A PETITION to rename Southampton Airport after the city's most famous footballer is gaining pace.

More than 1,100 fans have joined a bid to change the airport's name to Matt Le Tissier International in honour of the former Saints midfielder.

The 39-year-old TV pundit marries his fiancee Angela Nabulsi in a ceremony on a secret island today. The pair are pictured right.

Meanwhile football-mad fans have got so enthusiastic about the idea of renaming the airport that they have even mocked up motorway signs directing drivers to the newly named site.

Despite airport bosses saying they have no plans to rename it, more than 300 fans have signed up to the petition in the last week alone.

The renaming of the airport was the brainchild of Saints fan Jay Limburn.

"I can't believe how popular it is," the 28-year-old software engineer said.

"Every time I look at the site, more and more people have joined it.

"It just goes to show how highly people in Southampton think of Le Tissier and what a great player he was."

The idea started as a joke, when a friend of Jay's bet him he couldn't get 500 members in four weeks.

But since the petition was launched on social networking site Facebook, it has been engulfed with fans backing the idea.

If the petition is successful, Le Tissier would join an exclusive list of celebrities to have airports named after them.

They include John Lennon (Liverpool), George Best (Belfast City), Charles De Gaulle (Paris), John F Kennedy (New York) and even medieval folklore hero Robin Hood (Doncaster).

But modest Matt said he wasn't convinced that renaming the airport was a good idea.

He said: "I find it quite bizarre. I have been very honoured in this town. There is a block of flats named after me and, for a little while, a pub.

"I think the airport might be taking things a little far."

A Southampton Airport spokeswoman previously told the Daily Echo there were no plans to rename the airport.

But Jay, of Brook Avenue, Warsash, said it hadn't put the dampers on his campaign.

He added: "BAA don't seem to be interested, but so many people are backing the idea that they will have to listen to us sooner or later."

  • You can see the campaign here, although you will need to register with Facebook first.