WHAT’S in a name? Quite a lot if you are Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen.
And the Huddersfield defender has revealed he does not know why he is known as Zanka and not Sanka, the character from cult movie Cool Runnings that inspired it.
Look at the Dane’s shirt and ask him to sign an autograph and he is Zanka, when it is anything official, like his Terriers’ contract, and it is Jorgensen.
A fascination with the 1993 film, which told the story of the Jamaican bobsleigh team that competed at the 1988 Winter Olympics, led to the tag, which remains 17 years later.
However, he is in the dark as to why it is not Sanka, after Sanka Coffie, played by the actor Doug E Doug, after wanting a rock that looked like an egg, the good luck charm in the movie, escalated.
He said: “I do not know why it is with a Z, that doesn’t make any sense.
“In a span of 10 days, different things happened and I wanted to get a rock that looked like an egg. All these different things that, as a 10-year-old kid, I wanted to do. Stupid stuff but they are all true.
“I think it has a Z because I was told it looks cooler. As a 10-year-old, I wanted to be cool and the nickname stuck.
“My trainer back then is now the assistant coach with FC Copenhagen and he started using it first. Then, five or six mates from my school did the same.
“Everyone did the same at school after that, including the teachers. High school was the same and at Copenhagen I was asked what I wanted on my shirt. I asked if ‘Zanka’ was possible and it was.
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“There has been confusion in the past. There was a team-mate at Copenhagen called Jesper Christiansen, who went to Rangers once.
“He had seen the team-sheet one day with ‘Jorgensen’ in the defence. He did not know who it was. ‘Is this a young kid?’
“I told him it was me and then he got it. So, it has caused some confusion over the years but people got used to it.
“Here, at first, everyone called me ‘Mathias’ but now it is Zanka. It is easier and more catchy.
“I watched the film after I was told about the nickname. I liked the movie. You can draw parallels between the underdogs of the bobsleigh team and Huddersfield.
“And I sign as Zanka for autographs. I practiced it when younger. If it was on my back, I had to sign the same.
“The national team did put Jorgensen on my shirt at first but there were two of us so they switched mine to ‘Zanka’. But then some would ask, ‘Shall we call you Mathias Zanka?’ but I just said Zanka. Mathias Jorgensen is right but not the other.”
Zanka, or Jorgensen, is ready for a reunion with old mates and enemies when Huddersfield face Leicester today.
He was part of the FC Copenhagen side that faced Leicester in the Champions League last season – and if it was not for Kasper Schmeichel, he believes they would have qualified from the group.
But they remain big pals and international colleagues, to the point where he did not even need to seek his advice before moving to England because he knew what he would have said.
“Myself and Jonas Lossl went to visit him a couple of weeks ago,” the 27-year-old added. “He lives in Manchester and he is a good friend of both of us.
“But Kasper is a very good goalkeeper, unfortunately if you are in opposition. We found that at Copenhagen last season. He kept out two goals that would have got them through in the Champions League.
“He saved one in the 88th minute of one game and then the other in the 92nd minute. That was the difference between us getting one and four points, which would have taken us through.
“He just walked around with a smirk, knowing we knew what he meant.
“And every time we go to the national team, Kasper says England is the best country in the world so I didn’t have to ask his advice about coming here.
“I didn’t call him because he rates the Premier League and the UK very highly. I could guess what he would say.”