Classic Club Nicknames

We've done our list of favourite footballers' nicknames, so now we move on to look at 10 of the best football club nicknames from around the world.

So, in no particular order...

No.1 "El Submarino Amarillo" (the Yellow Submarine). Villarreal, Spain.


The best football club nicknames can come out of nowhere, and that's certainly the case with Villarreal.

Apparently it dates back to the 1966-67 season when the Beatles song had been released and the crowd sang the tune as "Amarillo es el Villarreal. Amarillo es. Amarillo es.", translating as "Yellow is Villarreal. Yellow is! Yellow is!".

No.2 "Los Pincharratas" (the Rat Stabbers). Estudiantes de La Plata, Argentina.


Great name that goes right back to the 1910s and some of the club's early members who chased rats in the market area of La Plata.

It's believed that fans of Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, with whom Estudiantes shares one of the most fierce football rivalries in Argentina, used the phrase as a derogatory term, but Estudiantes fans have embraced it and commonly refer to themselves as Pinchas.

No.3 "The Posh". Peterborough United, England.

Peterborough United crest

Undoubtedly one of best football club nicknames in England, inherited from a previous club that used London Road called Fletton Utd.

In 1921 they advertised for "Posh players for a posh team". Peterborough United adopted it in the 1930s.

Up the Posh!

No.4 "La Lepra" / "Leprosos" (the Lepers). Newell's Old Boys, Argentina.

Newell's Old Boys

The Rosario-based club got the name in the 1920s after playing in a charity match for a leprosy clinic.

Not only do they have one of the best football club nicknames around, but their actual name is fantastic too - one of Argentina's most unusual football club names and one of the classic club names of South American football.

No.5 "I Mussi Volanti" (the Flying Donkeys). Chievo Verona, Italy.

Chievo Verona

Whilst Italian club colours lead to a host of common nicknames throughout Serie A and Italian football (e.g. Nerazzurri, Rossoneri, Bianconeri) the clubs also have other nicknames. And whilst this one is a relatively recent addition to the list of best football club nicknames, it's a classic nonetheless.

City rivals Hellas Verona started it in the 1990s, chanting "Donkeys will fly before Chievo are in Serie A" (the Italian equivalent of "if pigs could fly"). The phrase stuck, and a nickname was born.

No.6 "De Kaaskoppen" (the Cheeseheads). AZ, The Netherlands.

AZ crest

The football club gets the same nickname as the people of Alkmaar, famous for its cheese, cheese market, and general cheeseyness.

As well as having a unique nickname, AZ's football crest is pretty much one of a kind too, it's oblong shape going against the grain of most other club's badges.

No.7 "Los Colchoneros" (the Mattress Makers). Atl├ętico Madrid, Spain.

Atl├ętico Madrid crest

Dates right back to 1911 when the club changed from blue and white stripes to red and white stripes.

At that time mattresses in Spain were made in red-white stripes, and the nickname was born...

No.8 "Die Werkself" (the Factory XI). Bayer Leverkusen, Germany.

Bayer Leverkusen crest

Refers to the industrial origins of the club, founded in 1904 by employees of Bayer - the huge pharmaceutical company headquartered in the city.

No.9 "Vecchia Signora" (the Old Lady). Juventus, Italy.

Juventus crest

Not only one of the best football club nicknames, but also one of the best known. Apparently it was a mixture of irony and an endearing term from Juve fans when they nicknamed their club in the 1930s - Juventus is Latin for youth.

No.10 "Troillongan" (the Troll Children). Rosenborg, Norway.

Rosenborg crest

Started in the 1960s when the Rosenborg keeper put a toy troll in his net at games to bring him and the team luck. The fans picked up on it and the nickname started and has stuck ever since.

No.11 "The Spireites". Chesterfield, England.


Another great football nickname that comes from a famous symbol of the town - in this case the twisted, crooked church spire. The Spireites nickname also feeds into one of England's greatest football crests, easily recognisable, simple but effective, and pretty unique.

No.12 "The Baggies". West Bromwich Albion, England.

West Bromwich Albion crest

West Bromwich Albion's other nickname of the Throstles was the club's preferred nickname for many years, the fans themselves much preferred the Baggies. There are a couple of theories as to where it came from, One theory is that came from the name of the bag-men who carried the money around the pitch from the turnstiles on match-day in big leather bags. Another idea is that it came from the large baggy trousers that many foundry workers in the area wore at work to protect themselves from molten iron. The final theory is that West Bromwich Albion were one of the first football club's to wear baggy shorts. Either way, the nickname stuck.

West Bromwich Albion are also often tagged as one of English football's yo-yo clubs, due to the series of promotions and relegations they had between the second-tier and the Premier League from 2002 and 2010 - in just nine seasons they were promoted four times but relegated back down three times!

No.13 "Salop". Shrewsbury Town, England.

Shrewsbury Town crest

A classic nickname, Salop is the old alternative name for both Shrewsbury and its county, Shropshire. It also appears on the Shrewsbury Town club crest.

The club had an eventful 2002-03 season, they had cup glory after victory in one of the all-time classic FA Cup 3rd round matches, beating Everton 2:1 at Gay Meadow, but then the season turned a turn for the worse and they were relegated out of the Fotball League, and into the Conference.

No.14 "The Gas". Bristol Rovers, England.

Whilst Bristol Rovers traditional nickname is the Pirates, "the Gas" has become an increasingly popular term for the club and its supporters over recent years.

It comes from the old gasworks that were situated next to their former ground, Eastville Stadium, and was originally used by their rivals, Bristol City, in a disparaging manner. However, Rovers fans embraced it and adopted it as their own.