THE A–Z OF FOOTBALL

By Peter Sampson
Jan 31st, 2008

Here’s another piece from the CFCnet vault. Today it’s an A-Z guide of the beautiful game put originally together by Dave McCrossen in 2002. Enjoy.

With football’s trendiness fading faster than the highlights in Enrique de Lucas’s hair, new supporters are at a premium. So to make things easier for fledgling fans, David McCrossen presents his definitive A-Z of the beautiful game.

A

Accrington Stanley — Made-up football team, used to advertise milk during the 1980s (see also ‘Milk Cup’).

Adams, Tony — Something that you might see on Blackpool beach. Not to be confused with former Arsenal captain, A Donkey.

Anglo-Scottish Cup — Highly cherished and extremely important cup competition of the 1970s, won by the mighty Bristol City in 1977.

Aston Villa — Football club that was incredibly successful until some more football clubs were invented (see also ‘Engineers, Royal’).

B

Baseball Ground, The — Where your dad thinks Derby County still play.

BBC TV — Media company that once upon a time used to have football on a Saturday night at midnight when everyone was asleep.

Beckham, David — England captain, fashion icon, due to retake Eleven Plus shortly.

Big Match, The — Like Match of the Day, only on ITV and usually on a Sunday afternoon. The two are easily confused since it is still less than twenty years since The Big Match was last broadcast.

Black and white — Slightly inaccurate term pre-dating Sky Sports, when all football teams actually used to wear different shades of grey shirts. This allowed the supporters to wear the team colours, since the average working class football supporter was usually covered in coal dust. Players could run faster in black and white, causing commentators to talk strangely posh. England used to win World Cups, sometimes, when they played in black and white.

Bogarde — Dutch slang for someone on £40,000 a week.

Boring Arsenal — Nickname given to the Arsenal team when the players did not use to stay out late abusing alcohol and drugs or get banged up for driving offences.

Bosnich — Australian term for someone who has a bad cold, causing them to sniff through their nose rather a lot.

Botulism — Something available free with most food bought at football grounds.

C

Calamity James — Used to play in goal for Liverpool. Known to have played football with a Shredded Wheat on his head.

Cantona, Eric — Sometime French footballer who often used to enjoy making flying visits to get close to supporters. Also had a phobia about Sardines and Sea Gulls.

Charlton, Bobby — Suzanne Charlton’s dad.

Charlton, Jackie — Suzanne Charlton’s uncle.

Chippy — A nickname given to the former Arsenal, Juventus and Republic of Ireland midfielder Liam Brady because of the skilful way he ate his chips.

Chopper — A nickname given to former Blues hard man Ron Harris because of the size of his wedding tackle (apparently).

Coin — Always spun at the start of the match to decide which team takes which end. Always spun by referees as they are generally regarded as the biggest tossers in the game.

Cross Channel Trophy — Chelsea appear to be the permanent owners of this piece of silverware after a stunning two-legged victory against top European side Le Havre.

Cudicini — Italian for Bonetti.

Customer — A person not often seen in or around the Chelsea Village Hotel.

D

Devon — A beautiful place where most Manchester United fans come from.

Di Matteo, Roberto — Only managed to last 43 seconds without shooting. Most men would be dammed to hell for such an effort, but Roberto became a hero.

Division One — If your dad mentions Division One, he invariably means the FA Barclaycard Premiership.

Division Two — League division that Manchester United played in for a short period in the 1970s. Charlton play there every other season. Not to be confused with Division Two, which used to be called Division Three.

Division Three — Now called Division Two. Was originally two divisions, called Division Three (south) and Division Three (north).

Division Four — Division Three, so called when the football league consisted of four divisions rather than the current system of three divisions plus the Premiership.

E

Elleray, David — Second-rate headmaster who turned to refereeing to gain popularity. Holds his birthday parties in a phone box.

Engineers, Royal — Former football team made up of car mechanics that stopped Aston Villa’s run of success.

European Cup — What the Champions League used to be called, which is ironic, as you had to actually be a champion to enter it in those days.

Everton — Scouse football team that runs out to the tune of old police programme Z Cars. This is because it was the only TV show their fans were allowed to watch during their frequent stays at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

F

FA Cup — Traditional name for the FA Challenge Cup sponsored by AXA.

Fairs Cup — Changed its name to the UEFA cup more than 25 years ago.

Flag — Item, usually in red or yellow, given to the assistant referee/linesman/whatever they are called this week for them to wave in the air whenever they are bored.

Fleck, Robert — Former Norwich City player who decided to retire once transferred to Chelsea.

Fulham — Small team from west London currently lodging with QPHa as their ground is undergoing redevelopment. This may take longer than originally planned, as they cannot find enough matching material to cover both settees in their all-seater stand.

G

Geordies — A group of people who say silly things like: “When the boat comes in” and “Shearer is god.”

God — See Zola.

Graham, George — Former Blue credited with putting the ‘no speaking’ signs up at Arsenal (see also ‘Library’).

Gullit, Ruud — One of two Dutch dreadlocked players to play in the blue of Chelsea. This one seems to have stolen all of the skill from the other one.

H

Hartlepool United — Nicknamed the ‘Monkey Hangers’ after the people of the town hung a monkey believing it to be a Russian spy. Nowadays not so extreme and recently elected a different monkey as mayor.

Hasselbaink — Dutch word for moaning/complaining/whingeing.

Hoddle, Glenn — Often deranged individual, known as Glenda to his friends, who believes he is a great football manager. Based this decision on a conversation with a bright green pixie who was a Saxon warrior several thousands of years ago.

Huth, Robert — German for hoof.

I

Ipswich Town — Football team from Suffolk that used to be okay until some of their players turned over the company tractor one night.

ITV Digital — Television company that the chairman of Football League clubs thought had offered to pay £850 million for the rights to televise their games. It later became apparent that it actually meant to offer £850, but had to declare bankruptcy when it realised that even this figure was too high.

J
Jeffers, Francis —Arsenal footballer suffering from the Smacked-in-the-face-with-a-shovel bug. Bought for a large wad of cash to make Ray Parlour look more attractive.

K

Keys, Richard — Sky TV presenter who is unavailable for work during full moon due to being busy barking at said moon and running naked on Hampstead Heath.

Kiss — (1) Something that the team mates of former Frankenstein actor Ian Dowie used to avoid like the plague on the odd occasion when he managed to score a goal. (2) Something to certainly avoid when offered by part-time lamppost Duncan Ferguson.

L

Lampard, Frank — Famous West Ham player, not to be confused with his son, Frank, the famous Chelsea player.

Laudrup, Brian — Danish for: “I have no intention of hanging around here for longer than it takes me to pack my bag.”

League Cup — The former name of the Worthington, Coca-Cola, Milk and Christ-knows-what-else Cup. A favourite with Chelsea supporters as it is the one that Rottenham thought they had won last season.

Le Boeuf — French term for moaning.

Lee, Jason — One time Nottingham Forest player made famous when he appeared with a pineapple on his head. Now in lower league football, where he sports a small fruit cocktail.

Leeds United — Football team from the darker regions of Yorkshire. Unsuccessful due to key players preferring to go out for an Indian.

Library — Nickname for the home of Arsenal Football Club. It takes little imagination to figure out why. Just try not to wake them up as you creep out after the game.

Linesman — Politically incorrect term for one of the men (and sometimes women) running up and down the touchline. Now known as a referee’s assistant, but still unable to comprehend the offside rule.

Liverpool — Football team that used to win stuff in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Lurch — Nickname for Dave Beasant, who on his day was a top class goalkeeper. Career suffered, however, when he began messing around with dubious substances, such as salad cream.

M

Manchester — City in north-west England where Manchester United supporters apparently used to live.

Manchester City — Believe it or not, but there used to be two successful clubs in Manchester.

Matthews Cup Final, The — The 1953 FA Cup final named after the inventor of players’ shorts and notable only for being between two unattractive teams from the lower divisions, namely Blackpool and Bolton.

Maximum wage — Rate paid to players before talentless pop stars and television presenters started going out with them. Jimmy Hill campaigned to get this abolished during the 1960s as Ginger Spice was still reasonably young and attractive back then.

Milk Cup — What the Coca Cola Cup was called before Milk was taken over by the fizzy pop conglomerate (see also ‘League Cup’).

Mirror, The — Daily publication with strong anti-Chelsea bias. Claims to be a newspaper on the basis that it mentioned a war going on some sixty years ago.

Money — God worshipped by professional footballers. Needed by the wheelbarrow load for mere mortals to watch a football match.

Morris, Jody — Cockney slang for 500 pints, 57 pies and two bottled bouncers.

Motty — Someone who wears a sheepskin coat and talks a lot during football matches.

Mouse, Mickey — Fictional character created by Walt Disney. Famous for wearing a Rottenham Hotspur watch.

N

Never — Word used by Rottenham fans working out when they will next win a trophy or beat Chelsea.

Nottingham — Midlands town made famous when Robin Hood won the European Cup.

O

O’Leary — Man who makes lots of excuses, spends loads of money, then wonders why he got the sack.

Orient, Leyton — Team from east London that used to be called Leyton Orient before changing their name to Orient then back again.

Oxford United — Team that used to be owned by Robert Maxwell before he decided to become an Island in the Mediterranean.

P

Paddy — Nickname given to Patrick Vieira by Arsenal supporters due to his, er, French background.

Pelé — Reasonably useful Brazilian who used to play a bit.

Plastic pitch — Cheaper alternative to grass, favoured by a few poorer clubs during the 1980s. Universally despised by richer, more influential clubs as difficult to play on, they were then banned.

Programme — Glossy publication containing little of interest unless you are an advertiser’s copy writer.

Q

Queens Park Rangers — Park side that used to think it rivalled the Blues.

R

Rattle — Noisy wooden implement waved by supporters (in black and white) before making critical observations such as: “You are sadly mistaken, referee. That last decision was clearly erroneous.”

Red card — Something that no Arsenal player has ever deserved, according to Arsèhole Whinger, which is strange as he also claims never to have seen any of the relevant incidents when interviewed later.

Reid, Peter — The first primate to manage a professional football team. Now residing in cage seven at Monkey World in Devon.

Re-election — Electoral system designed to keep non-league riff-raff out of the football league. Recently superseded by health and safety regulations.

Rooney, Wayne — Eight-year-old Everton player who scored the goal that brought Arsenal back down to earth. A “great prospect”, according to Arsèhole Whinger. Not a bad footballer either.

Rottenham — Word used whenever the Blues are in need of points, as in “wish we played them every week”.

Roy of the Rovers — Famous boys’ football-based comic book, popular when the little so-and-sos had any respect for anything.

Row Z — Where the ball used to end up whenever Chris Sutton attempted to trap the ball while wearing a blue shirt.

S

Scousers —If you look down and find yourself up on bricks, you will have been visited by them.

Seaman, David — One-time Arsenal and England goalkeeper, now a model for My Little Pony.

Shed — Somewhere you used to be able to meet your mates and have a good sing-song. Now a hotel modelled on the Marie Celeste.

Shell suit — Favourite item of clothing on Merseyside.

Sky TV — Media company responsible for most of the money currently flowing around the Premiership. Has been known to allow the odd game to kick-off on a Saturday at 3.00pm.

Smeggy — Nickname given to Alan ‘Smudger’ Smith.

Stamford Bridge — Former site of the home of Chelsea Football Club. Now a group of hotels, apartments and shops.

Stanley Matthew’s shorts — Bizarre fashion accessory designed to keep players’ legs warm, invented by the legendary fashion designer Sir Stanley Matthews.

Sunderland — First football team in the UK to have been managed by a primate.

T

Taxi — Word that cab drivers in west London used to dread hearing shouted by Dennis Wise.

Taylor, Graham — Midlands colloquialism for a turnip. Real turnips allegedly suing for bringing their name into disrepute.

Terraces — What you used to be able to stand on to watch football.

Temporary blindness — Condition suffered by Arsèhole Whinger each time one of his players viciously hacks down an opponent.

Thief — A Liverpool supporter with a car.

Three Point Lane — Affectionate name given to the home of Tottenham Hotspur. Based on the number of points that both Chelsea and Tottenham collect there each season.

Townsend, Andy — Maiden name of Judas Iscariot.

Trautman, Bert — Goalkeeper who broke his neck in an FA Cup final and played on. Those were the days when a ‘keeper would defend his goal at all costs, rather than let goals in for the right price.

U

UEFA Cup — European competition for teams not lucky enough to be one of the 5,000 to qualify for the Champions League.

Universe — What that Ken Bates intends to rule over one day.

Upton Park — Green field that was once home to Anne Boelyn, now inhabited by chimney sweeps and other waifs and strays.

V

Venables, Terry — Former Blues player now second-hand car salesman and mastermind of Leeds United’s demise. Used to appear regularly in Minder.

Victimisation — Something that all Arsenal players and fans apparently suffer from, evidenced by “all referees hate us and pick on us” attitude.

W

Walsall — The only Polish football team in the Football League.

Wembley — Stadium where football was once played, not to be confused with a football stadium, now just a stadium.

Whistle — Used by match referees at any time during a match when proceedings start to get interesting.

Wimbledon — Previous FA Cup winning team that used to be followed by three men and a dog. Only the dog watches today.

World Cup Willy — Embarrassing medical complaint suffered by many players at the 1962 World Cup, held in Bangkok.

X

X-rated — Certificate awarded to several of Dennis Wise’s two-footed tackles.

X-ray — Something footballers often need to have after coming into contact with Roy Keane.

Xavier, Able — Liverpool footballer responsible for turning Richard Keys into a werewolf.

Xenophobe — Someone not best suited to supporting Chelsea.

Y

Yellow Card — Invented to give referees something to show off about during matches.

York City — Birthplace of Yorkie chocolate bars.

Yum-yum — Words often used by Norman Hunter after he had bitten the legs of a striker.

Z

Zap — Word often used by Roy Keane when looking at a certain Manchester City player, as in: “I’m gonna zap that bastard.”

Zit — Nickname of Mr Universe winner and part time Arsenal defender, Martin Keown.

Zola — Another word for a god. An icon that should be revered and worshipped at all times.

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