Getting Shirty

TAREIQ Holmes-Dennis ha a long name that fans may squeeze onto the back of their shirts, but the number beneath the name will be familiar.

In fact, it shows that Tareiq may be a triskaidekaphiliac. Now that is a long word to conjure with. 

Despite our reporting that when Tareiq officially signs as a Plymouth Argyle player that he will wear the number 30 shirt, this situation has now changed. Tareiq has requested that the number 13 - unlucky for some - will adorn his green-and-white jersey. 

At many football clubs the number 13 is worn by a back-up goalkeeper - or not at all, due to superstition - but the pattern at Argyle has been curiously different of late. 

When Romain Larrieu and Luke McCormick were Argyle's two 'keepers, they wore numbers 1 and 23 respectively. Mat Doumbe, a central defender, wore 13 for several seasons until his release in 2009. 

During McCormick's absence, Romain was joined in the goalkeeping ranks by David Stockdale and David Button in successive seasons, on loan, but neither of the borrowed stoppers took the 13 jersey. Instead Stockdale wore 21, before Button chose 31. In the meantime, Darcy Blake pulled on the 13 shirt during a seven game loan spell. 

When Jake Cole arrived at Argyle, Larrieu had possession of the number 1 top still, and Jake - like Luke - decided he would like to wear 23. Meanwhile, Ladjie Soukouna was the latest outfield player to be number 13.

Cole inherited the number 1 shirt following the retirement of Romain at the beginning of the 2012-13 season, and his new compadres between the sticks, Rene Gilmartin, opted to be number 20. The number 13 shirt once again hung dormant in the Home Park kit room. 

Following the exit of Gilmartin, McCormick arrived again to take back number 23. Midway through last season Caolan Lavery arrived, and made an immediate and lasting impact. 

Lavery requested to have the vacant 13 shirt, citing a family history of wearing the number. It is his current number at Sheffield Wednesday, and at his current loan club Chesterfield. He also wore it at Southend in a loan spell, and it features in his Twitter address. 

Caolan was an instant hit at Home Park. After looking good in four substitute appearances, he scored on three of his four starts, striking up a fantastic understanding with Reuben Reid in the process. Rarely can anyone who played fewer than 500 minutes for a club be so fondly remembered. 

This season, Andy Kellett - you know, that bloke that went to Man United - was given number 13 when he came in from Bolton, and he too made a splendid impression. His appearances at left wing-back, including a mesmorising solo goal at Northampton, caught the eye of no less a figure than Louis Van Gaal, who gazumped Argyle in trying to bring the fleet-footed Wanderer back to Home Park. 

Tareiq has noted the Kellett success story and declared his intention to following in the footsteps of his predecessor in possession of the number 13 locker. 

We are all looking forward to seeing Tareiq pull on the Argyle shirt - replete with the number 13. If he is anything like the last two loanees who have worn the shirt, we are in for quite the treat. 

Good luck, Tareiq.