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13 things you didn’t know you didn’t know about football

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is the only premiership manager to have been given a Latin name (Odobenus rosmarus) by the Royal Geographical Society.

In the season 1925-6 Portsmouth played all their home matches under water after Fratton Park was blown into Fareham Lake.

Nottingham Forest were founded by Robin Hood and originally played in Lincoln Green, not red. ‘Little’ John holds their all time scoring record (62 goals) for a single season.

The explorer David Livingstone once played centre-half for Accrington Stanley. Whilst playing in a pre-season tour of Africa, he mysteriously disappeared.

Harry Redknapp’s dog, Rosie, recently bought a Caribbean island next to that owned by Sp*rs’ mysterious owner, Joe ‘not the boxer’ Lewis. It is believed that Rosie was instrumental in the appointment of ‘Tiny’ Tim Sherwood.

Former Arsenal midfielder Peter Storey and Chelsea stalwart Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris tried to defect to the USSR in 1980 by joining the Bolshoi ballet. The ruse was exposed by the British secret service when the two men tripped Rudolf Nureyev during a production of Swan Lake.

The ‘football man’ who comes out of the shower with ‘a bottle of oil in his hand’ in legendary American folk singer Bob Dylan’s Freewheelin’ LP was the Blackburn Rovers and Welsh international defender, Mike England. The two became friends when Dylan fell into the famous well, during a visit to Holywell in 1963 and England pulled him out.

The very first penalty shootout between Germany and England took place on December 24th 1914. Unknown to historians the result (a 6-2 victory for the Kaiser’s troops) was supposed to have ended the war. However, a gentleman’s agreement was broken by Douglas Haig and hostilities recommenced on Boxing Day.

David Luiz’s real father was train robber Ronnie Biggs.

At halftime in the 2004 CL final, 3-0 down to A.C. Milan, Raphael Benitez (a level six Mage) made a pact with Mephistopheles. In return for winning the trophy in his first season Benitez sold his soul to the Devil (also know as Roman Abramovich).

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Bristol Rovers are known as the ‘Pirates’ because they were originally founded by the infamous captain Teach (‘Blackbeard’) in 1712. Player-coach Teach was banned form football for three matches after he keelhauled an opponent during the 1715 FA Cup final. In the same weekend Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere was banned for 8 years for looking a Mike Dean ‘a bit funny’.

In 1956 for the Chelsea v Arsenal league match on Christmas Day, Chelsea selected the Duke of Edinburgh to play at left back.  Arsenal objected on the grounds that protocol would demand a long session of meet and greets and that that would disrupt their game.  Eventually His Royal Highness withdrew.

Tottenham have won the highest league in England on two occasions: the last time in 1961.


The Blacksheep

12 comments to 13 things you didn’t know you didn’t know about football

  • HenryB

    Excellent historical summary and remarkably accurate with one minor blemish.

    I think you will find that the long term Gooner – Her Madge – was the one who played left back for Arsenal, and rather than the Chavs, Prince Phil actually played at CF for Olympiacos, as well as being the referee.

    Happy Xmas! 🙂

  • Sammy The Snake

    Only the last one is real, right?!

  • Gerry Lennon

    Merry Christmas. Well it made me smile.

    I think you are wrong with Number 8 though.

    It was only 5-2 as one goal was off-side. Bit of a controversy ensued as the Germans played on thinking his flag went after he trod on a grenade.

    It was alright though, the grenade did not go off, so nobody was hurt … during the game at least.

  • ClockEndRider

    They are all true. Except the last one. That’s clearly preposterous and any video evidence to the contrary was put together by the same people who tricked us all into believing the Americans sent men to the moon.

  • blacksheep63

    Gerry, you may well be write – I was basing my information on the Wipers Times report and that was notoriously unreliable (as in indeed were British tactics in the early stages of the war).

    and yes Sammy, well spotted…

  • elkieno

    all correct except last one, clockender pretty much sums it up, the have not won the league ever!
    merry xmas…

  • Arsenal1Again

    Arsenal is the first North London Club to win the League/FA Cup Double. This is something else a lot of fans don’t know they don’t know.

    I didn’t know until Untold taught me some time ago.

  • Matt Clarke

    I want more 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    This was a real festive article. Thanks Blacksheep 🙂

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Billy the Dawg wrote this ,didn’t he ?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    As for Peter Storey , he was there ‘scouting’ fresh talent for his house of repute !

  • “Jack Wilshere was banned for 8 years for looking a Mike Dean ‘a bit funny’.”

    now now, we don’t need to put ideas in to Riley’s head. 😛