Top 10 Football Funnies

Bill Shankly famously once said ‘Football is not a matter of life and death, it’s much more important than that.’ Well, this holds true for most supporters, there’s literally nothing worse than getting a hiding off your worst rivals, or losing a cup final (if you’re lucky enough to support a team that gets there.) However, there are some lighter moments in our sport, and here are ten of football’s funniest anecdotes.

  1. Rodney Marsh – A supremely talented player during a playing career that featured highly successful spells at Fulham, QPR and Man City. However, Rodney’s England career lasted just 9 games, something that may have occurred due to a clash of personalities with the main man himself, Sir Alf Ramsey. The story goes that self-proclaimed dressing room joker Marsh retorted to Ramsey’s remark ‘I’ll be watching you for the first 45 minutes and if you don’t work harder, I’ll pull you off at halftime’ with ‘Crikey, Alf, at Manchester City all we get is an orange and a cup of tea.’ I get the impression Sir Alf Ramsey’s sense of humour was, shall we put it, limited.
  1. Gary Lineker – England’s top scorer of all time. Gary could be relied on to pop out of nowhere in the box when England most needed a goal. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only thing Gary popped out during his England career. During a Group Stage match at the 1990 World Cup against the Republic of Ireland, Lineker hit the ground like he’d been shot. This wasn’t an unusual occurrence, as Lineker used to win more than his fair share of penalties, but what had actually occurred was far more sinister. As he shuffled along the floor, people wondered what on earth was happened. Well, to put it mildly, he’d shit himself.
  1. Vinnie Jones – The man who the term ‘mad as a box of frogs’ was designed for. Vinnie should have probably been interned years ago, but fortunately for the sake of comedy in football and incidentally, comedy in acting (not down to his timing of a joke, but more the quality of his acting) he remained free on the streets. If grabbing Gazza’s testicles wasn’t enough, his funniest moment came during his arrival at Leeds United in 1989. After punching team-mate Bobby Davison in the mouth after he asked him to play the ball to his feet, Vinne later threatened manager Howard Wilkinson with a shotgun after he dropped him. One of a kind.
  1. John Boileau – You may never have heard of this man and I’m not surprised. Because technically he’s not actually involved in football. But his story is funny enough to include anyway. When Steve McClaren left Middlesbrough in 2006 to become the ‘wally with a brolly,’ Mr Boileau decided to throw his name into the mix. Applying on a CV filled with his supreme achievements on Football Manager and his son’s Under 11 team, the highlight of which involved taking Rushden and Diamonds to the Champions League and signing Zinedine Zidane, he was unfortunately unsuccessful. Steve Gibson, the Boro Chairman replied saying he wasn’t suitable for the job as his talents were deemed too great for a side as lowly as Middlesbrough. A story that proves fantastic things can happen when a sense of humour is applied.
  1. Mario Balotelli – This Mario isn’t so much super, but mad. He certainly needs a Luigi to look after him that’s for sure. Antics have included donating his £10,000 winnings from a casino to a tramp outside, sorting out a group of school bullies, never mind his now infamous back-heel against LA Galaxy this summer. His best on-field moment though was caught on camera before a Europa League clash with Dynamo Kiev last season, where he memorably failed to pull a bib over his head during the pre-match warm up. Balotelli was seen struggling for well over two minutes, confusing which body part went in which hole, finally asking for assistance from a member of backroom staff. He must employ a whole team to dress him in the morning…

  1. Jimmy Bullard – A contender for football’s funniest man, Jimmy puts a smile on the nation’s faces with many funny escapades. Mocking Duncan Ferguson was brave, his Wash and Go adverts were stupid, but when Wigan took on Arsenal in a League Cup Semi Final in 2005 he was just downright comedy gold. When the floodlights failed, Jimmy first rumbled in Freddy Ljungberg’s shorts to see if his package lived up to it’s airbrushing in the Armani adverts. Then as the lights came on, Jimmy was revealed, huge grin on face, with the ball on the opposition goal line. Some people are just born to entertain.
  1. Phil Brown – Roll back to 2009 and Hull City had just successfully defended their Premiership status despite a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United’s reserve string. Manager Phil Brown, never short of controversy anyway, decided to perform a bit of on-field karaoke. Bear in mind karaoke is best left to those shady nightclubs after more than a few sherbets, his performance of a modified version of Sloop John B in front of 25,000 left most people in tears. Crying with both laughter and pain. Still, Brown taking ‘sing when you’re winning’ to the next level was worthy of a regular stand-up gig.
  1. Delia Smith – Ever thought Jamie Oliver was the most annoying celebrity chef? Well think again. That is, if you’ve seen Delia’s now infamous rant on the pitch at Carrow Road at the supporters of her beloved Norwich City. During a battle against relegation from the Premier League in 2005, the chairwoman took to the field at half-time during a game against Manchester City where she announced ‘Where are you?’ ‘Let’s be ‘avin’ you!’ Afterwards Delia denied allegations from the media she was drunk when the incident took place. Well if not drunk, she must have refined her culinary skills to hash brownies then…
  1. Phil Babb – Phil Babb was a solid if unspectacular defender, who made 374 appearances at the highest level. However, many will remember him for a moment of comedy genius, something Babb won’t remember too fondly himself. Playing for Liverpool against Chelsea in 1998, Phil tracked back heroically to prevent Pierluigi Casiraghi from slotting the ball home. Sliding across the turf, the unfortunate Babb failed to stop the goal, before crashing into the post. Right between his legs. Men across the country grimaced as Phil prayed his child-bearing days hadn’t been prematurely ended. A defender who took ‘crunching tackle’ to a whole new level.
  1. David Dunn – Decent footballer, terrible trickster. Dunn has made a name for himself with some stellar performances for Blackburn and Birmingham over the years. However his name may bring a smile to any Brummie fans who remember his show-boating against rivals Aston Villa. Fancying himself as the wizard of the dribble, the only magic he produced was that of the comic variety as he attempted a cheeky back-heel. Before promptly falling over the ball. Cristiano Ronaldo he is not.

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