That’s a different Owen

I was touched to receive the following message through my website yesterday:

i am one of the proud person in the world when in heard that you are going to man utd but please i am applealing to you that gambia are in need of your support because we need a very good accademy in the country

For much of my life my first name has been short but difficult to spell. In England I used to help people to understand it by saying  “as in David Owen”, and many people remembered me as David. But with a much more famous Owen known around the world, now almost everybody understands my name.

Fortunately for them, Manchester United called up a different Owen.

Manchester United and Arsenal are hugely popular here in Addis Ababa, so this should mean that there are no further problems here understanding my name.

Published by Owen Barder

Owen is Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development and a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics. Owen was a civil servant for a quarter of a century, working in Number 10, the Treasury and the Department for International Development. Owen hosts the Development Drums podcast, and is the author Running for Fitness, the book and website. Owen is on Twitter and

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1 Comment

  1. At least you avoided the Irish version of Owen – try explaining ‘Eoghan’ to anyone not familiar with the joys of Gaelic spelling.

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