So, then. It’s April Fools Day this weekend. A time for jokes, gags, pranks, stunts and wind-ups. But rather than leaving it all to comedians and newspaper editors, we thought we’d focus in on the real kings of the practical joke – footballers. Yes, that’s right, we all know that there’s no one funnier than a second choice Championships left back, don’t we?
We decided that we’d dig deep into the old tradition of the footballer prank and carefully sort the funny from the shameful, the inspired from the dangerous. And then then just chuck them all at you anyway in no particular order. So here goes. Here are the top seven ‘funniest’ ever prank pulled by footballers (inverted commas intended for some examples…):
Mohamed Bangura’s Car Covered in Post-It Notes By Celtic Pals
In what has to be one of the most meticulously-executed practical jokes ever, Celtic players decided to dress their striker pal Mohamed Bangura’s motor up like a middle-aged woman’s computer monitor. Not only would this gag have taken ages and cost a small fortune, someone would have had to nip down to Ryman’s and pick up 150 packs of Post-It Notes for it. Now that’s dedication. When the Bhoys pull a prank, they don’t half put the effort in.
Kenwyne Jones Gets a Pig’s Head Left in His Locker
Practical jokes don’t always amuse everyone, though. Sometimes the joker can make a real pig’s ear of a prank. Stoke City and Republic of Ireland midfield grafter Glenn Whelan thought it’d be a laugh to leave a swine’s head in the locker of his teammate Kenwyne Jones’ locker. Jones, who is deeply religious, didn’t see the funny side though. Obviously. And reacted angrily…
An anonymous club insider who was there on the day told the tabloids this: “It was chaos, we could hear shouting and yelling coming from the dressing room area but we had no idea what had happened. But Kenwyne Jones stormed out in a rage.”
That rage was real too. Jones went straight out into the car park and threw a brick through the windscreen of Whelen’s brand new Porsche. And the whole sorry incident ended up being reported to the local police. What a giggle, eh?
Chelsea Youth Player’s Smoke Bomb Gag Backfires
When you hear the words ‘Chelsea’, ‘prank’, ‘training ground’ and ‘backfires’, you could be forgiven for thinking of that HILARIOUS time that Ashley Cole decided to shoot a work experience kid at Cobham with an air rifle (Ha ha ha! We’re still laughing at that CLASSIC now). But the incident we want to talk about here ups the ante somewhat and upgrades the weapon from gun to bomb. Albeit only a smoke bomb.
We’re referring to when young midfielder Jacob Mellis set off a smoke grenade and caused a full-scale evacuation of the training facilities. The joke didn’t leave Mellis laughing too much, mind. Chelsea sacked him and now he plays for Bury.
Stoke Players Try To Turn Michael Owen’s Car Into a Cake
Another prank from those relentless bantermeisters over at the Britannia Stadium and it’s mischievous leprechaun Glenn Whelan behind the wheel(an) again. This time he’s causing a little less controversy and going old school with his pranking. Teaming up with his midfield chum Dean Whitehead – a man with a face like a haunted cliff – they decided to send off the retiring ex-England striker Michael Owen with a classic. They threw eggs and flour at his car like a pair of cheeky schoolboys. This Just William-style jape, suffice to say, didn’t end up typed up and on some disapproving policeman’s desk.
Robbie Goes Savage On Ref; Gives Him a Brown Card
Back in 2002, professional irritant Robert ‘Robbie’ Savage kicked up a real stink when he left a present for referee Graham Poll in his changing room toilet. He dropped his Blackburn Rovers shorts and left a physical representation of his entire playing and punditry career bobbing about in the pan water. He got caught and fined heavily by his club. So he might not have flushed his little brown gift, but he did flush ten grand down the toilet.
Mario Balotelli’s £150k Maserati Gets Ruined By Rotten Fish
Another car prank, another stinky dump. This time though, the dump comes courtesy of a fishmonger, not Robbie Savage. While at Manchester City, Italian firebrand Mario Balotelli got done up like a kipper by his teammates. Literally. They left a seaload of the stinky breakfast fish in his new £150,000 Maserati just as he left for a two week break and by the time he returned? Well, you can imagine. The fish has started rotting, his ride was covered in flies and – we imagine – it might just a stunk a wee bit.
A Festive Gazza Gets Creative in the Kitchen
We saved the best ’til last here for you. Nowadays, there’s not too much to laugh about when you think about ex-Spurs and England’s mercurial talent Paul Gascoigne. But at the peak of his powers? The Geordie was a one man prank machine. Barely a day would go by without Gazza doing something silly like pitching up to training on a live ostrich (yep, really). But it was his rotund chum Jimmy ‘Five Bellies’ that got the brunt of the jokes.
When Gazza was playing for Lazio, he booked his pal a flight to come and see him play. But that journey from the UK to Rome had a little stop-off… In Tokyo. Perhaps the weirdest and funniest Five Bellies-suffered prank, though? Well, it could be the time Gascoigne spent £1,000 on a special robot which he got programmed to say, “Make me a cup of tea, fat man.” But it itsn’t.
Our absolutely favourite Gazza prank? As simple as it is disgusting. There’s no subtlety or finesse in this wheeze. Gazza made his overweight mate a batch of mince pies. How lovely, eh? Well, no. The filling wasn’t mincemeat. It was cat sh*t.
Happy April Fools Day, everyone. Best park your car in the garage, lock your locker and refuse any baked goods from Gazza.