DISTRAUGHT Michael Jackson fan Thomas Slater became the king of 'plates this week when he made what appeared to be a far from dangerous investment.
The distraught Jacko fan wasted no time buying the perfect tribute to his hero following the death of the king of pop last month and, after getting on the phone to the DVLA, bagged himself the personalised registration MJ09 KOP.
Thomas, a student, visited DVLA Personalised Registrations’ website and, after toying with its search facility, spotted the combination MJ09 KOP and swiftly snapped up the £390 number using his savings from his part-time job at Sainsbury's.
Unfortunately for the learner driver, he'll only be able to hang the plate on his bedroom wall because, by his own admission, he's unlikely to be able to afford a car suitable to place his personalised plate on "for some time."
Thomas, who is studying at North Hertfordshire College, said: "I was absolutely distraught when I heard the news about Michael dying. I've been an avid fan since I was six, and like all true fans I just wanted to pay tribute to the King of Pop.
"Don't ask why, but I immediately went online and had a play with the DVLA's search facility and to my delight MJ09 KOP was available. It only cost £390, being able to have his initials, the year of his death and the letters KOP for King of Pop as a registration for my car will always be with me even though I won't be able to afford a car suitable for it for some time."
Damian Lawson, DVLA Personalised Registrations' Marketing Manager, said: "I take my hat off to Thomas's ingenuity. With more than 30 million registrations on our database, his quick thinking and clever use of available letters and numbers gifted him his personal tribute to Michael Jackson."
For more motoring news see Tom Sharpe's IN-GEAR in this week's Advertiser...