Social media has provided an excellent platform for football fans to access content from and engage with their favourite players and teams. The industry has also come to understand the significant roles sites such as Twitter and Instagram have to play and a lot of effort has gone into educating professionals in the game as to what they can and can’t post.
Turn the clocks backwards towards the infancy of social media and football stars’ presence on there, and you’ll begin to see why. There have been some bizarre blunders in the past, some of which have been highly amusing! Marc Luther Thomas takes a look at a selection of them…
It was a busy summer of transfer activity for West Ham United back in 2019 – too busy, it would seem, for co-chairman David Gold. Gold tweeted about the signing of Spanish midfielder Pedro Obiang, with a picture of Angelo Ogbonna – an Italian international defender.
Talking of Gold, I could quite comfortably dedicate an entire blog to Wayne Rooney tweets – see the honourable mentions below. This particular tweet, though, always manages to tickle me. It would seem that England and Manchester United’s record goalscorer has been angered by someone trolling him. The manner of his attempted reply is unlike anything you’d be likely to see from any footballer nowadays, compounded by the fact he hadn’t quite worked out how to use the ‘reply’ button.
David Gold 2.0
I couldn’t resist returning to the Hammers’ co-chairman for this hilarious gaffe. While his age is the mitigating factor here, I find it difficult to laugh whenever his reply to a West Ham fan using a picture of the Inbetweeners cast reappears on my timeline. It reminds me of when numerous high profile music artists fell for videos of groups of people who had been singing together from their homes during COVID-19 lockdown, which had been edited to purport they were singing the musicians’ songs.
Fair play to Dave, though, he means well.
Christian Benteke joined Crystal Palace from Liverpool back in the summer of 2016, but a look at his Twitter page at the time might’ve left you confused! Despite updating his profile picture, and retweeting posts from the London side about his transfer, he somehow ended up with ‘Burnley FC’ in his bio. He later apologised, saying that the person responsible for his page had got a bit confused.
In 2011, Dutch forward Ryan Babel became the first Premier League player to be officially sanctioned for a social media post. Liverpool had been beaten by Manchester United in the Premier League in Kenny Dalglish’s first match back in charge of the Anfield side. United were awarded a penalty in the first half, before Steven Gerrard was sent off in the second. Babel later tweeted a photoshopped image of the match referee, Howard Webb, in a United shirt, which obviously didn’t go down too well at the FA.
Babel’s sincere(?) apology: “My apology if they take my posted pic seriously. This is just an emotional reaction after losing an important game.
“Sorry Howard Webb.”
Football Social Media Blunders – Honourable Mentions
There have been so many strange tweets from footballers throughout the past decade, mistakenly shared or otherwise, and I had a few giggles in having a look through them for this piece. What are the funniest posts you’ve seen by sport stars? Let us know!