Bingo! A new deal is Wheater's reward


Last updated at 20:15 29 February 2008

David Wheater has a

problem: the bingo isn't open

until Easter. Until then, a

Sunday involves a trip to the

amusements with girlfriend

Stacey, a couple of pints of

lemonade tops and a bacon

butty at his nan's.

It is easy to overlook the fact

Wheater signed a new, threeand-

a-half year deal yesterday

at Middlesbrough, not least

because his recent fame and

interest from the likes of

Liverpool have not registered

at all.

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'Me and my girlfriend go to

Nana's on a Sunday morning,

then we'll go down to the

amusements for a bit, get an

ice cream but the bingo's not

open until Easter,' he said. 'We

went and had a look the other

week but it's not open until

March. My missus used to

work at the bingo, that's

where I met her.

'I might open my own bingo

hall now I've signed a new

contract! I have to say I win

more regularly than she does

when we go. Stacey's rubbish

at bingo.'

There is precious little bling to

21-year-old Wheater and it has

to be assumed that Stacey is

no WAG. Indeed, Wheater —

because of suspension —

watched Wednesday's FA Cup

replay win against Sheffield

United with his family in the

Riverside Stadium stands.

'I was in the West Stand with

my dad and my grandad,' said

centre back Wheater. 'The

directors' box is not for me,

it's too posh.'

Wheater's rise this season has

been dramatic. Twelve

months ago he was on loan at

Darlington. He returned with

renewed hunger, almost made

himself undroppable and was

key in Boro manager Gareth

Southgate's decision to let

Jonathan Woodgate move to


'I can't really believe how

things have changed.' said

Wheater. 'I just wanted the

chance to prove myself and

the manager has given me

that. I came back with so

much confidence from my loan.

'There was stuff about other

clubs before I signed my new

contract but I never wanted to

go anywhere else.

'Obviously I was delighted

when Jonathan left. It gives

me more of a chance. He's a

quality player and helped me

when he was here but him

going has made it easier for

me to get into the team.'

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