And so, with a tear in my eye, we’ve reached the end of our quest to find the funniest footballing names. From Norman Conquest, Rod Fanni and Yaya Banana, all the way to Danger Fourpence, Sammy Ameobi and Britt Assombalonga, it’s been great fun compiling the list and producing the blog posts. The feedback has been mostly fantastic and that’s greatly appreciated. Thanks for that! As stated last time, the sheer volume of good forward options has enabled me to drag this series out slightly longer, so it’s time to finish on a high and blitz through the final nine strikers.
Google this name and you’ll be surrounded by vintage furniture websites, that’s how little is known about the Ascot United player. Where are they from, you might ask? The Seychelles, where Moustache used to be national team captain. His facial hair is unknown and Johnny is normally in a hurry, but there’s no way a man with that name gets left off this comprehensive list.
A funny name in itself, Goodwillie already has a criminal record. He’s assaulted a man in a Stirling nightclub, knocked a doorman unconscious and was convicted of assault after a Glasgow takeaway incident. You want more? His name became even more striking after he was accused of rape in 2011. The victim recently waived her right to anonymity, although charges were originally dropped due to insufficient evidence. It’s hard to remember that there’s a football career in there and Goodwillie became Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year in 2011, before a failed move to Blackburn Rovers. He’s now back at Dundee United on loan.
Continuing the Scottish theme is Australia’s Danny Invincible, who was a very average player. After scoring 32 goals in his eight years at Kilmarnock, he was a fan favourite but now plays his football in Thailand. Maybe not so invincible! However, his cult status did inspire a 2006 Mark Wahlberg film as well as a Tinie Tempah and Kelly Rowland song. Tempah, a known Killie fan, penned the song in 2010 after meeting Danny backstage at a gig.
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink
Another Scottish link, as the 6ft 3in striker scored on his Celtic debut in 2006, before a stunning diving header against Barcelona in the Champions League. His 132 goals in Holland earned him a move to Celtic Park, as well as 17 Dutch international caps. His unusually long surname seems to be the equivalent of double-barrelling names in England, as The Guardian did some research. They found that “In the 17th Century, two farming families in the Enschede area of Holland intermarried. Both the Vennegoor and Hesselink names carried equal social weight and so they chose to use both”. In this case, ‘of’ translates as ‘or’, meaning his name indecisive name can be translated as Jan Vennegoor or Hesselink. When at Hull, they tried different lettering styles to fit it all on his shirt. After their initial giant loop reached the bottom of his shirt, they switched to a very thin font – he paid them back with only three goals. Stressed out by such incidents, Jan has now retired.
Creedence Clearwater Couto
“People often think that it’s a nickname but it’s not. It’s my real name and on my birth certificate”, Couto himself says. “The only thing I regret is that some people are more interested in me because of my name than my qualities as a footballer”. Erm, whoops. We’re interested in your qualities too! Although to be honest, they’re not much to shout about. Now aged 34, Couto has spent his career dwelling in the lower leagues of Brazil – apart from one loan spell in Belgium. This fortunate son nicknamed himself Paulista for simplicity (and probably his sanity) once he was named after the Fogerty brothers’late-60s Californian rock band. His parents were huge fans and he’s in great company – Roberto Carlos was named after a Grammy Award-winning singer and World Cup-winning captain Dunga is a translation of ‘Dopey’ from Snow White. Mary would be proud.
Demba Ba – Every chant in the world works for Demba Ba, try it out! It has repetition, is swift and he was great for Newcastle. All positives!
Ricky van Wolfswinkel – A slightly less glamorous name now he’s at Norwich, the Dutch striker sound like he should have rabies.
Michael Gash – The clue is in the name. Currently at Kidderminster.
Carlos Costly – The clue isn’t in the name. After a career in obscurity, the Honduran now plays in China and can probably be bought for a box of ice pops.
On that bombshell, it’s time to go. There’ll be other blogs on different subjects, so I’m not going at all actually. But no more ‘Team of Funny Names’ – these seven blog posts can be immortalised and hopefully, one day, will reach over 100 views. Hope you had almost as much fun reading as I had writing. Take care! And Merry Christmas!