Premier League players have often been given unusual nicknames, with Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock and Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez two that spring to mind. Here, Express Sport takes a look at five current and former stars of the division who have been handed the most bizarre pet names.
Arsenal signed Fabio Vieira from Porto last summer, with the midfielder pulling on the Gunners jersey 28 times during his maiden campaign in north London. And following his arrival at the Emirates Stadium, it took less than one day for Nuno Tavares to brand him as ‘T-Bag.’
‘T-Bag’, or Theodore Bagwell, was one of the most evil characters on hit US television series Prison Break and was portrayed by actor Robert Knepper. And Vieira isn’t the only top-flight star to be compared to the fictional murderer as Manchester United hero Gary Neville recently revealed that Wayne Rooney handed him the very same nickname when they were team-mates at Old Trafford.
Red Devils ace Harry Maguire will forever be known as ‘Slabhead’ after being given the nickname by former Leicester and England team-mate Jamie Vardy. Vardy even gatecrashed Maguire’s post-match interview after the defender had scored a header against Sweden at the 2018 World Cup as he cheekily asked the player: “Hi, this is Jamie Vardy from the Vardy Express – what is the diameter of your head?” And when Maguire left Leicester to move to Manchester in 2019, Vardy tweeted a picture of the duo together alongside the caption: “All the best Slabhead.”
If we’re looking for borderline offensive nicknames, then Darren Anderton might take the prize for that one. The ex-Tottenham midfielder, who won 30 caps for England, was nicknamed ‘Sicknote’ due to his unfortunate injury record. Anderton was regularly on and off the injury table throughout his career but still managed 317 Premier League appearances before hanging up his boots.
Perhaps the most humorous nickname of any Premier League player was ‘One Size’ Fitz Hall. The former centre-back featured for the likes of Southampton, Crystal Palace and QPR in the top-flight. And he even has his own chant dedicated to him. Hall spent the majority of his career playing in the Championship and won promotion from the second tier with Newcastle and QPR.
Arsenal hero Ray Parlour was affectionately known as ‘The Romford Pele’. And last week, the three-time Premier League champion revealed that it was Marc Overmars who gave him the nickname.
“I went through a few players in training one day and I hit the ball,” Parlour told talkSPORT. “It went straight into the top corner and he (Overmars) ran past me – this was the 1997/98 season – he said, ‘you are like the Romford Pele.’
“I said, ‘you don’t even know where Romford is.’ He said, ‘no I don’t.’ He had to do the press that afternoon, it was when Arsenal were trying to get close to Manchester United. One of the questions to Marc Overmars was, ‘can you beat Manchester United this season?’ He went, ‘we’ll definitely win the league because we’ve got the Romford Pele on our side.’ And they put it in the paper.”
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