World of Sport

Villagers to burn 30ft Balotelli effigy

World of Sport

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Villagers in Kent will burn a 30-foot effigy of Mario Balotelli on Bonfire Night.

The Manchester City star was chosen as the guy for Edenbridge's celebrations on November 5 after he hit the headlines last month.

The Italian's Cheshire house caught fire after friends reportedly let off fireworks in the bathroom, making him the perfect candidate for the Guy Fawkes' night ritual.

He is the latest topical figure to receive the dubious tribute - previous celebrities to be torched in effigy include Manchester United star Wayne Rooney, Jonathan Ross, Katie Price and Cherie Blair.

The 21-year-old has certainly been on fire on the pitch, scoring seven goals in his last seven games, including two in City's 6-1 victory over United at Old Trafford.

The giant Balotelli structure features the 'Why Always Me?' t-shirt he revealed after his first goal against United, and sports the distinctive hat worn by Mario in the Nintendo video games.

Jon Mitchell, from Edenbridge Bonfire Society, said: "We were all quite worried a few days ago because no celebrities had done anything quite silly enough to be celebrated on November 5.

"We thought about the politicians and the other usual suspects - but Super Mario earned a unanimous vote among the committee.

Balotelli has since appeared as an unlikely firework safety ambassador, and Mitchell added: "For that reason we are fairly sure he will see the funny side and understand that we are right behind him in his campaign."

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