Not long ago, DVDs and VHS tapes filled with the year's greatest football blunders were the go-to Christmas present for the man in your family you had absolutely nothing to say to. These DVDs – which cut together Richard Dunne own goals, Lee Trundle showboating and League Two goalmouth scrambles – were presented by a mouthy ex-pro or a banter-related celeb.
But sadly, in 2016, they are no more: for the first time in a long time, none are scheduled for release this year. Which makes sense, of course; as any vaguely amusing football incident now ends up on social media within a few minutes of it happening, you no longer need Olly Murs or Mark Wright introducing some awful misses in an end-of-year roundup you have to pay for.So as a way to pour one out for this British football institution, here are some of the greatest football blooper DVDs and videos released over the years.
'Nick Hancock: Football Hell' (1997) and 'Nick Hancock: Football Doctor' (1999)
The OG of the genre was Danny Baker, with his seminal Own Goals and Gaffes, a series that ran from the early-90s. After Baker stepped down, the crown was swiftly taken by They Think It's All Over host Nick Hancock. His first entry, Football Nightmares, is pretty good. The sequels, however, are worrying attempts at keeping the banter fresh. Football Hell is quite literally a satanic-themed nightmare in which Hancock becomes the Aleister Crowley of own goals. He's joined by jobbing actors dressed as hooded cult members, who ham their way around a nightclub with exposed brickwork posing as a dungeon. In Football Doctor, he wears a white coat, wisecracking his way around a hospital, while a copyright-free take on the Casualty theme music plays in the background.
'Big Ron Bites Back' (1999) and 'Big Ron's Mad Mangers' (2004)
Former Man United and Villa boss Ron Atkinson made two tapes, both focusing on managers and both failing in different ways. In Big Ron Bites Back he interviews other manager mates like Dave Bassett, Terry Venables and Andy Gray (who had never actually managed a team), and spends a long, Moet-fuelled lunch with Barry Fry in what looks like a Premier Inn reception.
2004's Big Ron's Mad Mangers episode is a standard clip show, but was released just six months after Atkinson was caught on tape calling Marcel Desailly the N-word. Obviously they should have just canned the project and cut their losses. I had a Christmas job in a DVD store that year and we didn't sell a single copy of it.
'Soccer Studs With Zoe Ball' (1997)
This bizarre tape was a clichéd attempt to open up the bloopers videos market to women, with Zoe Ball compiling clips of her hottest footy hunks instead of Swindon own goals. A perfect time-capsule of "ladette" culture, the episode invites us to "Join Lee Sharpe at the pool, Ian Wright at a photoshoot and Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona at a swank premiere party." Zoe selects her "Tight Bum XI" and does some awkward dribbling on a training pitch while footage of players strutting around topless rolls throughout.
'Soccer Saturday: Cheers, Jeers and Tears' (2013)
Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling having his own bloopers DVD wasn't particularly surprising. However, this is not a collection of football clips; instead, it compiles "20 years of the show's funniest football banter". So it's actually just an hour of Soccer Saturday's "best" moments – i.e. Stelling dancing, Chris Kamara getting things wrong and Paul Merson being an incoherent mess. What they don't have the rights to, though, is any of the matches they are talking about, which makes it a football DVD without any actual football in it.
'Paddy McGuinness'S All Star Balls Ups' (2007)
Most bloopers DVDs are low budget affairs. Paddy McGuinness's All Star Balls Ups is a blockbuster, with the producers hiring out a stately home, renting a few sports cars, paying for real licensed music and even roping in cameos from ex-pros and pundits including Ian Rush, Graham Taylor and Mark Lawrenson.
Paddy plays the role of a lord of a country manor, and all the old players are his servants. It includes one horrific scene where Paddy walks into the bathroom to find Chris Kamara, Alan McInally and Paul Merson appearing to pleasure themselves over the sinks. McInally and Kammy quickly reveal that they are actually just polishing trophies, but Merson stays quiet, basically confirming he's been masturbating in front of Kammy and McInally. Then we get a crash zoom in on Paul Merson's sex face, which is an image that will haunt you for weeks.
'Olly Murs: 7 Deadly Sins of Football' (2011) and 'Mark Wright: Football Saints & Sinners' (2012)
If you can't get a football player to host your DVD, then you want to get a celeb that your dad will like – one of the less leftie blokes off of Mock the Week, or someone who was in Lock, Stock. Maybe a snooker player. Not, however, someone off of TOWIE, or a cheeky chappie who was on X-Factor a few years back, which is evident in this truly awful film.
'Ray Winstone's Football Blinders and Blunders' (2008)
This is unarguably the greatest football blunder special. Ray's actually watched the clips beforehand, which is rare – even if he does go into full-on "yer da" mode at one point, moaning about the England team "poncing about" trying to be European. But what truly earns this DVD its title is its full 10-minute section dedicated to Joe Cole.
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