Five Things Not To Buy A Football Fan For Christmas

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 06:  Twenty year veteran children's entertainer and actor Phil Cale dresses in his Santa suite for his 6th year playing the professional role of Father Christmas at Stanhope Gardens Shopping Centre on December 6, 2009 in Sydney, Australia. Straight Down The Line Promotions is one company training and supplying hundreds of Santa's to Australian suburban areas, Phil Cale will see an estimated 4000 children during his 35 day assignment at Stanhope Gardens Shopping Centre this year.  (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

So the clock ticks ever closer to the season of goodwill and as a self confessed lover of Christmas, a word of warning for fellow football fans hoping to receive that special something in their Christmas stocking or under the tree. As the years have gone by, I have sometimes received presents based purely on the fact that I am a football fan. Despite who I support, occasionally, a gift would arrive that often stated by it’s appearance, was bought, simply because it was related no matter how tenuously, to football.

What you have to be aware of, is the danger of the gift arriving that can ruin your day. Some of you may in your infancy as football fans, some may be lifelong football fans but all of us should be afraid of the present that can deflate your spirits quicker than discovering your mums new boyfriend is Sven Goran-Erikkson. Here are the 5 worst things that football fans need to be aware of on Christmas Day.


This one is a very common spoiler of Christmas Day celebrations for football fans the world over. More often than not more people support less successful sides than the ones that win the trophies. Unfortunately, the more success a side has, the more books tend to be written about them. This has seen myself recieve books about Arsenal and Chelsea in the past as well as a book about Real Madrid. All from well meaning relatives, but sadly wide of the mark. Of course, the benefit of this situation is that you can recycle such presents to either a local charity shop or another friend the following Christmas. Be aware and make sure even Great Aunt Betty knows who you support.


A truly chilling sight to meet those hung over and reddened eyes on Christmas Morning is the footballers autobiography. Why? To put it simply 95% of them are utterly dreadful. The autobiography has probably been the most saturated genre in football writing since the Premiership became the global money making machine it is today and it shows. No one still playing has anything vaguely interesting to say, or as in Ashley Cole’s case, they say something so deluded it makes them a hate figure. What you hope for is one of the truly great ones, such as Tony Cascarino’s, Brian Clough’s, Roy Keane’s, Paul Gascoigne’s or Bobby Robson’s. Make sure you let them know!


Here in the UK, there are numerous opportunities for you to receive some of the most ghastly clothing made in the world, simply because it either will have the word football or soccer on it or a picture of a football. Most of these items will be awful as a simple football attired item, but in this day and age, the wonders of technology have given us a greater horror. The musical tie/socks/boxer shorts/hat in a muzak style of sound. This may sound something like the theme to Match of the Day, but after 73 plays before the Doctor Who special has even started, can cause a reaction similarly to that of Jack Nicholson to a winter as a caretaker. Keep it replica kit safe!


Sometimes, people make the strangest football connected items that really does make you think if someone was on serious medication, needed serious medication or simply had a night out with John Belushi in 1980 and never got over it. For dreadful items, this for me takes the biscuit. Who in there right mind pitches that at a meeting. “Tell you what guys, these are going to be flying off the shelves”. The comments alone are worth viewing the item for. Staggering.


Now I don’t know about you, but I love football, I love NFL, Tennis and Golf. I really enjoy Darts, no don’t laugh. Unfortunately most other sports leave me cold. Be aware, some people think if you like one sport, you like them all. This can lead to all sorts of unrelated crap getting wrapped up and sent to you under the guise of a thoughtful present. Here in England this usual involves two games hardly any other country plays or gives two hoots about, Cricket and Rugby. These include books about such sports, DVD’s, even tickets. Please use point one’s guide to recycling.

So there you have it, 5 key points to watch out for this Christmas but later this week I’ll be looking at some things you really should stick on your Christmas list and what will wow the football fan. Season’s greetings!

Please leave me your feedback, especially about awful football related Christmas presents below and you can follow me at

13 thoughts on “Five Things Not To Buy A Football Fan For Christmas”

  1. Here’s another: “Bloody Confused!” by Chuck Klosterman. I guess it’s an OK book if you’ve never heard of soccer or the EPL, but anyone who has a basic grasp of how the Euro soccer leagues work will be bored to tears after 10 pages.

    1. I agree on the Bloody Confused. Never finished it. It took to rudimentary of an approach for anyone having any knowledge of European football leagues, and especially the English Leagues.

    2. Actually, “Bloody Confused” was one of the first books I read to help introduce myself to English football. And I thought it was a great place to start for someone who knows absolutely nothing and needs to orient themselves. It’s particularly great for American sports fans, because there is a lot of compare/contrast between the different sports cultures.

      If there is someone in your life who knows nothing about English football and you would like to introduce them, I would highly recommend this book as a starting place.

  2. OK…this is shameless. So sue me.

    If you’re looking for football related stuff go first to “”. Yes, my son works for them, but what does that have to do with it? They are a family owned business based in Hillsborough, NC….not some corporate conglomerate. They support our soccer fix by consistently advertising on FSC, which helps to bring all those games to us (no whining about pop-ups!).

    So, have a heart. Buy “”. Keep him and his wife in Raleigh where they belong and not thinking about moving in with us over here on the coast in Beaufort.

    Thank you ever so much and Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day! :-)

      1. at least that Jersey comes with air conditioning…and when you have outgrown it you can ship it off to a third world country for them to use it.
        Value for money there!

        1. The good news is that they have only produced three of those kits thus far, and the rest won’t be available until the World Cup. So if you do receive it for Christmas, it will probably be worth a lot on resale.

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