Weird Football Facts
Sometimes, fact is stranger than fiction and that is certainly the case in our list of weird football facts.
Denmark Shock Europe in 1992
Starting with something most football fans will already know, but which is still one of the most surprising things to have happened in world football.
Denmark had failed to qualify for the 1992 European Championships in Sweden, but were given a place in the competition ten days before the start after war-torn Yugoslavia were disqualified.
Star player Michael Laudrup rated his country’s chances so low that he stayed on holiday instead of joining up with the squad.
This is a decision he probably regretted as Denmark fought their way through to the final, where they beat the reigning world champions Germany 2-0 to lift the trophy.
Bizarre Contract Stipulation
There have been some strange contract stipulations over the years, from Dennis Bergkamp not being forced to fly on a plane to Stig Bjornebye being banned from skiing whilst at Liverpool.
However, there’s one stipulation which beats the rest with regards levels of bizarre.
When Swedish international Stefan Schwarz joined Sunderland for £4 million in 1999, the club inserted a ‘space clause’ into his contract. This basically meant that if Schwarz travelled to space, his contract would be made invalid and immediately terminated.
Hat-Trick Against Multiple Keepers
West Ham United defender Alvin Martin netted a hat-trick against Newcastle United in 1986, with each of his goals coming against a different goalkeeper.
A defender scoring three goals in a match is rare, but a different keeper picking each one out of the net is a once in a lifetime occurrence.
Martin scored the first of his three goals against regular Newcastle keeper Martin Thomas, who then had to go off injured at half time.
Midfielder Chris Hedworth took his place, as there were no substitute goalkeepers back in those days, and he conceded the second of Martin’s goals. Not only that, but Hedworth was injured attempting to save it.
He was replaced by Peter Beardsley, who was then beaten as Martin completed his hat-trick.
Entire Football Team Killed by Lightning
In October 1998, witchcraft was blamed when a match in the Congo ended in tragedy.
All eleven players for Bena Tshadi were reportedly killed when lightning struck the ground during their match against local rivals Basangana.
Apparently, the opposition players came away from the incident unscathed but another thirty people were injured.
Due to the civil war which raged in the DRC at the time of this incident, many of the details are unknown.
Player Sold by His Wife (To Be)
When Paul Peschisolido joined Stoke City from Birmingham City for £400,000 in 1994, it wasn’t just any other transfer.
The reason for this being strange was that Peschisolido was sold by his wife-to-be Karren Brady, who was Managing Director of Birmingham at the time.
Peschisolido didn’t seem to hold a grudge and Brady became his wife the following year.
Match Postponed Twenty-Nine Times
In 1979, a Scottish Cup tie between Falkirk and Inverness Thistle had to be postponed a whopping twenty-nine times due to bad weather.
Due to be played on January 6th, the game eventually took place 47 days later, on February 22nd.
Falkirk scored four goals in the first half on their way to winning the tie and booking themselves a place in the next round, where they would be beaten by Dundee just three days later.
Arsenal Were Only Team in First Ever Live TV Match
Arsenal were the first, and only, team to appear in the first ever live televised match on 16th September 1937.
The Arsenal first team played against their reserves at Highbury in a specially arranged practice match, which was shown live by the BBC.
Other Weird Football Facts
- Wilberforce Montgomery once suffered concussion after being hit on the head by a pie thrown from the crowd
- Andrew Innocull is the only known professional footballer to have every vowel appear in his name, in the correct order
- Mario Balotelli netted more than twenty Premier League goals but had only one assist, which was for Sergio Aguero to score a last-gasp title winner for Manchester City against QPR in 2012
- Southend United currently have a 100% winning record against Manchester United
- Arsenal made Clive Allen the most expensive teenager in 1980, signing him from QPR for £1.25m, but he left without making a single competitive appearance for them
- Guiseppe Bergomi played at four World Cup’s for Italy, but never played in a single qualifying game
- Mark Hughes once played for Wales and Bayern Munich in the same day