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'THE FLYING DONKEYS'

11 bizarre club nicknames and the weird reasons for them

Come on you Cucumber Growers!

The Blues, the Lions, the Kings…

Boring.

When it comes to club nicknames, it’s the weirder the better for us.


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Here’s 11 weird, wacky and wonderful alter egos from around the world and the reasons why…

1 ‘The Flying Donkeys’

Well, that’s sort of flying, but where’s your tail, pal?

Getty Images - Getty
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Well, that’s sort of flying, but where’s your tail, pal?

Chievo got their nickname from their local rivals, Hellas Verona.

The two clubs met in Serie B for the first time ever in 1989/90 and Hellas fans taunted their opponents with a chant that roughly translates to ‘donkeys will fly before Chievo play in Serie A’.

Fast-forward to 2001 and, wouldn’t you know it, Chievo secured promotion to the top flight.

As a celebration of their achievement, and their miraculous first season in Serie A (in which they finished 5th), they adopted the ‘Flying Donkeys’ nickname as a middle finger to the foolish Verona fans.

2 ‘The Cucumber Growers’

It’s not a euphemism

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It’s not a euphemism

Leganes’ quirky nickname is self-explanatory.

The town used to be known for it’s fruit and vegetable markets, particularly for the vast quantities of cucumbers.

And so the locals (and football team) became known as the ‘Cucumber Growers’ — not exactly intimidating but checks out historically.

3 ‘The Lepers’

Contagious, outrageous

AFP
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Contagious, outrageous

Lionel Messi’s first club Newell’s Old Boys boast one of the least inviting nicknames in world football.

The Argentine club picked up the moniker after they sportingly agreed to play a charity match for a leprosy clinic in the 1920s.

That’ll teach them for trying to do something nice.

4 ‘The Addicks’

You what? Is that even a word?

Getty - Contributor
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You what? Is that even a word?

Charlton’s nickname stems from what must have been a double naughty cockney accent.

Historians believe the south-east London club’s players used to indulge in some traditional fish and chips after games back in the early 1900s — specifically haddock.

And if a cockney geezer says the word ‘haddock’ it comes out something close to ‘addick’, apparently.

5 ‘The Mattress Makers’

More like the mattress shakers, AM I RIGHT GIRLS?

Getty - Contributor
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More like the mattress shakers, AM I RIGHT GIRLS?

Atletico Madrid have several pseudonyms but this one is undoubtedly the pick of the bunch.

Just after the Spanish civil war, most mattresses were covered with red and white stripes, resembling Atleti’s famous kit.

Simple as that.

6 ‘The Yellow Submarine’

Prefer the Rolling Stones, tbh

EPA
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Prefer the Rolling Stones, tbh

You can probably guess this one.

Yes, Villarreal got their nickname from the LSD-induced Beatles’ song of the same name.

7 ‘The Rat Stabbers’

Just think of how many rats he’s murdered… so far

AFP or licensors
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Just think of how many rats he’s murdered… so far

Finally, one with a bit menace.

Estudiantes got their nickname from a local rat hunter.

Felipe Montedonca was a local celebrity who did his best to keep pesky rodents away from the food at La Plata market.

A huge fan of the club (now owned by Juan Sebastian Veron), he was once pictured with several of the players and the association became ironclad.

8 ‘The Biscuitmen’

Custard creams or GTFO

Reuters
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Custard creams or GTFO

Reading may be the royal club on account of them being located in Berkshire but for many fans they will forever be the ‘Biscuitmen’.

As with Leganes and their cucumbers, the town of Reading was previously associated with a specific food product.

Huntley and Palmers, one of the world’s first global brands, operated out of the world’s largest biscuit factory in Reading for years.

9 ‘Clockwork Cheese’

Andres Iniesta would have been Albacete’s if weren’t for a couple of eagle-eyed Barca scouts

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Andres Iniesta would have been Albacete’s if weren’t for a couple of eagle-eyed Barca scouts

We know it sounds like a p**s-take but Albacete’s nickname is 100% genuine.

The Dutch sides of the 1970s were affectionately known as ‘Clockwork Orange’ because of their ‘Total Football’ style — borrowing the title of Anthony Burgess’ famous novel in the process.

Albacete impressed the media so much during their debut season in La Liga, one journalist coined the term to ‘Clockwork Cheese’ as a flattering comparison to Johan Cruyff and co.

Why cheese? The region exports it by the truckload.

10 ‘The Posh’

“Avocado and brie on sourdough please, Tarquin”

Getty Images - Getty
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“Avocado and brie on sourdough please, Tarquin”

Credit to Peterborough, they’ve really made this work for them.

Their unique one-syllable nickname was inadvertently given to them by a team who used to play at London Road before Peterborough were even formed.

Pat Tirrel, player-manager of former inhabitants Fletton United in the 1920s, announced he was on the look out for ‘posh players for a posh team’ — the classist pr**k.

Anyway, a decade later Fletton gave way to Peterborugh but the nickname has stuck ever since.

11 ‘The Old Lady’

Young men

Getty - Contributor
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Young men

We’d be amazed if you haven’t already consulted Google about this.

For those who have never been intrigued by Juventus’ comforting nickname, allow us to explain — basically, it’s a joke.

Juventus is Latin for ‘the youth’ and some absolute banter merchant realised it was hilarious that the club was also one of the oldest in Italy.

He or she then made ‘The Old Lady’ a thing, presumably by going ‘D’ya get it? Cos they’re called youth but are actually old!’ eight times a day until everyone around them relented.

Why is the club female?

Back in the day fans used to refer to Juventus using feminine pronouns, like how your dad calls his midlife crisis Porsche a ‘she’ when he’s washing it on a Saturday morning.

So there you have it — funny, eh?


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