Why Are Arsenal Called ‘The Gunners’ (But Fans Called ‘Gooners’)?

We’ve looked previously at some of the more obscure facts about Arsenal Football Club, as well as why they’re even called ‘Arsenal’ in the first place.

But have you ever wondered where their nickname, ‘The Gunners’, comes from? And why fans are not known as ‘Gunners’, but ‘Gooners’? All will be revealed below…

Why are Arsenal Nicknamed ‘The Gunners’?

Because Arsenal Football Club was formed by munitions workers in the Royal Arsenal factory in Woolwich in south-east London, near where Arsenal were initially based.

The Royal Arsenal factory produced weapons and explosives, and so the nickname, and indeed the cannon on their badge, is a nod to their heritage.

What is the Nickname for Arsenal Fans?

Arsenal fans are more commonly known as ‘Gooners’.

Indeed, while the players and the club in general are usually referred to as ‘Gunners’, the fans tend to go by the nickname ‘Gooners’ (hence the song: ‘Ooh, to be a Gooner’, for instance.) More on that later, though.

What do Spurs Fans Call Arsenal?

Fans of Arsenal’s biggest and nearest rivals, Tottenham, have been known to call Arsenal ‘scum’, or ‘Woolwich’, in reference to the fact that they, unlike Spurs, do not have north London roots.

‘Gooners’ often reciprocate by calling Spurs ‘Spuds’ or ‘Sp*rs’.

Where did the Name ‘Gooner’ Come From?

As for the origin of the term ‘Gooner’, this is widely believed to have stemmed from the ‘Goon squad’, a popular Arsenal firm in the 1970s.

But there is also a theory that the word ‘Gooner’ first came into being in the George Robey pub in Finsbury Park by an Irishman, who would mean ‘Gunners’ but famously pronounce it ‘Gooners’.

Matthew Chandler

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