Soccer AM/MW - the home of lively and humorous discussion from the Football and Non Leagues

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

We salute... Non League club nicknames

In the latest of our occasional series saluting the overlooked nuances of English football, Nobes celebrates some of the most obscure and wonderful of football club nicknames around the Non Leagues.

Sulphurites - Harrogate Town

For pure originality, the North Yorkshire outfit make this list. There are a million and one clubs who adopt the colour of the kit they play in to use as a nickname, however, Harrogate went further.

So, their yellow home strip translated to the nickname of the Sulphurites - Sulphur itself being bright yellow in colour in its purest form. Good thinking.

Gingerbreads - Grantham Town

Grantham has a lot to be proud of. It gave the world Sir Isaac Newton and his theory of gravity and Britain her first female Prime Minister in Maggie Thatcher.

However, the Lincolnshire town is also famous for producing its own take on gingerbread, so instead of the Apples or perhaps the Union Crushers, it's the Gingerbreads the local football club are nicknamed.

Dabbers - Nantwich Town

You'd be forgiven for thinking that bingo was particularly popular in this corner of Cheshire. Actually, that's not one of the variety of theories behind the origin of Nantwich's nickname.

Some believe it derives from the town's 'wattle and daub' buildings and that those constructing houses were known as 'Daubers' or 'Dabbers.' Another theory suggests it comes from a special pork, pickle, and cheese pie.

A club nickname possibly derived from a pie? How could they not be saluted?!

Zebras - Brigg Town

"Ooh, let's set up a football club." "Okay then, what colour kit shall we play in?" "How about black and white stripes?" "What shall we use as our nickname?" "I know, the Magpies!"

Yes, because we've all seen many black and white striped magpies. Unfortunately, that conversation was had up and down the country from Newcastle to Nottingham to somewhere down south beginning with 'N.'

Fortunately, on the south bank of the River Humber, those logical folk of Brigg decided to call their team, donned in black and white stripes, the Zebras.

For pure logic, we salute you Brigg.

Yeltz - Halesowen Town

Some believe the nickname of this West Midlands club originates from the sound of the Black Country dialect.

However, a much more interesting explanation for it beginning lies in the tale of the Hungarian player, Pungus Catfich, who turned out for Halesowen after the Second World War.

Although he spoke English, he would often slip back into his native tongue and could be heard shouting "Yeltz" to teammates, roughly translating as "on me head." I truly hope it is the second explanation.

Spitfires - Eastleigh

It's not original for a club to name themselves after a local industry that its town is famous for.

In Eastleigh's case though, the Spitfire aeroplane was built on the South Coast and first flown from its aerodrome. A replica stands in the town now.

Not only does it sound cool, but it gives the impression of the team going into battle every time they take to the field of play. Would easily defeat any German side in European competitions, you imagine.

Nuts & Bolts - Ashford Town

This is a journalist's dream. "New defender joins the Nuts & Bolts." "Things come apart for Nuts & Bolts." "Last gasp goal breaks Nuts & Bolts's resistance."

The simple explanation behind Ashford's nickname is that in the early days of the club's existence the team largely comprised of engineers from the Kent town's local railway company.

Personally, I like to think it was for the many punnage opportunities.

Daniels - Stamford

We've seen how clubs will sometimes use their playing colours, or local industries to influence their nickname. Lincolnshire outfit Stamford opted for something completely different.

The Georgian town is often used for filming period dramas for TV these days, but it is also famous for being the burial place of Daniel Lambert - reputedly the fattest man in English history. Hence the Daniels.

It's a rare sight indeed to see a football club celebrating obesity in the 21st century.

Non League club nicknames... Soccer AM/MW salutes you!

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