The Football Anecdotes

Here are some very funny and interesting anecdotes about football teams around the world. A big thanks to /r/soccer over at Reddit for making this article happen.

Arsenal FC

The UEFA cup final of 2000 was held between Arsenal and Galatasaray. The latter won the trophy on penalties. The whole team was celebrating in the dressing room when they heard a knock on the door. They opened it and saw Arsene Wenger with a bottle of champagne in each hand, he then said “I brought these thinking we would win but since you won, you deserve these.”

Another one:

When the Arsenal team was given the chance to see the Queen, Eboue was more interested with her dogs; he was rolling on the floor and playing with the royal Corgi’s.

Chelsea FC

When Roman bought Chelsea FC in 2003, Gianfranco Zola, one of the best ever players in Chelsea’s history, had returned to Italy to play for Cagliari in his swan song.

Zola partially left because his salary was going to be reduced (before the takeover) – something Roman saw as no obstacle. So he tried to lure Zola by offering him a blank cheque. Zola had already committed to the club and could/would not break his word, and the president of Cagliari would not sell him either.

It was then that Roman tried to buy Cagliari, the entire team, itself.

Everton FC

If you look at the above picture, you’d know that Duncan Ferguson is a guy that you shouldn’t mess with. Well, some burglars got it all wrong. In 2001, two men tried to rob his home in Liverpool but they were unsuccessful.  Ferguson confronted them and was able to detain one of them who subsequently spent three days in hospital. 

Sunderland A.F.C.

During Sunderland’s dreadful 19 point season and back when Howard Wilkinson was manager, Steve Cotterill, his assistant, would constantly be writing on his notepad throughout the games. In a match, Steve suddenly stopped writing and looked up towards the pitch when someone in the crowd shouted: “What’s the matter Steve? Can yer not spell Shite?”

In the same season, Wilkinson, also known as Sgt Wilko, asserted that “in his mind we’re (Sunderland) already safe” when they were about 10 points off safety. 

Nottingham Forest FC

Martin O’Neill had a really bad run of form for Nottingham Forrest so Brian Clough dropped him. He was dropped for a couple of weeks until he had had enough. He went into Clough’s office and asked him why has he been dropped into the second team. team. Brian Clough’s answer?  

“Because you’re too good for the third” 

Liverpool FC

In the dressing room, before the kickoff of the Liverpool – Manchester United match, Bill Shankly, Liverpool’s manager at the time, went through the teamsheet with his players & ridiculed the opposing lineup. “Alex Stepney” he began, “A flapper of a goalkeeper. Hands like a Teflon frying pan – non-stick. Right back, Shay Brennan. Slow on the turn, give him a roasting. Left back is Tony Dunne. Even slower than Brennan. He goes on an overlap at twenty past three and doesn’t come back until a quarter to four.”

The Liverpool players were growing in confidence as Bill was ridiculing the United players. “Paddy Crerand, now he’s a deceptive little [bleep]. Slower than he looks!” And so Shankly demolished the whole team, “David Sadler. Wouldn’t get a place in our reserves. And finally, John Aston. A chicken, hit him once and you’ll never hear from him again.”

Shankly had finished, but Emlyn Hughes wasn’t so sure. “That’s all very well boss,” he piped up, “but you haven’t said anything about George Best, Bobby Charlton or Denis Law.”

Shankly, furious, turned to his captain and said “Are you trying to tell me that you can’t beat a team that’s only got three players in it?”.

Manchester United FC

During the ’99 era, the players decided to throw a party in a private club. Obviously, this was forbidden by the coaches so no one opened his mouth about it. When the first couple of players arrived, they saw Alex Ferguson sitting in the empty room, waiting for them. He took their cellphones and ordered them to sit down. When everyone had arrived, he gave them a furious rant, then killed them in training for days. 

Turns out one of the player’s mums had talked about it, and it got back to Fergie.

Southampton

The locker rooms cleaner entered the changing area and saw David Prutton sitting there naked while flicking his balls. He turned up to the cleaner and said “Shit isn’t it?”. Then went back to flicking his balls.

Santos FC

In 1967, Santos traveled to Lagos, Nigeria, which was in the middle of a brutal civil war, to play an exhibition match. In order to allow both sides of the conflict to see the greatest ever (Pelé) play the game, a 48-hour ceasefire was called and honoured. A single footballer stopped a war.

Toronto FC

Danny Dichio scored Toronto’s first ever goal in the 24th minute of the 5th game of the inaugural season. The club handed out free seat cushions for the game, which turned out to double as excellent frisbees. In every game since, Toronto’s fans sing Dichio’s name in the 24th minute.

Philadelphia Union

In 2010, when it was announced that an MLS team was going to be set up in Philadelphia, there was a meeting with supporters and management types. The supporters had name tags that said “2010” on them. The club president himself misread the tags and asked “our name is the ZOLOS?”, the nickname has stuck since.

Tottenham Hotspurs

Spurs were having a training session one day and someone kicked the ball over the fence. Paul Gascoigne said ”don’t worry I’ll get it”, and completely vanished for the rest of the day. Next day, approximately 24 hours later, Gascoigne jumps back over the fence with the ball completely straight faced saying ”I got it!”

Coventry City FC

There is a legend that there is a Leicester City shirt buried underneath the Ricoh Arena. A construction worker supposedly did it for a laugh.

Inter Milan FC

Julio Cruz worked for Banfield in Argentina as a groundskeeper. One day in training, he was summoned by the manager because they were missing a player. He showcased some of his talent and was promptly signed by Banfield.

Boca Juniors FC

A young man decided to get a tattoo of the Boca Juniors crest, but his tattoo artist was a River Plate fan, so the artist substitued the crest for a penis. 

Click here to see the tattoo

If you have any anecdote that no one has heard of, please feel free to share it with us.

One Response

  1. Jonty Boylan April 19, 2012

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