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Back of the Net
Another curious tale from the world of football, Back of the Net's John Foster has the details...
John Arne Riise has been expressing his surprise at learning that his brother, Bjorn Helge Riise, has been his team-mate at Fulham for nearly nine months.
John Arne, 31, admitted he’d had no idea his sibling had played over thirty matches for the West London club since 2009, until yesterday, when they unexpectedly found themselves sitting next to each other in a tactical briefing ahead of Fulham’s trip to Bolton on Saturday.
“I looked up and this guy was staring at me,” the elder Riise explained. “I asked him what he wanted and he said, ‘it’s me, it’s Bjorn Helge.’ Then I recognised him!”
“To think, we’ve been working at the same place since July, but this is the first time we’ve actually come face-to-face. It’s really an incredible coincidence.”
Bjorn Helge Riise, 28, was equally unaware of his brother’s presence at the club.
The Riises later realised they'd been parking next to eachother for six months
“I don’t really read the papers, so I’d had no idea John had signed,” he told FourFourTwo.com. “I thought I vaguely recognised him from somewhere, but with me being a right winger and him being a left back, we just didn’t get much chance to interact.”
“Sometimes our parents would send emails telling me what John’s been up to, but they were always going on about his long-distance free kicks, and asking me why I couldn’t do long-distance free kicks like his, so I stopped opening them. To be honest, I thought he was still in Rome.”
“Last week Mum asked me how John Arne was getting on. I was like, how the hell should I know? She must think I’m still upset about that time when he borrowed my bike and crashed it into a fjord.”
The other Fulham players had apparently assumed the Riise brothers were aware of one another’s presence. John Arne recalled being welcomed to the Cottagers by club captain and ex-Liverpool colleague Danny Murphy.
“When Danny asked me if I was looking forward to catching up with BH, I assumed he meant Brede Hangeland, with him being Norwegian, like me.”
“Or Broadcasting House, which was my favourite radio show when I played for Liverpool.”
“When I explained that I stopped listening to it after Eddie Mair left to present PM, Danny looked confused. Now I know why.”
The Riise brothers’ reunion is said to have lasted ten minutes, before Bjorn Helge brought up his missing bicycle, and John Arne put him in a headlock and started flicking his ears. The pair then had to be separated by Martin Jol.
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