As the age-old saying goes, ’s ‘a funny old game’ – so too is some of the ritual’s players have before a match. Whether it’s a Sunday league fixture or the World Cup Final, superstitions take centre-stage in the dressing room.

Terry Butcher, England Captain at Italia 90, famously prowled the changing room, headbutted lockers and chanted “This is MY house and no fucker comes into MY house and takes anything”. Others took a more sedative approach. On the day of the 2006 World Cup final Pirlo said that he
“spent an afternoon of sleeping and playing the PlayStation. In the evening, I went out and won the World Cup”. But are these rituals a one-off? You bet your lucky shin pads their not.

Sir Bobby Charlton

In Old Trafford, it was not unusual to find players doing shots of whiskey before running onto The Theatre of Dreams. George Best, known for liking a drink or two, wasn’t one for this Man Utd habit…instead he ate a bar of chocolate before every game.

Ian Wright

Speaking about sparking up, the Arsenal legend was always used to a joint at the end of the week.

“I’d been smoking weed since I was about 17,”

Ian Wright

“It had become something of an end of week
ritual.” Then drug testers visited the dressing room after a Palace game in 1987. Fortunately for Wright, testers chose two team-mates instead of him. He (apparently) never smoked a spliff again.

John Terry

JT had a number of things on his check-list before games, including listening to the same Usher CD in his car before home games, parking in the same spot and even taking a piss in the same urinal.

Kolo Toure

Another Arsenal legend from our list felt so strongly about his pre-match ritual, that he didn’t care if the match kicked-off without him. In 2009, Arsenal were kicking off their second half with 10-men, a planned thing as the referee allowed Gallas to receive extra treatment. However, Kolo’s ritual was to always be the last man to reach the pitch… no matter what. Whilst Gallas was being patched up, Kolo refused to come on until after Gallas returned.

Paul Gascoigne

Can you think of any other er who summed up British in the 90’sanymore than Gazza? His antics on and off the pitch were legendary and so too was his pre-match ritual when playing for England with Les Ferdinand.

“Honestly, you should have seen the size of his fucking cock

– Gazza

“I said to him ‘Les let me have a hold of that fucking thing’ and he did. I went on and played a blinder and scored. Next game at Wembley? ‘Les get it out’.

Do you have any pre-match rituals before you play of a weekend? Tell us via the Hashtag #ChapMatchRituals

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