Not many people in this world can legitimately say “Danger is my middle name”. Neither can today’s headlining artist, the great Danger Fourpence, but perhaps “Danger is my first name” is even more impressive. I cannot tell you what his middle name is, but I suspect it isn’t Phillip.
In case you were wondering. Danger is indeed a real person. He is a Zimbabwean soccer player who earns his living for the honest-to-all-celestial-beings real team Kiglon Bird FC in Chitugwiza, Zimbabwe. Because of his brilliant name, Mr. Fourpence has perhaps earned more international attention than any other player in the not particularly lauded Zimbabwean league. I was hoping to draft this entire post around Mr. Fourpence, but as no autobiography with the obvious title noted above has yet come out, available information about him is somewhat limited, so I will merely make him the centerpiece of this Weird Soccer Names All-Star squad featuring just about 11 oddly-named players to make up a full team*.
We have of course previously covered finely named athletes in this sport, such as Ricky van Wolfswinkel Christ Bongo and just about everyone playing in England today, but since many of the greatest names in soccer come from all around the world, today’s post will focus on those wonderful names.
Such as Creedence Clearwater Couto. The Brazilian striker’s parents were huge fans of the rock group led by John Fogerty and delightfully named their child after it. Creedence goes by the name “Paulista” in Brazil as no one there can actually pronounce his real name. Creedence himself seems fine with the name, except for this quote attributed to him on his wikipedia page :
The only thing that I regret is that some people are more interested in me because of my name than because of my qualities as a footballer.
Guilty as charged.
Moving on to easy targets for headline writers, we have the German legends Stefan Kuntz and Uwe Fuchs and Nigerian defender Danny Shittu. In the “no relation” category we have English midfielder Nicky Butt squaring off with veteran German goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt. Those are funny names, no ifs or butts about that.
Also helping headline writers is the Brazilian forward Givanildo Vieira de Souza, who professionally goes by the name Hulk. You see, many Brazilian players choose short nicknames to be known by on the pitch instead of their often quite long given names. Lately some of these names have begun notably less exotic than previously was norm, with players such as Fred, Alan, and Tomsounding more like guys you go bowling with on Wednesday nights than Brazilian sports stars.
When it comes to the creative sport of thinking of the best first name to go with the family name, the parents of 1950s Australian goalkeeper Norman Conquest get an A+ from the judges at the Funny Names Blog.
When it comes to former Seychelles ace Johnny Mustache, one would suspect he’s more likely to feature in a pulp novel about a womanizing private dick than a little known soccer star but sometimes reality is just better than fiction. I think I can also safely assume there are about eight hipster bands carrying that name today, so good for them.
Last, but definitely not least, I would not be doing my funny-named duty were I not to mention the great Danger Fourpence’s countryman Have-A-Look Dube, a man who pretty much ends all discussion of great names in soccer just by his appearance. And that just about wraps up this one too. Hope you’ve enjoyed this trek around the world of weird and wonderful soccer names!
*fine, so it’s not exactly 11, but this is the Funny Names Blog, not the Accurate Math blog. That’s somewhere else.