Giving Good Head: The Greatest/Smuttiest Football Headlines Ever Written

Martin Cloake

8th, February 2016



Today marks the 16th anniversary of arguably the greatest football headline ever committed to press.

When then-part-timers Inverness Caledonian Thistle beat Celtic 3-1 in a Scottish Cup tie, an inspired sub-editor at The Sun came up with the truly majestic “Super Caley Go Ballistic, Celtic Are Atrocious” – a timeless belter and no mistaking!

Sometimes the headlines just write themselves, as was the case when hard-nosed centre-back Argelico Fucks decided to leave Palmeiras and sign for Benfica.

Fucks Off To Benfica” being the inevitable choice over on Eurosport…


Well played. Well played indeed.

However, sometimes you’re forced to wonder whether the headline writers just weren’t thinking, or if there was mischief afoot.

A true classic of the medium occurred when Man City manager Kevin Keegan signed David Seaman to replace Peter Schmeichel in goal. The headline that first accompanied the story on the Sky Sports website read “Keegan Fills Schmeichel’s Gap With Seaman“.

Yuck. Just… yuck.

Unsurprisingly, it was changed pretty pronto – but not before it was screen-shotted by the entire internet for posterity’s sake…


In fairness, Sky Sports fared much better when announcing that Jo Kuffour had been released by Gillingham at the end of the 2011/12 season…


Of course, much fun has been had at the expense of Swiss side Young Boys over the years – the club’s unwittingly puerile moniker made all the worse by the fact that they happen to play their home games at the Wankdorf Stadium.

wankdorf-relief had similarly smutty fun after Juventus failed to put paid to BATE Borisov in the Champions League a few years ago…


That said, the best efforts tend to involve a much defter touch, with “Efan Blinder” (after Efan Ekoku scored four goals against Everton in 1993) definitely up there in the running.

But our absolute favourite comes courtesy of Wales Online, who once filed a match report of the 8-0 thrashing suffered by Welsh League side Pontlottyn under the dazzling headline “Pontlottyn Let A Lot In“.

Simple, but bloody effective.

Any other classic football headlines you think deserve a nod, Pies fans? Let’s hear ’em…

You can follow Martin Cloake on Twitter at @MartinCloake and find more about his books and writing at