Whether you believe in superstitions or not, they are commonplace in football. Many high profile players, coaches and fans put their faith in bizarre rituals in order to bring success to their team. It is not only individuals who seek help from strange quarters, clubs themselves have been known to delve into the ominous significance of coincidence. Here are just a few examples of the strange beliefs that the footballing family have put their faith in.
– When Real Madrid re-located their new stadium in 1912, they did not win a trophy for 5 years. In a bid to change their luck the club took the unusual step of burying a clove of garlic under the centre circle, they went on to win the Copa del Rey that season.
– The legendary Italian coach, Giovanni Trapattoni, is deeply superstitious and used to take a bottle of holy water to matches when he was manager of the national team. The water was provided by his sister, who just happened to be a nun.
– When Chelsea rebuilt the East Stand at Stamford Bridge a weathervane depicting club legend George ‘Gatling Gun’ Hilsdon was removed, shortly afterwards the club fell on bad times. During his tenure at the club Ken Bates had the weathervane reinstated, the club has seen an upturn in fortunes ever since.
– The controversial Romanian striker Adrian Mutu often shocked the world with his off field antics but on the pitch he ensured success by wearing his underpants inside out.
– Former European Player of the Year Kevin Keegan would remain bare-chested in the dressing room until everyone else had put their kit on and was often seen pulling his shirt on as he ran out of the tunnel before a match.
– The perfectly preened Real Madrid forward Christiano Ronaldo has many rituals that he adheres to religiously for each game. One of the strangest is his habit of changing his hairstyle during the half time interval.
– Before one game Paolo Di Canio accidentally put his shorts on back to front. He insisted on playing with them as they were and went on to score twice as West Ham beat Arsenal for the first time in 14 years.
So I think I can honestly surmise and confidently say that it doesn’t matter if you wear pink boots or black boots, as long as you believe in your abilities you will score a hatful of goals.
This season Newport Pagnell Town FC, Swan Confidential matchday programme and The View From The Shed are proud to support 4 year old Jaycee May O’Connor, a local girl who has Rett Syndrome.
The rare condition, that predominantly affects girls, stunts development of the brain and leads to rapid regression and a loss of skills such as crawling or sitting.
This means that Jaycee May is unable to talk and she also has regular seizures.
Her family are trying to raise funds to buy life changing Tobii Eyegaze technology, the equipment that will finally give Jaycee May a voice and enable her to communicate with others, something that we all take for granted.
For more information on Rett Syndrome and how you can help improve Jaycee May’s quality of life please follow the links below:
Artwork courtesy of Bravo Sierra Designs.
Photograph of Jaycee May courtesy of Rebecca Hall.
Originally published in ‘Swans Confidential’ the official matchday programme of Newport Pagnell Town Football Club.
NPTFC 2-2 Wellingborough Town
United Counties League Premier
27th October 2015
© Andy Gunn