Birmingham City Retire Bellingham's Shirt Number After Just 44 Games
Having completed a big money switch to Dortmund a few days ago, Birmingham City have honored Jude Bellingham by deciding to retire his shirt number 22.
This puts the 17-year-old in a list of legends that have had their jersey numbers retired by their clubs - Diego Maradona (10 at Napoli), Johan Cruyff (14 at Ajax) and Paolo Maldini (3 at AC Milan) to name just a few.
According to the club, the number 22, which he will also wear at Dortmund, has become synonymous with Bellingham and his rise to the first team after just turning 16.
"And as such the Club have decided it would be fitting to retire this number, to remember one of our own and to inspire others."
Perhaps its a way for the club to thank Bellingham for signing his first professional deal after he turned 17 at the start of the month. Thanks to that, Bellingham has become the world's most expensive 17-year-old player (€23 million).
Either way, the decision was not well received by the club's supporters.
Comments on social media read "embarrassing" and "absolutely senseless". "There are away fans who have had more appearances in St. Andrew's than Birmingham's home ground," said another. Or: "Don't worry, folks. Next season we will only get 22 points in honor of Jude."
Birmingham barely avoided being relegated to League One following a 1-3 loss against Derby on the final matchday.
"My family have been massive and although they're not from the area they've come to love the Club,” said Bellingham. "They handled everything and they were really adamant that the Club got what they deserved.
"Dortmund is the best place for me to carry on my development and I am optimistic for the future."
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