Wearing ‘lucky shirt’ and sitting in same seat – footie fans’ matchday rituals

Wearing your 'lucky shirt' and sitting in the same seat with the same people for every game are among British football fans' most enduring matchday rituals.

A study of 2,000 football fans revealed wearing your team’s scarf, watching a match with the same people and meeting at the same pub for a game were other practices carried out by football-loving Brits.

And fans’ favourite rituals from the pros included Harry Kane having to put his left boot, sock and shin pad on first and Paul Ince putting his shirt on once he got onto the pitch during Euro 96.

Gary Neville’s routine of sitting on the toilet with the lid down and reading the match programme was also a top ranked custom.

The study has been commissioned by Dettol, the Official Hygiene Partner of The Football Association as part of the "Dettol Up Play On” movement, fans and players from grassroots to the elite level are reminded to adopt healthy hygiene rituals, for all to enjoy the game they love.

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More than four in 10 have matchday rituals and will be carrying them out with the mindset that if they don’t follow them, they would blame themselves for their team’s defeat.

Routines were a true passion point for fans as 39 per cent of respondents stated they would follow their matchday ritual wherever possible.

A spokesperson from Dettol, who commissioned the research, said: “We know routine is an important component in adopting long lasting hygiene behaviours and it’s reassuring the research has found rituals are very important to football fans.

“This gives us confidence that by engaging the football community through rituals we can have a tangible impact.”

It also emerged fifth follow rituals purely out of habit, while 21 per cent do it in the hope it’ll bring their side good luck.

One in six have even passed down rituals to their children.

A third revealed they only have rituals in their life when it comes to football – and fans will carry out more than two rituals to ensure their side has the best chance of success.

A third of supporters carry out such practices regardless of whether they’re watching on the telly or in person – while 21 per cent alter theirs if they’re in a stadium or in their front room.

One in six would never consider stopping such habits, citing them as a crucial part of their match-day routine.

Interestingly, the majority of fans (46 per cent) prefer to watch the beautiful game in the comfort of their own home compared 26 per cent who love to soak up the match atmosphere in person.

And with international football returning this week, the vast majority will be watching from home, the pub or round a friend’s house – with one in 10 lucky enough to get tickets to matches in stadiums.

TOP 10 FOOTBALL FAN RITUALS

  1. Sitting in the same chair or seat

  2. Wearing the team’s scarf/hat

  3. Buying a programme

  4. Always watching with the same people

  5. Wearing your lucky shirt

  6. Watching at the same pub

  7. Meeting at the same pub to have a pint

  8. Keeping your eyes closed if your team has a penalty

  9. Walk/drive the same route to the ground

  10. Eating/ drinking the same thing pre-game

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