The first team that we will look at is the team that inspired this article, Stamford AFC. The Daniels, for that is their nickname, play in the NPL Premier League but where did their unusual monicker come from? You would be excused for thinking that it was, maybe, a hangover from an old works team name. There are, after all, many examples of teams that have retained names from their days as the sports team attached to a factory. However, in the case of Stamford it is far more obscure. Daniel Lambert is, in fact, where the nickname originates from. Daniel who? You may say. Well, Daniel Lambert was recorded as the heaviest ever man in Britain. He died in 1809, in the town of Stamford, weighing in at an incredible 52 stone (give or take the odd pound). He is buried in the churchyard of St Martin's which lies just a few hundred yards from the club's home, Borderville Stadium.
Moving South somewhat, we come to the Northamptonshire town of Wellingborough where we find two United Counties teams and two unusual nicknames to go with them. Starting with the UCL Premier side, Wellingborough Town, or the Doughboys as they are known. If you know anything about the Wellingborough area, home of Whitworths flour manufacturers, you would think flour, dough, Doughboys. It seems to make sense. However, the nickname is actually thought to derive from a local speciality "ock 'n' dough" comprising of hock of bacon and vegetables wrapped in pastry. A Northamptonshire pasty, you could say.
The other Wellingborough team, Whitworth, are known as the Flourmen. This is no real surprise as the team was originally called Whitworths and, presumably, was the football team of the Whitworth flour factory some 200 yards from the ground. The strange thing about Whitworth is that the connection to the flour company is not mentioned on the website or on Wikipedia at all. In fact, the official website history states the team was formed as result of the Wellingborough Ideal Clothiers club disbanding. So, maybe there is another reason for the Flourmen nickname? Maybe someone will enlighten us?
From Northamptonshire we move North-West to Halesowen and a bit of a mystery nickname. Halesowen Town are known as The Yeltz. The have been known as The Yeltz for as long as anyone can remember. However, no-one really seems to have a good explanation for this odd name. The official club website (http://www.ht-fc.com/history/club-history/why-the-yeltz.html) has an entire section dedicated to the question Why the Yeltz? and, as it states, the truth is - nobody really knows. I'll let you decide which theory seems to be the most realistic. My personal favourite is actually the least likely (and most likley one to be an April Fool joke) about the Hungarian player Pungus Catfich.
From the industrial West Midlands to leafy West London and Hampton & Richmond Borough FC, on the banks of the Thames. The club is known as The Beavers and, with such proximity to the river, you may think with good cause. But wait....beavers...in London. Maybe there is more to this name than meets the eye. Well, maybe. Hampton & Richmond play at The Beveree, named after the house whose grounds the stadium once stood in. There is a nearby road called Beaver Close and an ancient stream flows under the pitch, into the Thames a few hundred yards away. So, the nickname could come from the name of the house or it could be a reference to the animal which may have lived on the banks of the river before it became extinct in the UK. We may never know for sure.
Not a million miles away to the west lies the Surrey town of Chertsey, home of Combined Counties Premier side Chertsey Town. Here we find another unusual nickname, The Curfews. This is apparently a reference to a famous local bell that hangs in St Peter's Church. This was used to signal the start of the curfew in town each evening (now used ceremonially only, of course) and may date back as far as 1235. Details on the Chertsey Curfew Bell can be found here (http://www.stpeterschertsey.org/bells/curfew.htm).
Our final stop for now is the North East and the Teeside town of Billingham. One of the local teams in the town is called Billingham Synthonia who are nicknamed, unsurprisingly, The Synners. However, this still qualifies as an unusual nickname because of the nature of the club's name, Synthonia, which is actually a contraction of "synthetic amonia". This was a product manufactured by ICI with whom the club, at one time, had a close connection. So, Billingham Synthonia hold the dubious title of being the only club (as far as we know) to be named after an agricultural fertiliser. Surely something that has not escaped rival fans over the years?
That's it for this whirlwind tour around the nicknames of non-league football. Hopefully there will be a second edition coming out soon. Meanwhile, do you know of any unusual nicknames out there? Woudl you like to see a team fatured here. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet @basepyramid #nicknames.