to the crown emerged.

And judging by his Facebook banter, pigeonpost was onto a winner.

Other evidence seemed to be pointing everything in the right direction.

Eventually, a message was sent and he eagerly awaited a reply.

Would the new suspect turn out to be our man? Only time would tell.

Huzzah! SVEN BOY HAS BEEN FOUND! Break out the bunting!

It turns out that Sven Boy kept all of his newspaper clippings and the two hit of a brief online friendship.

Recently pigeonpost decided to get in contact with him again to see if he was getting wrapped up in 2018 World Cup fever.

So there you go. The identity of Sven Boy has been discovered.

While this is a fun piece of viral news, we really have to applaud this top-notch piece of investigative journalism. Give this man a Pulitzer Prize!

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