Most of us would swear we were watching 11 Wankas wandering around the park on a Saturday, but for fans of the world’s best known funny named team that definitely is the case. Peru’s Deportivo Wanka have developed a cult following, and some not unwelcome UK merchandise sales, on the basis of their name. One club official said: “It is very strange. Everyone in Britain seems to think we have a funny name.”
The club is named after the Wankas people who lived in the region but, perhaps understandably, were not introduced alongside the Incas in your primary school history lesson.
Staying with the theme, Swiss outfit Young Boys Berne have created an equal amount of masturbation-related jokes over the years. Being named after what sounds like a euphemism for a teenage medical condition is bad enough, but when you consider the side used to play at the Wankdorf Stadium the situation worsens a little for the team’s followers. There were probably not too many complaints when they moved to the less controversial Stade de Suisse in 2005.
Earlier this year, Roman Abramovich was apparently eager to splurge (I believe that is the correct verb) some of his billions on little known Zimbabwean outfit Wankie FC. Quite what he thought they were going to add to his footballing empire is not clear, but the fact the current owners are also in charge of a nearby coalmine probably holds the key.
Before we attempt to leave the filth behind we must mention Indonesia’s wonderfully onomatopoeic Semen Padang who, as far as we know, sadly never ran out of the tunnel at Wankdorf Stadium.
Moving swiftly on from teenage boys’ bedroom habits to their bathroom habits, and an Argentinian club that sounds like a piece of toilet wall graffiti. Chaco For Ever is the most humorous of a host of Argentine teams with English names, albeit forever is incorrectly spelt as two words. Newells Old Boys are arguably the most famous Argentine club with a distinctly British moniker.
The animal kingdom is also a useful source of funny football club names. Africa in particular is home to hundreds of mildly amusing creature-inspired clubs, so we are going to stick to the very pinnacle of this genre. Firstly, we have Sierra Leone’s Golf Leopards, which conjures up a wonderful image of a big cat in plus fours but on the surface has very little to do with football. Out of Barbados we have the Insurance Management Bears who succeed in sounding both depressingly boring and fiercely aggressive at the same time, like a footballing Russell Crowe.
And continuing the strange juxtaposition of aggressive animals and unusual images, we have the Playtime Tigers from Bahamas. Presumably depending on their mood either they turn up and maul you or else just chase each other round the pitch. And what do you do with your freshly mauled tiger victims? Pack them straight off to Botswana where the Botswana Meat Commission FC will take care of things as only they know how.
Which brings us neatly to that particular African country. Botswana, Botswana, Botswana — surely the Promised Land of funny football club names. In addition to the Meat Commission you can also expect to find Naughty Boys, Killer Giants, Golden Bush, Man Machine, Home Sweepers, and the shaving advert-esque Triple Action. And a host of other mildly amusing outfits.
Our next section of team names want to be intimidating but went a bit too far in their attempts to convey this. This particularly phenomenon appears to have its epicentre in Bolivia, which can boast The Strongest, Destroyers and Always Ready within its league. It would be interesting to hear the coach of Always Ready trying to play the old leave the opposition waiting on the pitch trick. How can you delay the kick-off when you are Always Ready? Their Argentinian neighbours are a little more self-deprecating and offer us Deportivo Moron instead!
So before concluding this rundown of football’s funniest club names it is probably worth doing a final sweep of Africa to pick up the last few odds and ends. Hearts of Oak are another of those well-known funny club names. However, if you were in Malawi on the lookout for shops selling giant ammunition you would think a trip to Total Big Bullets would be a good idea. Sadly you would arrive to find a football stadium and not a gun in sight. Another misleading name is Zimbabwe’s Motor Action whose players sound like they might be battery-powered. The more astute reader might have realised that this throws up the occasional Motor Action-Wankie crunch match! We finish with King Faisal Babies of Ghana. Hardly intimidating, the team sound like they might have been plucked from the local crèche. Good job they have a menacing nickname to make amends then — the Nokia boys.
Funny club names are in the eye of the beholder, of course. One man’s Deportivo Wanka is another man’s Leeds United (although that particular name has become funny in recent seasons too). But if you call yourselves Joe Public like the Trinidad and Tobago outfit then you are pretty much guaranteeing universal appeal!
The Funniest Football Club Names:
- Deportivo Wanka
- Young Boys Berne
- Joe Public
- Botswana Meat Commission FC
- King Faisal Babies
- Chaco For Ever
- Playtime Tigers
- Semen Padang
- Insurance Management Bears
- Killer Giants
- Golden Bush
- Man Machine
- Triple Action
- Home Sweepers
- The Strongest
- Naughty Boys
- Always Ready
- Deportivo Moron
- Hearts of Oak
- Golf Leopard
- Wankie FC
- Newells Old Boys
- Total Big Bullets
- Motor Action
- Lov Ham
Don’t forget to leave your suggestions to add to the list.