A History of Premier League Nicknames

Have you ever wondered where certain clubs got their nicknames from? Some are obvious, for example, Liverpool play in Red and are known as the Reds. Some have a number of nicknames but are better known by just one of them.

Here is your guide to all things nicknames and history.


Arsenal – The Gunners


Arsenal’s nickname goes right back to when the club was founded. In 1886, workers at Woolwich Arsenal Armament Factory decided to form a football club called Dial Square. The club would be renamed as Woolwich Arsenal, the prefix was dropped  in 1913, but their original connection with the armament industry remained.



Bournemouth – The Cherries 


Their are two different beliefs as to why they are called The Cherries. Firstly because of the cherry red striped shirts the side wear and secondly, Dean Court, their home ground was built next to the Cooper-Dean estate which included many cherry orchards.



Brighton & Hove Albion – The Seagulls


Brighton is a south England seaside town, but that’s not believed to be the main reason why. In the 1974/75 season in a game against their rivals, Crystal Palace, some traveling Palace fans started to chant ‘Eagles, Eagles, Eagles’ to which the Brighton fans responded with ‘Seagulls, Seagulls, Seagulls’. In 1977 their crest was changed to feature a seagull and the nickname has stuck ever since.



Burnley –  The Clarets


Burnley are simply nicknamed The Clarets because their home shirt is claret colored. They are also referred to as The Claret and Blue because they wear blue shorts and the sleeves of their shirts are usually blue.



Cardiff City  – The Bluebirds


The Welsh club have played in blue and white since 1908, apart from a few season recently when the owner decided to rebrand, but the red home kit wasn’t liked by many of its fans so they reverted back to blue and white.



Chelsea – The Blues, The Pensioners 


The Blues because they play in blue.

The nickname The Pensioners comes from the well known Chelsea Pensioners, who were war veterans living in a nearby hospital. In 1905 the club adopted the crest of  the Chelsea pensioners, and the nickname followed.



Crystal Palace –  The Eagles, Palace

Crystal Palace.png

Before the mid 1970s Crystal Palace were known as the Glaziers as a reference to the Crystal Palace, the great steel and glass structure that is their name sake.
When Malcolm Allison became manager they were referred to as Allison’s Eagles

They are also known as Palace, which doesn’t take much guessing as to why.



Everton –  The Toffees


A local sweet shop known as Mother Noblett’s sold and advertised the Everton mint. The sweet shop is located opposite Prince Rupert’s Tower, which forms the majority of their crest.


Fulham –  The Cottagers


Another pretty simple explanation. The London club have played at Craven Cottage since 1896. Part of the Craven Cottage ground is an actual cottage which is an iconic and famous part of the stadium.



Huddersfield Town – The Terriers


It started as a marketing ploy but fans voted in 1969 to include terriers on the club’s badge and from then on they were nicknamed The Terriers, although many fans of the club and locals refer to them as The Town.

Their mascot is a Terrier called Terry the Terrier.

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Leicester City – The Foxes

Leicester City.png

An image of a fox was first incorporated into the club crest in 1948, as Leicestershire is known for foxes and fox hunting.

Their mascot is a fox called Filbert Fox.
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Liverpool – The Reds


Liverpool adopted the city’s color of red and have used it for their home strip ever since, the nickname The Reds just followed on from that.


Manchester City City, The Sky Blues, The Citizens, Man City

Man City

City and Man City are pretty self-explanatory nicknames.

The Sky Blues come from the color of their shirts.

The Citizens simply evolves from the term city.



Manchester United – The Red Devils

Man United.png

An English rugby club called Salford had toured France in the 1930s wearing red shirts and became known as “The Red Devils”. Sir Matt Busby liked the sound of it, thinking a devil was more intimidating to opponents than angelic babes – and also had to reflect the fact the side would now feature more experienced players.

The Manchester United mascot is a Red Devil call ‘Fred The Red’.

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Newcastle United The Magpies


The Magpie is a black and white bird and Newcastle play in black and white stripes.

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Southampton – The Saints


Southampton has had the nickname of The Saints since its inception in 1885 due to its history as a church football team, founded as St. Mary’s Church of England Young Men’s Association, and they play in red and white shirts.


Tottenham Hotspur – Spurs, The Lilywhites


Spurs is pretty simple, it’s short for hotspur. It ressonates back to the person in which the club was named after, Henry Percy aka “Harry Hotspur”, who was given the nickname of Hotspur as he dug in his spurs to make his horse go faster as he charged in battles, and he was also said to be fond of fighting cocks fitted with spurs (hence the cockerel on the badge).

The Lilywhites comes from the color of their shirts. Ever since the 1898/99 season they have played in navy blue shorts and white shirts.



Watford – The Hornets 


The nickname was chosen by the club’s supporters because they play in black and yellow. In England a hornet is similar to a wasp and can sting or bite but not as badly as a wasp.



West Ham United – The Hammers, The Irons

West Ham

The club was originally founded in June 1895 as Thames Ironworks, hence the nickname The Irons.

The nickname The Hammers originates from West Ham’s badge, which features two riveting hammers, the kind that were used by the shipyard workers of Thames Ironworks.



Wolverhampton Wanderers – Wolves, The Wanderers 


This one is pretty self-explanatory. Wolves is short for Wolverhampton and The Wanderers comes from the latter part of the club’s name.


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