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General: The best and strangest nicknames in sport

A nickname is defined as a familiar or humorous name given to a person or thing instead of or as well as the real name, and it is a culture that has been firmly embraced in sport.

Whether it be a team or an individual, there are nicknames across the sporting landscape, some of which have been defined by historical, geographical or cultural backgrounds, while others have more humorous roots.

We have delved into the world of sporting nicknames and taken a look at some of the weird and wonderful ones from a variety of different sports.

The names Bond, Nigel Bond

There are some sports that embrace the world of nicknames more than others and snooker certainly falls into that category.

The likes of Ronnie 'the Rocket' O'Sullivan and Jimmy 'Whirlwind' White are names that are synonymous with the sport and fit their characters around the table, but delve a little deeper and there are some really fun and initiative nicknames to be had.

Take world number 69 Nigel Bond, who has cleverly combined his namesake - the fictional character James Bond created by Ian Fleming - with a 147 from snooker to make '00-147".

Other standout names include Anthony 'Sheriff of Pottingham' Hamilton (guess where he's from) and Alan 'Angles' McManus, who is famed for his safety play.

Nicknames are also prominent in darts, from the slightly uninventive Mervyn 'the King' King, to the almost derogatory Jonny 'the Ferret' Clayton and Daryl 'SuperChin' Gurney, before you discover a personal favourite such as Mark 'Frosty the Throw Man' Frost.

Boxing nicknames are also iconic, albeit they tend to be less tongue in cheek then those from the world of snooker and darts, but arguably some of the best nicknames have come from the ring, whether that be 'The Greatest' Muhammad Ali, 'Smokin' Joe Frazier or 'Iron' Mike Tyson.

C'mon you Cucumber Growers

A lot of nicknames in British football tend to be uninventive, how many Blues, Reds, Whites etc do we hear up and down the country?

Moving further afield and there a plenty of weird and wonderful nicknames in Spain, anyone for 'the Mattress Makers' of Atletico Madrid or 'the Yellow Submarine of Villarreal - yes the latter does have loose links to the famous Beatles song.

Spain could well be the nickname capital of Europe, with Segunda Division side Leganes known as 'the Cucumber Growers' due to the extensive production of that particular vegetable in the area - they are even known to present visiting teams with a basket of their famed produce.

In Italy, Chievo Verona are known as 'the Flying Donkeys', a nickname given to them by rivals Hellas Verona, who unveiled a banner during a derby clash in the 1990s that read "When donkeys will fly, we'll face you in a derby in Serie A".  Chievo were first promoted to the Italian top flight just a few years later in 2001.

Does one size really Fitz Hall?

Individual nicknames in football tend to be few and far between these days, but a notable exception is for former Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle United defender Fitz Hall, who is known affectionately as 'One Size'.

More famous footballing nicknames include Stuart 'Psycho' Pearce, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez and Franz 'Der Kaiser' Beckenbauer .

Other notable mentions must go to former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour, who is known as 'the Romford Pele' and ex-Manchester United star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who looked like he could still pull off being a 'Baby-Faced Assassin' during his time as manager at Old Trafford.

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