10 weird club nicknames you might not know

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 12:  Fernando Torres of Club Atletico de Madrid celebrates after scoring his team's 1st goal during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and RC Celta de Vigo at Vicente Calderon Stadium on February 12, 2017 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
There is a rich history behind the red and white colours of Atletico
Rebant Malhotra

Football clubs often have the strangest of nicknames. Sometimes they’re as common as the Reds while other times they have the most bizarre of origins. The fact that the beautiful game has a rich history certainly aids this. Most football clubs have been in existence since the early 20th century and have gone through some amazing highs and lows.

Football fans often know the common nicknames of their favourite teams but falter when it comes to the unique ones. This is mainly because the history behind it is often not known. But one thing that cannot be denied is the fact that football nicknames can be absolutely bewildering in nature.

Also read: Top 20 nicknames of footballers - Part 1 of 2

On that note, Sportskeeda brings to you 10 weird club nicknames that you may not know:

#1 Atletico Madrid – Los Colchoneros (The Mattress Makers)

The origin of this nickname goes back to the 1940s. After the Spanish civil war, mattresses were made for low a price by using a uniform design of red and white as resources were scarce. This made the club ditch their former blue and white colour as they adopted the mattress red and white which was cheaper. This got them the nickname the Mattress Makers.

Atletico Madrid have quite easily become one of the biggest clubs in world football and have been challenging the European elite for quite some time now. However, the club could be in trouble as rumours have suggested that manager Diego Simeone is on his way out, which would lead to an exodus of some of their best players.

#2 Leverkusen – Die Werkself (The Works Team)

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 02: Bayer Leverkusen players celebrate victory during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Wembley Stadium on November 2, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Leverkusen have always taken pride in their industrial origins

The German club has a unique history due to its ties with pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG. Leverkusen have often been called a ‘plastic club’ by fans of other German clubs because it was not formed in the traditional way by a fan base.

However, Leverkusen have taken this criticism in a positive way and have embraced their industrial origins. As a result, the team started calling itself Die Werkself to emphasise its factory origins.

Leverkusen have always been counted amongst the biggest clubs in Germany. However, the team has lost its way recently and Roger Schmidt’s men need to gear up as soon as possible if they are to make it to the Europa League spots.

#3 Sevilla – Palanganas (Washbasins)

Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán (Source: Hastalamuerte.Net)

The origins of this nickname have been a topic of debate for quite a while. Some historians attribute it to the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium which resembles a washbasin. However, fans have also pointed out the fact that the club’s colours resemble the red and white lining of washbasins used in the 20th century and hence the name.

Sevilla’s weird nickname is just another interesting mystery that has never been properly uncovered.

The club has been in great form in the La Liga and are challenging Barcelona for the 2nd spot at the moment. However, new manager Sampaoli’s real impact can only be seen at the end of the season when the final table is revealed.

#4 Napoli – Partenopei

NAPLES, ITALY - JANUARY 29: Team of SSC Napoli observe a minute's silence in memory of the earthquake victims during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and US Citta di Palermo at Stadio San Paolo on January 29, 2017 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Napoli’s nickname has close ties to Greco-Roman mythology

The Italian club borrows its nickname from the city Parthenope. The origins of the name stem from Greek mythology, where Parthenope was one of the Sirens who drowned after her singing failed to entice Ulysses. The city was then named in her memory and found its way to Naples and the football club.

When it comes to football, Napoli has always made the city of Naples proud. The club was a powerhouse in the Maradona era but there was an obvious decline after the legend left. However, they been on the rise again and have claimed their elite status in the Serie A.

#5 Middlesbrough – Smoggies

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08:  A view over the industrial area of Teeside and Middlesbrough from Eston Nab in North Yorkshire on February 8, 2017 in Middlesbrough, United Kingdom. The borough of Middlesbrough voted to leave the European Union by 65.5%. Much of the North East of the United Kingdon voted to leave the European Union including Sunderland, Gateshead, Darlington, Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, and Northumberland. Newcastle was the only borough to vote to remain, though by a narrow margin, which was likely due to its large student population and dependency on EU funding.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Middlesbrough’s industries have contributed to the city’s smog

The name was first used by opposition fans to point out the pollution that used to loom over the city. The name Smoggies originates from the word smog which basically means smoke and fog.

However, Boro fans took it with a pinch of salt and began feeling pride in the unique nickname. The away fans often carry a banner which says ‘Smoggies on tour’.

#6 Peterborough United – The Posh

PETERBOROUGH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18:  A general view of Abex Stadium prior to the Sky Bet League One match between Peterborough United and Northampton Town at ABAX Stadium on October 18, 2016 in Peterborough, England.  (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
The club’s nickname came into existence back in 1921

The club’s nickname came into existence back in 1921 after Pat Tirrell, the manager of Fletton United, allegedly said that he was "Looking for posh players for a posh new team". Fletton United added Peterborough to their name and the new club came to be known as Peterborough and Fletton United.

However, things did not work out and the club went bankrupt in 1932. Initially used as a derogatory term by the press since the club was unsuccessful, Peterborough fans now take pride in their history.

The Posh are currently playing in the EFL League One, which is the 3rd tier of English football. Despite several financial problems, the club continues to exist and we hope to see them in the Premier League in the near future.

#7 Villarreal – Yellow Submarine

The Beatles have not just been revolutionary when it comes music

The club owes its nickname to the city of Liverpool. The Beatles, back in the 1960s, came up with their song Yellow Submarine which quickly became popular in Europe. The song received a lot of love in Spain as well after a translated version of the song came to the country.

In a match where Villarreal were fighting for promotion and were playing in the 3rd division, the fans started playing the Beatles record in the background, singing "Amarillo es el Villarreal/amarillo es/amarillo es" (Villarreal are yellow, they are yellow). The chant continued and Villarreal ended up with this unique name.

#8 Bradford City – Bantams

BRADFORD, ENGLAND - MARCH 07:  Billy Bantam the Bradford City mascot greets the fans prior to kickoff during the FA Cup Quarter Final match between Bradford City and Reading at the Coral Windows Stadium, Valley Parade on March 7, 2015 in Bradford, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
The club’s mascot Billy Bantam is modelled on a Bantam(chicken)

The nickname comes from Bradford City’s official mascot Billy Bantam. The crest of the club has a rooster perched on the top of a shield which led to the nickname. A Bantam is a variety of chicken which is quite small in size. The club has also been called Wasps in the past due to the golden and maroon colours of the kit.

Not much has happened for the club since they stunned Arsenal and beat them on penalties in the EFL Cup a few seasons ago. They have been playing in the EFL League One for the past three years and will definitely want to get promoted as soon as possible.

#9 Bolton Wanderers – Trotters

1901:  Illustrations of some of the most exciting moments from the FA Cup final match between Sheffield United and non league Tottenham Hotspur at Crystal Palace. The final result was a 2-2 draw. The replay will be held at Burnden Park.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
They say that Bolton’s old stadium Burnden Park was near a pigsty

Like the case with Sevilla, the origin of the nickname for Bolton has a variety of explanations. One such theory was that Trotters refers to people who walk slowly for great distances, which is an obvious reference to Wanderers.

Several people have also pointed out to the fact that Trotters means local pranksters, something which Bolton is known for. However, the most bewildering explanation is that the old stadium used to be near a pig farm and the players would have to ‘trot’ to get the ball over from the pens.

Another club that is currently in the EFL League One, Bolton Wanderers have been in a steady state of decline.

#10 Benfica – Águias (Eagles)

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MARCH 28:  The Benfica Golden Eagle swoops onto his perch before the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Benfica and Barcelona, at the Estadio da Luz. March 28, 2006 in Lisbon, Portugal  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The name comes from the bald eagle that can be seen on the club's crest

The nickname may not be unique but it definitely has an interesting history behind it. The name comes from the bald eagle that can be seen on the club's crest. According to Benfica, the eagle is a symbol of independence, authority and nobility.

Also read: Top 20 nicknames of footballers - Part 2 of 2

The club has a rich history and is one of only three Portuguese clubs to have never been relegated since the league’s inception. The club has two bald eagles, Vitoria and Gloria, one of which flies around the stadium during home games and sits proudly on the club crest.

Edited by Staff Editor


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