I really really feel for poor Theo :(
Walcott is suited
...and then booted
ENGLAND star Theo Walcott was dramatically booted out of the World Cup squad yesterday - leaving multi-million pound advertising campaigns in ruins.
The Arsenal winger appears in ads for Marks & Spencer suits and Nike sports gear that assume he is IN the team for South Africa this month.
Well cut... Walcott fronts M&S suit ads
Walcott, 21, was playing golf when team boss Fabio Capello called with the shock news that he had NOT been selected for the final 23-man squad.
Axed... Walcott with England boss Capello
He featured alongside Emile Heskey, Matthew Upson and Steven Gerrard in high-profile billboard ads for £120 M&S grey suits.
The firm, one of England's official sponsors, made the suits for the World Cup squad. But while the other three are now preparing to board the plane, Walcott is one of seven of Capello's original 30 choices to have their hopes dashed.
Billboard ... giant Nike faces
The other rejects are Darren Bent, Adam Johnson, Scott Parker, Michael Dawson, Leighton Baines and Tom Huddlestone.
Nike used Walcott in a flagship TV campaign that actually shows him playing at the finals.
In the ad, Wayne Rooney makes a vital pass to him in a game against France but Franck Ribery intercepts. Gutted Rooney is seen in later life sporting a beer belly and ginger beard.
TV ad ... Walcott at 'finals'
Ironically, Nike vice president Davide Grasso called the advert "the beginning of the journey".
Nike also has Walcott's face "carved" into a giant West London billboard echoing US landmark Mount Rushmore, which honours past presidents.
Walcott was used on the FA website to promote England's new away strip. And he may be the latest victim of the FIFA video game "curse". His face fronts this year's version - an honour said to have brought bad luck to Rooney, David Beckham and Thierry Henry in the past.
M&S will continue to run the ads featuring Walcott. A spokesman added: "We always knew there was a risk, but we're proud to be sponsoring the players."
Nike said: "We're disappointed for Theo. Nike looks forward to supporting him throughout his future career."
Theo didn't do as he was told
THEO WALCOTT was axed from England's World Cup squad because he would not obey boss Fabio Capello's orders.
The Arsenal winger paid the price for failing to carry out instructions to stay out wide in the last two friendly games.
Capello kept telling Walcott he had to stay out wide on the right and try to beat his man on the outside, instead of coming inside all the time.
But Walcott kept drifting in-field, much to the frustration of Capello, who snapped when he went over a recording of England's 3-1 win against Mexico.
An insider revealed: "The manager gave Theo an ear-bashing in front of us all - but the message wasn't getting through."
Capello was also not impressed by Walcott's displays in training.
The Gunners starlet, 21, was given one last chance to show he could do what he was told.
But, when it still had not clicked by half-time of Sunday's friendly against Japan in Graz, Walcott was substituted - and his World Cup dream ended.
His replacement, Shaun Wright-Phillips, had a fine second half while Joe Cole occupied the right flank later on.
Capello will be hoping his faith in the fitness of one of Walcott's wing rivals, Aaron Lennon, is not misplaced.
England camp insiders claim the Spurs star's groin injury has still not properly cleared up.
Meanwhile, Gareth Barry proved his readiness for South Africa by coming through an extensive fitness test on his Achilles injury yesterday morning.
There is even a chance he could feature in England's opener against the USA in Rustenburg on June 12.
The other six players to miss out apart from Walcott were Darren Bent, Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Parker, Adam Johnson and Leighton Baines.
Baines lost out on the reserve left-back spot to Aston Villa's Stephen Warnock even though Warnock did not play in the warm-up friendlies.