Back when I was doing a research project on Caribbean football, I came across a delightful find. In 1993, when Trinidad & Tobago was set to launch a new professional football league, one of the teams was slated to be called the “Malcolm X Generals,” which just about sounded like the best football club name one could hope for.
It turns out there are a myriad number of slightly off-the-wall club names, owing mostly to historical cross pollination and the sheer number of teams that comprise the world’s most popular sport. Here are ten picked at random.
1 of 10
Poor old Berner Sport Club Young Boys. Though their name rings slightly weird in the 21st century, back when it was first founded in 1898, it made for a wry joke. The club was founded by current University of Bern students, after the school had already established a Berner Sport Club Old Boys for graduates. Haha, right? The joke is now lost.
2 of 10
Founded in 1996 when two other clubs merged, Deportivo Wankas was meant to be a tribute to the "Huanca" peoples in the region in Peru. Of course a Deportivo 'Huancas" would not have generated the same guffaws, and so here we are.
3 of 10
Wikipedia nails the unique origins of Grasshopper Club Zürich: "The origin of Grasshopper's name is unknown, although the most common explanation refers to its early players' energetic post-goal celebrations and that their style of play was nimble and energetic." Makes sense!
4 of 10
Rovaniemi, Finland's FC Santa Claus is a real football club that has existed since 1993 and has had a tough go staying in the second division. They have a seating capacity of 4,000 fans, who I'm sure hope their coach keeps a transfer target list and checks it twice.
5 of 10
Botswana Meat Commission FC is literally everything you want in a football club name. And this is no podunk club, either. From their wiki page on their stadium in Lobatse Botswana: "Its capacity is 22,000 and it has 5 entrances, 4 changing rooms (two for ladies and two for Gents), a medical room, VIP Grand stand with VIP Lounge, commentator box, media lounge, VIP parking and a DJ box."
6 of 10
To be honest, some of these names are just words that don't translate well. Deportivo Morón is one of them, named after the region where they play in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
7 of 10
Based in La Paz, Bolivia, Club Always Ready gets a pass for the weird name because their logo is retro slick and their alternate name is Banda Roja or Red Band.
8 of 10
Though Scotland is home to many bleak, industrial sounding football club names like Whitehill Welfare and Loco Works, Civil Service Strollers FC takes the cake.
9 of 10
Founded in 1908 (a banner year for weird football names apparently), this Bolivian club The Strongest Football Club was originally called "The Strong Football Club." The name may be a slight misnomer as they're currently in the third division.
10 of 10
The Tampa Bay Mutiny isn't a weird name, but the origins of the team badge are pretty amazing. As Kevin Payne recounts in Sports Illustrated's Oral History of MLS, "I told them, "I don't get this [Tampa Bay] 'Mutiny'. What's with the symbol?" They said, "Oh, it's a mutant bat." "Okay, what does that have to do with Mutiny?" "You know—Mutiny, mutant." I said, "Those are two different words with completely different meanings. They just share some letters. What are you doing?" Oh Major League Soccer, never change.