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Which football teams have played in kits inspired by musicians? | Football

“Recently, the Seattle Sounders released a Jimi Hendrix-inspired kit,” writes Rashaad Jorden. “Have any other clubs released kits inspired by or paying tribute to musicians?”

A number have been sponsored by musicians; we looked at those last year and in 2009. But there are also a handful who did it for love rather than money, usually with the heritage of the town or city in mind.

“One that immediately springs to mind is Bohemians FC, who had a beautiful away shirt with an image of Bob Marley on it,” writes Kirk Burton. “Sadly, it was pulled because the club didn’t have the image rights to use it. This season Bohemians have the logo of the band Fontaines DC on their shirt, a partnership with the band. Fifteen per cent of the profits go towards a homeless charity so there is an extra incentive to buy one.”

Coventry was the spiritual home of 2 Tone in the late 1970s, thanks to bands like the Specials and the Selecter. “City’s brilliant third kit last season was inspired by the entire 2 Tone scene,” notes Chris Oakley. “Aside from that, on my Kitbliss website I once illustrated a set of kits that channelled various rock and pop performers. If readers would like to suggest more, I’d be happy to add them.”

Jörg Michner points out that “German punk band Die Toten Hosen helped hometown club Fortuna Düsseldorf several times during their career. It started out with one D-Mark from each ticket sold going to the club and, at one point, they designed special kits that were worn against Bayern Munich and eventually auctioned off to raise money.”

Finally to Manchester, where musical inspiration is plentiful. United’s current away kit bears resemblance to the iconic cover of Joy Division’s debut album Unknown Pleasures, though as far as we’re aware they have never confirmed the kit is a tribute. City were more open about their 2019-20 away shirt, which copied homaged the famous yellow and black stripes of the Haçienda nightclub. Ben Kelly, who designed the stripes, was not thrilled.

Pay to play?

“Formula One has a concept of ‘pay drivers’ – drivers in F1 teams who not only drive for free, but also bring funding or sponsorships to their teams,” tweets Ben Janseson. “Have there ever been ‘pay footballers’ in top-division professional teams?”

A number of you mentioned the story of Al-Saadi Gaddafi, son of the former Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Perugia were encouraged to sign him by the Italian government to help trade relations with Libya. He played one game as substitute against Juventus in 2003-04, making Ali Dia look like an accomplished baller by comparison.

Al-Saadi Gaddafi takes on Alessandro Del Piero during Perugia’s 1-0 win over Juventus.
Al-Saadi Gaddafi takes on Alessandro Del Piero during Perugia’s 1-0 win over Juventus. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters

A variation on the theme occurred on Merseyside. “In terms of sponsors footing the bill, surely the best example of this is Li Tie, who signed for a frugal David Moyes-run Everton on loan in a deal sorted by their sponsors, Kejian, in 2002-03,” writes Matt Beaumont. “He made a permanent move in 2003, with 66% of the funds stumped up by Kejian. The less successful Li Weifeng arrived in 2002 with Li Tie, making one appearance before shuffling off again.”

The biggest win by 10 men (2)

Last week we looked at the biggest wins and comebacks by teams with 10 men. We missed a couple of beauties …

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“In late 2018, I witnessed a 10-man side claim a big victory matching that of Bayern’s 4-0,” begins Jack Tanner. “In the final match day of the Chinese Super League season, Guangzhou Evergrande were a goal and a man down against Tianjin Teda at half-time. However, manager Fabio Cannavaro worked his magic at half-time and the home side hit four unanswered goals in the second half – three coming in the last 10 minutes. Tianjin possibly had their minds elsewhere near the end as other results meant they stayed up on goal difference.”

And for the numerous Charlton fans who rightly wrote in, there’s a Knowledge classic to mention too.

The biggest international upsets (redux)

“Is the Republic of Ireland (42nd) losing to Luxembourg (98th), the biggest difference in Fifa rankings for an international upset?” asks Jon McGuckin.

No, says this 2014 edition of a familiar column: it’s the Faroe Islands’ 169-place shock of Greece in 2014. That result inadvertently led to an even more seismic event: Greece sacked manager Claudio Ranieri, who took over at Leicester the following sumner and, well, you know the rest.

Since then, Andorra dropped a 153-place shock on Hungary, but that’s as close as anything has come. Going by a different metric, Guam (population: 165,000) beating India (1.3bn) in 2016 was quite something.

Greece lose 1-0 to the Faroe Islands back in 2014.
Greece lose 1-0 to the Faroe Islands back in 2014. Photograph: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP

Knowledge archive

“In the dying stages of a final, the camera often pans to the sideline showing an engraver putting the team name on the trophy,” wrote Richard Smith. “Has this ever backfired due to late goals or some other reason?”

According to Peter Harthan, this happened in 1991 on the last day of the Second Division season. He recalled a story told to him by Oldham’s former commercial manager, Alan Hardy: “The title was to be decided between Oldham and West Ham. The Hammers had the advantage. If they beat Notts County at Upton Park, the title was theirs. If West Ham slipped up then Oldham could take the title by beating Sheffield Wednesday at home. Although the Hammers were losing to Notts County, Oldham were also 2-0 down to Wednesday.

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“On the final whistle at West Ham the latest news was that Oldham were losing 2-1, and it was felt safe to engrave the trophy for post-match presentation. However, an equaliser from Paul Bernard led to a frenetic end at Oldham, and deep into injury-time the Latics were awarded a penalty. Neil Redfearn stepped up to win the league for Oldham with the last kick of the season. When the trophy arrived at Boundary Park two days later, it was engraved with West Ham’s name.”

Can you help?

“José Luis Chilavert has scored in the top flight of four different leagues (Paraguay, Spain, Argentina and Uruguay). Has any other keeper scored in so many different leagues?” asks Michael Gatt.

“With Ireland drawing 1-1 with Qatar, Stephen Kenny is now winless in his first 11 matches as boss,” notes Phil Kent. “Has an international manager ever waited longer for their first win? Or survived a longer winless run in general?”

“Brora Rangers have just been declared Highland League champions, having played just three games,” writes Jim Love. “Has any team won a championship playing fewer games? Or even without kicking a ball?”

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“Which player has been sent off for the most different teams (including internationals)?” asks Masai Graham.

“What is the shortest time between the final whistle of a match and its appearance on Match of the Day?” wonders Feargal Ross.

Email your questions and answers to or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU.

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