In 2004, the animated hit show The Simpsons predicted the then unknown-Jonjo Shelvey would sometime sign for Premier League giants Newcastle United. Most in the football world dismissed the prophecy, laughing off suggestions the show’s creators knew a single thing about the then Charlton Under-13 star’s career.
However after completing a £12-million move to the Magpies in 2016, the midfielder has since gone on to make over 50 appearances for the club, fully justifying The Simpsons writers’ early faith in him.
“Initially I thought it was kinda weird, because I was like ‘what does some American cartoon know about youth football in the lower leagues of England?’ ” Shelvey told reporters at his unveiling. “But in the end I just ran with it and when the opportunity to sign for Newcastle came up I thought, ‘fuck it, why not?’ ”
For the beleaguered staff of The Simpsons the transfer was greeted with a mixture of “pride and relief” in the 10-time Emmy winners writer’s room.
“We were kinda worried there for a second, especially when he moved to Liverpool,” creator Matt Groening admitted to ESPN. “Even more so than our audience thinking the last 15 years of the show have been utter shit, the Jonjo thing really hung over our heads. Now once Freddy Adu signs for Real Madrid, we can retire.”
Previously The Simpsons also correctly predicted the presidency of Donald Trump and in the 2002 Halloween episode, Treehouse of Horror XIV, a young Eric Djemba-Djemba was clearly depicted in a Man United training top, a move that materialised later that summer.