Top 5 Strangest Things Banned From Football Grounds
Spurs fans will have to rely on the good old traditional method of asking a friend, family member or shifty looking stranger to take a photo of them at White Hart Lane after club authorities banned selfie sticks from the ground.
It’s not the first strange items have been outlawed from football stadiums, so we take a look at some previous bans – including a fake one. Can you spot it?
If you hear a dull, incessant drone at a football match these days it’s more than likely Michael Owen commentating for BT Sports. However, during and after the 2010 World Cup it was probably the scourge that was the vuvuzela.
Again, Tottenham were the trendsetters, before most Premier League clubs followed in forbidding the plastic horns from inside their stadia. They were deemed by most clubs as possible weapons, presumably due to the risk of irritated fans grabbing the instrument and beating the offending, would-be musician over the head with it.
The only inflatables at football grounds these days seems to be the surgically-enhanced cleavages of WAGs, following English clubs ban on blow-up objects in the late 80s and early 90s.
The bizarre trend was started by Manchester City who began waving inflatable bananas at Maine Road in honour of cult striker Imre Varadi, or “Imre Banana” as he became known.
The craze continued with fans introducing inflatables personalised for their clubs – Grimsby Town waved haddocks, West Ham fans hammers. However, the fun ended when clubs began banning the novelty items as it obstructed views for other fans, while some deemed the bananas to have racist undertones.
While Barcelona fans once famously threw a pig’s head at former player Luis Figo when he moved to arch-rivals Real Madrid, Russian supporters didn’t have it so easy at smuggling their porcine pals into their stadia.
In 2006 a Russian farmer and Zenit St Petersburg fan had brought his prize-winning pig to a show and wanted to watch Zenit’s clash with Spartak Moscow afterwards. He’d nowhere to leave the pig, so tried to smuggle him into the match in a bag.
However, he was caught telling porkies when the hog started grunting inside the bag. Russian police earned their bacon by immediately banning the animal, fearing a riot as Spartak fans are called “pigs” by Zenit supporters.
Nowadays, the only swines allowed roll around in the muck at football grounds scot-free are Chelsea players.
The practice of lobbing (unusued) toilet rolls onto football pitches in England began in the 1960s. Some suggest it was in protest at the pitiful state of toilet facilities at football grounds, when it fact it was merely high-jinx.
The craze continued for decades until Spurs, yet again, acted as killjoys. Their striker, Gary Lineker, had been caught short in a match against Ireland during Italia 90, later admitting he’d “relaxed himself” on the field during the 1-1 draw.
Rival fans latched onto this and the White Hart Lane became littered with more worthless white paper than a Government quango’s office. Lineker saw the funny side, but Tottenham officials didn’t, citing health and safety issues before banning bog roll from White Hart Lane. Apart from in the toilets, of course
It famously burns more calories to lift a celery stick than you consume when eating it, so Chelsea fans must have been super-fit from the 1980s onwards.
This bizarre custom began as a terrace chant of “Celery” in the early 80s, after a Cockney song popularised by Chas ‘n’ Dave. Fans then began to throw celery onto the Stamford Bridge pitch and a Blues tradition had been born. In the late 80s the practice was briefly banned as fans pelted players taking corner kicks, with the vegetable.
However, in 2007 Chelsea issued a statement that anyone caught bringing the offending sticks into the ground would be refused entry and fans caught throwing it would be banned. This came after a Carling Cup tie had to be delayed so celery could be cleared form the pitch after then Arsenal player Cesc Fabregas was bombarded with it.
It is understood to be the first celery cap put in place by a Premier League club.