It's that time of year once again: yes, the season when well-meaning but hideously misguided relatives decide that there's nothing you, as a football fan, would rather have than some utter junk with your team's logo on it.
So as a public service to all football fans out there, and with a doff of the cap to our colleagues over at Dirty Tackle, please find below our selection of the absolute worst of the Christmas crap - available to buy from a good club shop near you!
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Borussia Dortmund barbecue and grill cleaner
Football clubs will sell anything they can slap their logo on, but few officially licensed items will disappoint and confuse your least favourite person on that holiday gift list more than BVB grill cleaner.
Why does this exist? Because grill cleaning really is a task that requires the speed and precision for which Dortmund are famous. Also, there's a good chance Jurgen Klopp uses it as mouthwash.
The Colchester United Rubik's Cube
Fair play to Colchester's club shop: they seem totally unembarrassed about the fact that Rubik's cubes haven't been remotely interesting since 1983. Nor do they worry about pricing it at £9.99 plus £3.95 postage, making a full tenner more than a normal Rubik's cube will cost you on Amazon.
Liverpool's Anfield Stadium Hawaiian shirt
Our colleagues at World of Sport and Dirty Tackle have featured this beauty before, but somehow it seems even more awful with a second viewing.
"Priced at £40 and, at the time of writing, available in all sizes except extra small and extra extra large - which are probably the two sizes of people most likely to wear a shirt like this," as Dirty Tackle wrote a couple of months ago.
"You can almost hear the echos of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' just by looking at it. And yet, whoever wears this shirt probably will end up walking alone more often than not."
Aston Villa bread press
This might be the most useless item ever sold, not just by a football club, but by anyone anywhere. This is the Aston Villa bread press. Your first thought upon seeing it was probably, "Why?" Well, the club shop doesn't offer much help there as the item's description is simply "Aston Villa Bread Press."
But who wants to eat bread with letters smashed into it? Has there ever been an Aston Villa fan who thought, "My sandwiches and toast always taste like turd because they don't have AVFC bludgeoned into them."? Does everyone know that you will never get back the time spent using the Aston Villa bread press?
The bread press is available in one size only and can be ordered in quantities up to 10. It is priced at £4.79, which seems a bit expensive for a bit of plastic.
Manchester City's bespectacled, beard-wearing piggy bank
What better way to inspire a new generation of Manchester City fans? A money-filled object that will look good for a few years, but whose inherent fragility will almost certainly see it end up smashed sooner or later.
Remember kids, save hard and you too might be able to buy your own football club! (It'll help if your family owns mineral rights in the world's largest oil field.)
Perhaps our absolute favourite thing about this is the price: just £4.25 - but if you want it gift wrapped, it'll cost you an extra £6.
Fulham's Mohamed Al Fayed garden gnome, USB memory stick and commemorative postcard
We'll start off with the garden gnome, which stands a full 12 inches high, and seems utterly surreal. That's until you see the USB stick:
Once you've seen the USB stick, you'll realise that you've underrated the power of the word 'surreal;, and the garden gnome will seem positively sane. Surely now, you'll think, the bottom of the barrel has been scraped. You'd be wrong...
...and that's when you see the commemorative Al Fayed nude postcard. Words fail us.
The Liverpool elf hat
Signed Manchester United painting of a hideously misfigured Rio Ferdinand riding piggy back on Wes Brown
You might think that rabid United fans would have snapped this sort of thing up regardless of its hideousness. You'd be right: these signed, limited edition posters have now sold out.
- Sports & Recreation
- Aston Villa