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Thursday, 23 May, 2002, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK

Your soccer superstitions

As 32 countries compete for the ultimate in footballing glory, some fans will have wacky ways of spurring their team to victory.

How will you conjure up World Cup luck?


Some attributed France's success in the 1998 World Cup to Laurent Blanc planting a kiss on Fabien Barthez's bald head before each game.

But it is not just players who put their faith in the sporting gods - fans of the beautiful game can be just as superstitious.

How far are you prepared to go to help your side?

Tell us what you do to bring your team luck.

Have your say


Call me mad but I have a last resort when things aren't going too well. He's called Alan Green. If I'm watching the game on the box and England or Man Utd are losing I turn Greeny's commentary on from Five Live. It sounds stupid, but the games have turned around so many times now it's ridiculous.The Greece equaliser from Beckham was Alan Green at his best!
Paul Kelly, UK

Not so much a superstition, more an observation. Remember Keegan's immortal "there's only one team going to win this now" from France 98? Well in the game against Cameroon on Sunday the immortal line "Cameroon are going to be the first African team to beat England" was uttered - sure enough 30 seconds later it was 2-2. Can someone get Motty to make some sort of comment every game in this World Cup please? E.G Argentina are looking the more likely to score! Sweden are the only team going to win this! Nigeria should be 3 up! I guarantee a goal for England every time.
Lee Farrell, England

" I find my superstitions are strangely never 100% reliable "
R Callister, England

Listening to the game in the bath usually does the trick. I first noticed this when Southampton beat Manchester United 6-3 a few years back. Needless to say I haven't had as many baths as I should have when Southampton are playing.
Simon Young, England

Here's a good one - particularly for the Beeb. In the last two major tournaments (France 98, Euro 2000), whenever the BBC broadcast England matches, we win, whenever ITV do the same, we lose. Freaky? Looks like we will get through to the second round after all!
Will, England

I find my superstitions are strangely never 100% reliable, so each time they fail I adapt them to explain their failings. Unfortunately they are getting more and more elaborate, and now mean that I have to wear my scarf, not even look at my replica kit, drink beer (has to be empty by half time) and because when my wife either enters or leaves the room we seem to concede a goal, she has to either start the game with me, or not join me at all! Sooner or later I will have the perfect match winning routine, and very possibly a divorce on my hands!
R Callister, England

" I always find that England play so much better after I have had several pints of lager "
Name Here

My lucky pants! A pair of old red and white things. Saw me through my successful Sunday league career with an assurance others can only dream about. They never fail (apart from last year's Div One play-off final). However, the elastic's gone now so I face a dilemma: throw them away, and with them England's World Cup hopes? New elastic? New pair of lucky pants sworn in? Just don't do anything and have them hanging down by my knees? Strangely, my wife seems uninterested and unwilling to discuss which option I should choose.
Neil Warren, England

I always find that England play so much better after I have had several pints of lager. Strange isn't it.
Joe, UK

Since I am quite injury prone, I'm always worried about picking up a knock, especially just before big games. If I remember to do this I've yet to be injured - basically, the night before, I put my pants on backwards, wear a stupid woolly hat and chant my Notts Forest chant about Jermaine Jenas (now sadly left.) It never fails for me I tell you.
Ben Fox, England

If Sunderland are losing by one goal, I always take off my watch and put it into my pocket. When they equalise I put it back on. I have done this in nearly every game for about 10 years.
Ian Edwards, England

" My superstition is that if the team I'm supporting score more goals than the opposition then they always seem to win "
James Fisher, England

When Leeds were in the Champions League I spilt some spaghetti bolognese down my Leeds top during the first televised game, which we won. I did exactly the same for the second game and after that I didn't wash the top and deliberately spilt spaghetti on it every game. It nearly worked, we got to the semis!
John-Paul, England

When I play for my Sunday league team I always kit out my left side first. I also have a sock which has a hole in it which I always wear on my right foot, because strangely it brings us luck
Peter Cotton, England

When England lost on penalties to West Germany in the 1990 semi-final I had a mullet like Chris Waddle's. Now I always have a haircut before each game.
Brian Weir, England

I notice that anytime I watch a game naked, the team I support will win.
Tah, Cameroon

Not really a superstition, but I was in Bangkok on holiday for the last two World Cup finals, and I'll be there again on 30 June.
Andrew, New Zealand

My superstition is that if the team I'm supporting score more goals than the opposition then they always seem to win, it never fails. If my team doesn't score they never win, so it must work.
James Fisher, England

" I simply back the opposing side with a 10 bet. It rarely fails "
Chris B, England

I kiss my mate Dickie's head before every Ireland match. I sort of copied it from Blanc/Barthez but it worked for them so hopefully it will work for us.
Wafer Head Kennedy, Ireland

Living in Germany I get a lot of info about what the Germans think of us. The only reason why we don't win anything is, because Franz Beckenbauer says we are going to win a tournament - every time. Can't somebody shut him up? Then we might have a real chance!!
Andy, Germany

Praying to St. Jude often helps. The patron saint of desperate causes.
Roddy, UK

I've found a good way of getting my team to win: I simply back the opposing side with a 10 bet. It rarely fails - and works for most other sports too!
Chris B, England

In Euro 2000, when England were playing Germany, I stuck up an old Germany kit and wrote 'rubbish' on it. We won, so I did it for England's qualifier against Germany and we won again!
Daniel McCarthy, England

" Always buy a packet of mint flavoured Poppets before the game and eat half the packet each half! "
Manu, England

We seem to win games more often if I don't watch them, so I have a dilemma - stay in bed and pray in my sleep or get up and watch us tumble gloriously from the tournament!
Nick, England

Sod's Law, someone always scores when I go to the toilet. So if England are 1-0 ahead against Sweden or Argentina I'll be staying right where I am. We could be the team that scores the second goal, making it 2-0, but I'm not taking any chances.

Instead, I'll be going easy on my pint, struggling to control my bladder while the lads struggle to control the pig's bladder on the damp long grass in Japan.
Dave, UAE

Always buy a packet of mint flavoured Poppets before the game and eat half the packet each half!
Manu, England

I always drink a cup or two of coffee. This came about in December 2001 after Arsenal were beaten 1-3 at Highbury by Newcastle. Arsenal's next Premiership game was away to Liverpool.

" If I roll in cow dung before the day before England games, and dance naked around a maypole, we usually draw "
Rod Jenkin, England

I had a cup of coffee and Arsenal won 2-1, despite being down to ten men. In all the subsequent Premiership and FA Cup games Arsenal scored after I'd had the customary cup or two of coffee.

My superstitious belief was strengthened in the game against Aston Villa at Highbury - Villa went 2-0 ahead before I'd had the chance to get the cup of coffee. I got myself the beverage and lo and behold the Gunners went on to win 3-2.
Mitesh Shah, England

If I roll in cow dung before the day before England games, and dance naked around a maypole, we usually draw. So I won't do that anymore.
Rod Jenkin, England

In 1998 I was on holiday in London for the final week of the World Cup. The atmosphere in the pubs during the build-up games was magnificent, but I was ill come the day of the final.

So I watched my team, France, win the World Cup from my bed in a cheap hotel in London. And that is precisely where I'll go again, if we get to the final. Hope the same room is free...


Pierre, Dijon, France

My lucky shorts, haven't lost a game wearing them.
Sven, UK

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