You’d think Everton’s luck couldn’t possibly get any worse. But, maybe the worst is yet to come by means of a black tomcat who ran onto the pitch and showed more movement in front of goal than Cenk Tosun managed in 90 minutes.
From obsessive routines and unusual omens, to mysterious mediums and inside-out underwear – Football superstitions are somewhat strange and unusually uncanny.
So, we’ve decided to countdown some of the oddest and eeriest superstitions that’d give the infamous Goodison cat a run for its money.
Horoscopes and Hoodoo
Raymond Domenech isn’t so much a fan of tactical analysis, as he is of astrology. Back in 2004, Derek Acorah seemed to have had more of an influence on the French national team than Domenech as the then manager – who was eccentric to say the least – picked his team based on horoscopes.
Domenech had a particular problem with Scorpios, denoting them as reckless, unreliable and troublesome and thus ended the career of Robert Pires. The superstitious manager wasn’t that keen on Leos either – he once said: “When I have a Leo in defence I’ve always got my gun ready as I know he’s going to cost us.”
Nonetheless, it seemed written in the stars when Domenech was sacked in 2010 – Putting an end to one of the strangest football superstitions ever.
There’s a Cat in the Stadium
Animals have a knack of encroaching on football pitches.
Two tomcats in two years have invaded Goodison Park while almost seven years to the day the aforementioned black cat stopped Everton’s 3-1 defeat to Wolves, the same animal ran onto the pitch at Anfield.
Numerous other animals have found their way into stadiums; most notably a chicken was released during Blackburn’s 1-0 defeat to Wigan in 2012.
What these incidents have in common is that they have mostly occurred during defeats. So, the next time a chicken trots onto the pitch think of it as more of a curse than a good omen.
The Curious Curse of Bela Guttmann
Speaking of curses; supporters are by nature a superstitious bunch. To this day, however, a 57-year-old curse at Benfica shows no signs of being exercised any time soon. After 8 consecutive defeats in European finals since 1962, it is becoming harder and harder to deny the curious curse of Bela Guttmann.
Guttmann had just led Benfica to back-to-back European Cup victories but, after he was refused a pay rise in 1962, he resigned. On leaving he supposedly cursed the club, declaring: “Not in a hundred years from now will Benfica ever be European champion.” And so far they haven’t.
So, the next time your club sacks a manager bear in mind the curse of Bela Guttmann.
We’ve established that some football superstitions are rather strange, however, some are also unhygienic.
They say that goalkeepers are insane, and you would certainly put the former Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Goycochea in that category, due to his bizarre and repulsive superstition. Before every penalty shoot-out, Goycochea would urinate on the pitch. He called it his “lucky charm.”
Strangely, this football superstition is not uncommon. Former Birmingham City manager Barry Fry once “took a leak” on the St. Andrews pitch so as to exercise a curse, while both Mario Gomez and John Terry have both admitted to using the same urinal before every match.
Superstitions and Rituals
Quite a few footballer’s have a peculiar pre-game ritual or superstition.
Rather than devouring copious amounts of pasta before a game, Wayne Rooney has been known to pour himself a bowl of Coco Pops – but “not the Moons and Stars,” as he once passionately stated in an interview.
Continuing with the theme of former Everton players, Gary Lineker would never score while warming up as he didn’t want to waste any goals before the match.
While Leighton Baines, before every match ties, unties and then ties his bootlaces.
And it’s not just Everton players. George Best would eat a chocolate bar before every match, while Malvin Kamara would insist on watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory before he played.
These football superstitions are certainly unique and put the Goodison black cat to shame.
The Dixie Dean Hotel
The Dixie Dean Hotel is set to complete Liverpool’s upcoming Football Quarter. The luxury venue is to take pride and place opposite the now famous Shankly Hotel, which celebrates the life of Liverpool’s legendary leader.
The stunning hotel – unlike anything seen before – is to provide Evertonian’s with an unrivalled experience, perfect for overnight stays, watching the match and basking in and enjoying unseen memorabilia.