List of football club nicknames in the United Kingdom

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This is a list of nicknames for United Kingdom football clubs. Nicknames are usually preceded by 'The'. The origins of some nicknames are unclear with various stories being put forward.

The usual basis for nicknames are:

  • Local industry
  • Colour(s) of home strip
  • Name of club
  • Name of area or ground
  • Logo

England[edit]

Main article: Football in England
Nickname Club(s) Reason
Addicks Charlton Athletic A corruption of the word 'haddocks', named after a local fish and chip shop
Alex Crewe Alexandra Based on the club's name
Ash Trees Ashford Town The emblem of the town, derived both from the name of the town and from the large tree that stood in the centre of the town for many years
Avenue Bradford Park Avenue The club has always been known colloquially as "Avenue"
Bad Boys Sunderland Fans use this all the time Gonna watch the Bad Boys, also the club's fans' motto is Ha'way the Bad Boys which is also seen on the stand at the Stadium of Light.
Badgers Stalybridge Celtic
Baggies West Bromwich Albion Acquired when the players played in long shorts[citation needed]
Bantams Bradford City A reference to the claret and amber colours of the club's strip[1]
Beavers Hampton & Richmond Borough From the name of the ground, Beveree, itself named after a mansion in whose former grounds it is situated.
Bees Barnet Based on colour of home strip
Brentford Misinterpretation of an 1890s chant "Buck up Bs"
Biscuitmen Reading Referred to former Huntley and Palmers biscuit factory in the town (not used since the 1980s)
Black Cats Sunderland Named after the Black Cat gun battery which stood on the river Wear. Also references the lucky black cat which led to the team winning the FA Cup[2]
Blades Sheffield United Local links with steel and cutlery.
Blues Birmingham City Colour of home football kit
Chelsea Originates from the Angry Scouce supporter, based at Stamford Bridge Official nickname since 2014
Everton Colour of home football kit
Grays Athletic Colour of home football kit
Ipswich Town Colour of home football kit
Shrewsbury Town Colour of home football kit
Southend United Colour of home football kit
Worcester City
Wycombe Wanderers Colour of home football kit
Boro Harrow Borough Based on club's name
Middlesbrough Short version of name
Stevenage Short version of original name, Stevenage Borough
Brewers Burton Albion Local links to the brewing industry
Bury St Margaretsbury
Canaries Norwich City Initially due to popularity of canary breeding in Norfolk, later home strips are the same colour as the bird, and is now used in the club's logo
Castle Newcastle Town F.C.
Cards / Cardinals Woking From the Cardinal red of the red and white shirt halves,[3] cards being a shortening of the nickname
Carpetmen Kidderminster Harriers The modern carpet industry was founded in the area
Chairboys Wycombe Wanderers Local links to the furniture making industry
Cherries Bournemouth Stadium built on a cherry tree orchard
Citizens Manchester City Developed from 'City'
Clarets Burnley Colour of home strip
Cobblers Northampton Town Local links to the shoe making industry
Cod Army Fleetwood Town Local links to the fishing industry
Cottagers Fulham From club's ground, Craven Cottage, which has a cottage in the corner
Cumbrians Carlisle United From Cumbria, the county the club are from
Daggers Dagenham & Redbridge Based on club name
Dale Rochdale Short version of name
Diamonds Rushden & Diamonds Short version of name, used by its predecessor club
Dolly Blues Lancaster City Derived from the fact that team originally played in the same colour as the 'Dolly Blue' washing tablets
Donny Doncaster Rovers The regional nickname of the town
Dons AFC Wimbledon See Wimbledon F.C.
Hendon F.C. Taken from latter part of 'Hendon'
MK Dons See Wimbledon F.C.
Eagles Bedford Town The emblem of Bedford features an eagle
Crystal Palace Taken from nickname of Benfica
FCUM FC United of Manchester Abbreviation of the club's name
Filberts Leicester City Seldom used, derives from previous ground being located on Filbert Street
Fleet Gravesend and Northfleet Short version of name
Fosse Leicester City Original name was Leicester Fosse, which derived from The Fosse Way. Name still in use by commentator Stuart Hall
Foxes Leicester City Outline of Leicestershire on a map resembles a fox's head, Hunting tradition of the county[4]
Gas Bristol Rovers Old ground next door to a Gasworks
Gills Gillingham Short version of name
Glassboys Stourbridge F.C. Stourbridge was a centre of glass making
Glaziers Crystal Palace Reference to The Crystal Palace. No longer used
Glovers Yeovil Town Local links to the glove making industry
Grecians Exeter City Grecians was, for centuries, the nickname for people from the St Sidwells parish of Exeter where the ground is situated
Greens Hendon F.C. The club's home colours
Gulls Torquay United Seaside link
Gunners Arsenal Local links to military arsenal/due to the founders was in fact workers on a local arms factory
Hammers West Ham United Although this may initially appear to be based on a simple shortening of the name, observation of the club's crest will reveal crossed metalworking/rivetting hammers, indicating the club's origins as the football team of Thames Ironworks
Harriers Kidderminster Harriers Short version of name
Hatters Luton Town Local links to hat making industry
Stockport County One of Cheshire's and Britain's main hatting industry towns
Heed Gateshead Based on shortening of Gateshead, and the local pronunciation of Head
Hoops Queens Park Rangers Design of home strip
Hornets Watford Colour of strip
Imps Lincoln City Legend of the imp statue in Lincoln Cathedral (also "Red Imps")
Iron Scunthorpe United Local links to the iron industry
Braintree Town The club was formed as Manor Works, the works team of the Crittall Window Company, from which they gained their nickname Iron.
Irons West Ham United The club's origins as the football team of Thames Ironworks
Knitters Hinckley United Local links to the Knitwear and Hosiery industry
Lambs Tamworth Team plays at The Lamb Ground, named after a local pub
Latics Oldham Athletic Short version of name
Wigan Athletic Short version of name
Lilywhites Preston North End Colour of home strip
Fulham Colour of home strip
Cambridge City Colour of home strip
Tottenham Hotspur Colour of home strip
Linnets Burscough Name of a bird sometimes known as the 'green linnet'; nickname used for teams that play in green
King's Lynn Town F.C. Also formerly used by its predecessor club King's Lynn F.C.
Runcorn Linnets Name of a bird sometimes known as the 'green linnet'; nickname used for teams that play in green. Also used by related now dissolved Runcorn F.C. Halton
Lions Aston Villa Featured on badge
Guiseley A.F.C.
Millwall Featured on badge
Magpies Newcastle United Based on black and white colour of home strip
Notts County Based on black and white colour of home strip[5]
Maidenhead United Based on black and white colour of home strip.
Chorley Based on black and white colour of home strip.
Mariners Grimsby Town The club is based on the coast
Millers Rotherham United Based on ground name (Millmoor)
Minstermen York City York Minster is a famous landmark in the city
Monkey hangers Hartlepool United During the Napoleonic wars the citizens of Hartlepool allegedly hanged a monkey believing it to be a French spy.[6]
Mushrooms Hayes & Yeading United Due to the fact that the club's Board keep the club's supporters in the dark.
Nailers Belper Town The manufacture of nails was formerly a widespread cottage industry locally
O's Leyton Orient Before Squad numbers on shirts, Orient Players wore Large Letter Os on their shirt backs
Owls Sheffield Wednesday Based on name of local area (Owlerton), after a visitor to the city drew a cartoon depicting Sheffield Wednesday as an owl
Peacocks Leeds United (Virtually obsolete). Stems from the former name of the Elland Road stadium, The Old Peacock Ground, which was in turn named after the nearby The Old Peacock pub[7]
Pilgrims Boston United Local links to the pilgrims who went to the New World
Plymouth Argyle Local links to the pilgrims who went to the New World
Pirates Bristol Rovers Local links to shipping
Pompey Portsmouth The nickname for the city
Pool Blackpool Short version of name
Liverpool Short version of name
Pools Hartlepool United Short version of name when known as Hartlepools United
Poppies Kettering Town Stadium built on a former poppy field
Posh Peterborough United Believed to derive from former manager Pat Tirrel proclaiming that he was looking for: "Posh players for a posh team"[8]
Potters Stoke City Local links to the pottery industry
Puritans Banbury United Traditionally in the town's history, many inhabitants were strongly involved in the Puritan movement
QPR Queens Park Rangers Abbreviation of club name
Quakers Darlington Local links to religious movement
R's Queens Park Rangers Final initial of club abbreviation, QPR
Railwaymen Crewe Alexandra Local links to railways
Rams Derby County Folk song "The Derby Ram", and by extension an emblem of the city[9]
Rebels FC United of Manchester The club having been formed by disaffected fans after the takeover of Manchester United by Malcolm Glazer. None of the fans refer to the club by this, it is purely a media name, primarily used by the Manchester Evening News.
Red Devils Crawley Town
Manchester United Nickname originally belonged to nearby rugby league team Salford
Red Imps Lincoln City Colour of home kit and legend of the imp statue in Lincoln Cathedral
Reds Liverpool Colour of home kit
Nottingham Forest Colour of home kit
Riversiders Blackburn Rovers After a side of the ground adjacent to a river
Robins Altrincham Colour of home kit same as a robin's chest
Bracknell Town
Bristol City Colour of home kit same as a robin's chest
Charlton Athletic Colour of home kit same as a robin's chest
Cheltenham Town Colour of home kit same as a robin's chest
Evesham United
Ilkeston
Swindon Town Colour of home kit same as a robin's chest
Royals Reading The town is in the Royal County of Berkshire
Saddlers Walsall Links to the saddle making industry
Saints Brackley Town
Southampton St. Mary's Young Men's Association[10]
St Albans City
Salop Shrewsbury Town Traditional name for the town of Shrewsbury and also Shropshire as a county (Latin name Salopia)
Sandgrounders Southport Town is on a stretch of coast known for its expansive sandy beaches
School of Science Everton 1928, comment of Everton's attractive style of play with the team being called 'scientific' or 'the school of science
Seagulls Brighton & Hove Albion Based on coast, also a response to the similar sounding nickname 'Eagles' of their arch rivals Crystal Palace
Seals Chester City Old ground named Sealand Road
Seasiders Blackpool Based on coast
Shakers Bury Club's first chairman, JT Ingham, said before a Lancashire Cup game with Blackburn, "We will shake them. In fact, we are the Shakers."[11]
Shaymen Halifax Town Originates from the club's ground, same nickname as its predecessor club
Shots Aldershot Town Short version of name
Shrews Shrewsbury Town Short version of name
Shrimps Morecambe Related to the fishing/shrimping industry in the region and Morecambe Bay's famous "potted shrimps"
Shrimpers Southend United A historic local industry; alliterative
Silkmen Macclesfield Town Local links to the silk industry
Skunks Newcastle From black and white home strip
Sky Blues Coventry City Colour of home strip
Manchester City Colour of home strip
Smoggies Middlesbrough From the industrial pollution, or smog, from the steel and chemical plants surrounding the town
Spireites Chesterfield Reference to famous crooked spire in the town
Spitfires Eastleigh The Spitfire supermarine was built at the airport in Eastleigh
Sports Eastbourne Borough Due to team's previous name of Langney Sports F.C.
Spurs Tottenham Hotspur Based on the spurs that the fighting cockerel wears on its leg, of which comes from Harry Hotspur's fighting cockerels in Shakespeare's Henry IV Part1
Spartans Blyth Spartans
Stags Mansfield Town Stag head on their crest
Stones Wealdstone F.C. Based on the club's name
Stripes Stevenage Borough Based on the pattern of the home strip
Super Hoops Queens Park Rangers Based on the pattern of the home strip
Tangerines Blackpool Colour of their home kit
Terras Weymouth Club plays in a terracota coloured kit
Terriers Huddersfield Town Named after the Yorkshire Terrier breed of dog - based on a vote of their supporters to create a nickname
Teyn Northampton Town Town said in a Northampton accent
Tics Oldham Athletic Shorterned version of 'Latics' (Which is a nickname in itself)
Tigers Gloucester City Colours of home strip
Hull City Colours of home strip
Toffees / Toffeemen Everton Back in the 1950s and 1960s a woman in a blue and white dress used to walk around before the game and throw toffees to people in the crowd, a tradition since revived. The other league teams then referred to them as the "Toffees"[12]
Toon Newcastle United Local pronunciation of 'Town', meaning City Centre where the ground is situated
Tractor Boys Ipswich Town Local links to agriculture[13]
Tricky Trees Nottingham Forest Crest is a tree
Trotters Bolton Wanderers In the 19th century, one of their pitches was adjacent to a piggery and clearances often end up in there. Players had to 'trot' through the pig-pens to retrieve the balls.[14]
Tykes Barnsley Colloquial name for a Yorkshireman.
Tynesiders Gateshead Gateshead is located on Tyneside
U's Cambridge United Initial of name
Colchester United Initial of name
Oxford United Initial of name
Sutton United Initial of name
Valiants Port Vale Based on official name
Vics Northwich Victoria Based on shortening of official name
Vikings Doncaster Rovers Based on the club badge, as well as Rovers being a term for Vikings
Goole AFC Based on the town's Viking history.
Villans Aston Villa Based on official name
Wednesday Sheffield Wednesday Original name of the club
Whites Dover Athletic
Fulham Colour of their home strip. Sometimes referred to as the Lillywhites
Leeds United Main colour of home strip
Preston North End
Salisbury F.C. Same nickname as its predecessor club
Wolves Wolverhampton Wanderers Based on shortening of name
Wombles AFC Wimbledon Reference to the Wombles
Yellows Cambridge United Colour of home kit
Mansfield Town Colour of home kit
Sutton United Colour of home kit
Yeltz Halesowen Town Origin of the name has been lost track of

Defunct clubs[edit]

Nickname Club(s) Reason Current use
A's Walthamstow Avenue F.C. No longer in use
Bulls Hereford United After the local breed of cattle
Diamonds Rushden & Diamonds Short version of name Used by its successor club
Dons Wimbledon F.C. The two clubs that emerged from the surrounding controversy of its relocation, AFC Wimbledon and MK Dons, both retained the nickname.
Linnets Runcorn F.C. Name of a bird sometimes known as the 'green linnet'; nickname used for teams that play in green Currently used by phoenix club Runcorn Linnets F.C.
King's Lynn F.C. Also formerly used by its successor club King's Lynn Town F.C.
'Owd Reds Accrington Stanley F.C. (1891) No longer in use, not adopted by the current Accrington Stanley
Shaymen Halifax Town Originates from the club's ground Used by its successor club
Squirrels Formby Formby's nature reserve is home to one of England's largest remaining populations of red squirrels
Wombles Wimbledon F.C. Reference to the Wombles Adopted by AFC Wimbledon
Whites Salisbury City Nickname retained by successor club Salisbury F.C.

Northern Ireland[edit]

Nickname Club(s) Reason
Bannsiders Coleraine River Bann is close by
Bhoys Lurgan Celtic Named after Celtic F.C.
Blues Linfield Original kits were blue in colour
Candy Stripes Derry Kit colour is red and white stripes
Eagles Armagh City
Gers Carrick Rangers
Glens Glentoran Abbreviation of team name
Hatchetmen Crusaders
Ports Portadown F.C. Abbreviation of team name
Red and Blues Ards Kit colour is blue and red
Reds Cliftonville Kit colour is red
Seasiders Bangor Bangor, County Down, is a sea-fronted town
Sky Blues Ballymena United Colour of team shirt
Stute Institute Abbreviation of Intstitute
Wee Hoops Donegal Celtic A reference to the Celtic F.C.-style kit
Whites Lisburn Distillery Kit colour is white

Scotland[edit]

Main article: Football in Scotland
Nickname Club(s) Reason
Accies Hamilton Academical Short for Academical
Arabs Dundee United Coined after a Scottish Cup game at Tannadice in 1963 when copius amounts of sand was put on the frozen pitch. This nickname refers mainly to the fans.
Bairns Falkirk From the ancient motto of the town parish - "Better meddle wi the deil than the Bairns o Falkirk"
Bears Rangers F.C. Shortening of the rhyming slang Teddy Bears. Fans are also known as Bluenoses and Huns
Bhoys Celtic From early promotional material. The 'h' was used to capture the Irish accent of the team's original fanbase.
Binos Stirling Albion Contraction of Albion
Black and Whites Elgin City Club colours.
Blue Brazil Cowdenbeath An ironic nickname invented by the clubs own supporters in the early 1990s during a particularly bad run of form which has endured since
Blues Stranraer Club colours.
Blue Toon Peterhead The town of Peterhead is nicknamed the Blue Toon.
Borderers Berwick Rangers The town of Berwick lies on the English-Scottish border
Buddies St Mirren The club play in Paisley and a person from Paisley is called a Buddie.
Bully Wee Clyde Small team who would bully bigger teams - wee bullies
Cabbage and Ribs Hibernian Rhyming slang for Hibs
Caley / Caley Thistle Inverness Caledonian Thistle Short version of the name
City Brechin City
Edinburgh City
Elgin City
Dees Dundee
Diamonds Airdrieonians After the distinctive red 'V', or diamond, on the home kit which was first worn in 1912
Dons Aberdeen Short for 'Aberdonians'.
Doonhamers Queen of the South A term used for people from Dumfries
Fifers East Fife
Gable Endies Montrose

Wealthy merchants in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries dominated the town and built their houses in a Dutch style, gable to gable. Hence the town and the football have inherited the sobriquet, "gable-enders"

Galabankies Annan Athletic Home stadium is called Galabank.
Gers Rangers Abbreviation of the club name 'Rangers'.
Harry Wraggs Partick Thistle Rhyming slang for Jags. Harry Wragg was a famous jockey in the 1930s
Hedgemen Brechin City A hedge runs along one side of Glebe Park.
Hibees Hibernian Short version of the name
Honest Men Ayr United From a line in Robert Burns' poem 'Tam O' Shanter: 'Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a toun surpasses, for honest men an' bonnie lasses.'
Hoops Celtic From famous hooped home shirt
Jags Partick Thistle In colloquial Scottish a 'jag' is the sting of a nettle or thistle.
Jam Tarts Heart of Midlothian Rhyming slang for Hearts
Killie Kilmarnock Short for Kilmarnock.
Light Blues Rangers Comes from a newspaper description of a 'light and speedy' Rangers team of the 1870s.
Lions Livingston Club badge has a lion on it.
Loons Forfar Athletic Local name for 'lads' which were given to Angus Athletic's 2nd XI, composed largely of younger players who broke off to form Forfar Athletic.
Morton Greenock Morton Part of the full name
Pars Dunfermline Athletic
Red Lichties Arbroath Owing to the red light that used to guide fishing boats back from the North Sea to the harbour (Lichtie being a Scots word for light)
Rovers Raith Rovers
Saints St. Johnstone
St Mirren
Shire East Stirlingshire
Sons Dumbarton Shortened form of "Sons of the Rock" a term used for a person from Dumbarton. Their stadium was for many years, directly under Dumbarton Rock
Spiders Queen's Park The narrow black and white stripes of their kit supposedly resembles a spider’s web
Staggies Ross County The stag seen on the club's crest. *This name refers mainly to supporters.
Steelmen Motherwell A reference to the (former) steelworks at nearby Ravenscraig
Super Js St. Johnstone A reference to St. Johnstone being the only league club in Scottish (or English) football with a J in its name
Tangerines Dundee United Colour of their home kit
Teddy Bears Rangers Rhyming slang (when spoken with a Glaswegian accent, 'Bears' rhymes with 'Gers'.
Terrors Dundee United Coined in the early 1960s as a tribute to their fighting spirit especially at Tannadice (Before this they were known as the Black and Whites).
Tic Celtic Short version of the name
Ton Greenock Morton Short version of the name
Warriors Stenhousemuir
Wasps Alloa Athletic Their traditional home strip is black and yellow
Waysiders Airdrieonians The Town of Airdries name may be taken from the Gaelic word “Airdidh” meaning a sheiling or wayside town. “The Waysiders” was the club nickname until the 1950s when the “Diamonds” became more popular
Wee Gers Berwick Rangers To differentiate between their Rangers and other bigger clubs called Rangers in Scotland.
Wee Rovers Albion Rovers A self acknowledgement of the clubs status as one of the smaller clubs in the Scottish league. In use since the 1920s
Well Motherwell Short version of the name

Wales[edit]

Main article: Football in Wales
Nickname Club(s) Reason
Ancients Cefn Druids A reference to the druids who were prevalent around 2000 years ago
Bluebirds Cardiff City Colour of home football kit and possibly named after 1909 children's play 'Blue Bird'
Blues Cardiff City Colour of home football kit
Canaries Caernarfon Town F.C. Due its yellow and green strip, a nickname that dates from 1895.[citation needed]
Citizens Bangor City
Exiles Newport County Club were forced to play several seasons in Gloucestershire by the FAW
Ironsides Newport County Association with steelworks and other heavy industries
Jacks Swansea City Seamen from the town formerly referred to as 'Swansea Jacks', also after the dog Swansea Jack
Lakesiders Bala Town
Lilywhites Rhyl F.C.
Linnets Barry Town Named after the bird, based on the club's initial green and red coloured strips
Magpies Barmouth & Dyffryn United
Martyrs Merthyr Town F.C.
Musselmen Conwy United F.C. From the local mussel (shellfish) industry
Red Dragons Wrexham Featured on logo
Robins Wrexham Colour of home kit same as a robin's chest
Seasiders Prestatyn Town F.C.
Steelmen Port Talbot Town Port Talbot is home to one of the largest steelworks on the continent
Swans Swansea City Short version of the name
Wingmakers Airbus UK Broughton Refers to being the works team of the Airbus UK factory

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History, Bradford City FC". theBRADFORDCITYsite. Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. 
  2. ^ "Black Cat Nickname". Sunderland A. F. C. 
  3. ^ http://www.wokingfc.co.uk/history/
  4. ^ "Leicester City Club Profile". ratetheref.co.uk. 
  5. ^ "Notts County, History". Notts County. 
  6. ^ "Monkey Legend". Hartlepool United. 
  7. ^ "WAFLL - Elland Road History". WAFLL. Retrieved 8 May 2007. 
  8. ^ "Peterborough United, History". Peterborough United. 
  9. ^ "Derby County". Extra Football. 
  10. ^ Juson, Dave; Bull, David (2001). Full-Time at The Dell. Hagiology Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 0-9534474-2-1. 
  11. ^ "Bury, History". Bury Football Club. 
  12. ^ "Everton History". ToffeeWeb. 
  13. ^ "Tractor boys making noise". BBC Sport. 19 December 2000. Retrieved 12 June 2008. 
  14. ^ "Alternative History: Bolton Wanderers". My Eyes Have Seen The Glory.