18+ | Commercial Content | T&Cs apply | Begambleaware.org
Every club has certain players that they remember fondly. We're not necessarily talking about the players that stay at your club for a long time or ones that lead your club to glory. Cult Heroes are often none for one incident, their work rate, a particular goal, or simply their passion. We've come up with a selection of cult heroes for the current 20 Premier League clubs based on fans opinions and research. We might not have selected the players you would have but that is the beauty of the cult hero, it's all based on opinion.
Jens Lehmann – The German shot-stopper was brought in to replace Arsenal legend, David Seaman in 2003. Many were underwhelmed by the signing, but Lehmann soon endeared himself to the Gunner's faithful with his theatrics on and off the pitch and made a name for himself during Arsenal's progression to the Champions League final, only to be sent-ff after just 20-minutes.
Olof Mellberg – The big-beared Swedish centre-back signed for Villa in 2001 and soon made himself an integral part of the team. Mellberg said and did all the right things on and off the pitch. The Swedish international admitted his dislike for Birmingham City and provided all of the Villa away fans at his final game for the club with a shirt that had ‘Thanks 4 Your Support' embroidered on the back.
Bruno – The Spanish right-back signed for the Seagulls towards the end of his career but spent 7-years on the South Coast and captained the side. In 2017 his cult hero status was confirmed when he agreed to donate a percentage of his wages to charity. Bruno retired at Brighton in 2019.
Robbie Blake – Blake enjoyed two spells at Turf Moor between 2002-2010 and left his mark on the club on each occasion. Fans and non-fans of Burnley remember the forward for the goal he scored against Man Utd to early Burnley a famous win.
George Weah – The AC Milan legend was past his best when he made his move to the Premier League, joining on-loan from the Serie A side. However, he scored the winner against Spurs on his debut and for that, he will always have a special place in the Chelsea fan's hearts.
Attilio Lombardo – An Italian international midfielder before he joined the Eagles, Lombardo impressed for Palace during the late 90s making 24 appearances in the Premier League and scoring 5-goals. Attilio would return to Italy and play for Lazio and Sampdoria before retiring.
Paolo Di Canio – The only cult hero on this list not to have played for this club, Di Canio entered the hearts of the Goodison faithful during a game against the Hammers. Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard came out of his area to clear the ball only to sustain a serious injury, West Ham played on and a cross was thrown into the box. However, Di Canio reached up in front of the empty goal and grasped the ball in both hands, stopping the play so Gerrard could receive medical treatment. An act that is still fondly remembered by the Toffee's fans today.
Facundo Sava – This Argentine striker only scored 6 Premier League goals in a 4-year spell with Fulham. Famous for his celebratory mask and those goals in a famous win over Liverpool, Sava left a lasting memory on the Fulham fans.
Roque Junior – This World Cup winner arrived at Elland Road with quite a reputation on-loan from AC Milan but only made five Premier League appearances which included a sending-off on his home debut and some dismal displays.
Frank Sinclair – One of the Premier League's own goal kings, Sinclair played over 150 games for the Foxes but will be remembered by most fans for that amazing own goal away at Middlesbrough.
Djimi Traore – Just how Traore remained at Liverpool for 7-years is baffling. The Mali defender is best known for a backed-heeled own goal against Burnley, but Liverpool fans will remember his goal-line clearance from Shevchenko in the Champions League final.
Georgi Kinkladze – A bright spark in an otherwise dull period for Man City fans, Kinkladze made a name for himself in the Premier League with his mazy dribbles and goals. The Georgians time at the club was much shorter than the majority of fans wanted, but he fell out with manager Joe Royal and was sold to Ajax.
Diego Forlan – Frustrated so many United fans as he arrived at Old Trafford with a reputation for scoring goals but only netted 17 times in almost 100 league games. Forlan will always hold a special place in the hearts of United fans for scoring the winning goals against Liverpool.
Antoine Sibierski – Newcastle fans weren't impressed when Sibierski arrived from Man City for £700k, but the French forward scored on his league and European debuts but left the club at the end of his first season after failing to secure a new contract.
Brian Deane – The towering striker had three spells at the Sheffield club but will always be remembered for scoring the first-ever Premier League goals in 1992.
Marians Pahars – The little Latvian striker left a big mark on the Saint's fans during his 7-years on the South Coast. The striker twice scored into double figures in the Premier League, his best return coming during the 2001/02 campaign when he netted 14 times in 36 appearances.
Nayim – Played for Spurs from 1988-1993 but endeared himself to the Tottenham fans by scoring from the halfway line against Arsenal for Real Zaragoza in the 1995 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final.
Kevin Campbell – The former Everton and Arsenal striker was past his best when he signed for the Baggies and only scored 6 league goals in 45 appearances. However, Campbell did his part in the great escape, helping to save West Brom from relegation in 2005.
Samassi Abou – A relative unknown striker that arrived from French club AS Cannes in 1997. Abou failed to impress at West Ham or during any of his numerous loan spells but will be remembered for his brace against Barnsley in 1998.
Kenny Miller – A Scottish forward that arrived on-loan from Rangers and signed for the club permanently in 2001. Miller enjoyed a successful 5-years at Molineux and will be remembered for scoring the winner against Man Utd followed by an equaliser against Liverpool in the very next game.