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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.
i think i've found the lad who got a sven haircut for world cup 2002, and it looks like he never lost his banter. https://t.co/r0Z0Ien1NO — m durrant (@m durrant)
This involved Facebook direct messages and even a look back at some footage of the lad in action.
The charisma on the lad. He'd be offered a job at lad bible on the spot if he did this now. https://t.co/xUv0GuPYt2 — m durrant (@m durrant)
I think... god, it pains me to do this, but I think we might be able to rule out @Tom_Sylvester22 of being Sven boy. Jesus. — m durrant (@m durrant)
And judging by his Facebook banter, pigeonpost was onto a winner.
Through an entirely scientific method, a new suspect has emerged: https://t.co/jhze0Cvna5 — m durrant (@m durrant)
I think I've finally, properly found the lad who shaved his head to be more like Sven.... and he's massively into c… https://t.co/PYKo6bDrxi — m durrant (@m durrant)
Would the new suspect turn out to be our man? Only time would tell.
Had another look at our suspect today, and Sven boy in his prime. I reckon we've found our man. https://t.co/RZj85lV63b — m durrant (@m durrant)
🎉🎉🎉 WE'VE FOUND SVEN BOY! 🎉🎉🎉 https://t.co/xCJO9eInRE — m durrant (@m durrant)
i'm deflated. where do i go from here? this must be how sven boy felt as that hair cut grew out. he's not replying… https://t.co/qlpMIxZqNv — m durrant (@m durrant)
ITS COMING HOME
ITS COMING HOME
ITS COMING https://t.co/vT6DKvHBZP — m durrant (@m durrant)
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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