Fatty’s real clean sheet...
THERE are various theories as to the origin of the term ‘clean sheet’ – but final third likes the one concerning heavyweight goalkeeper William ‘Fatty’ Foulke.
In his comprehensive ‘ A History Of Bradford City AFC In Objects’, author John Dewhirst tells a tale about Foulke, who weighed more than 20 stone and spent the bulk of his career with Sheffield United, but also had shorter stints with Chelsea and Bradford City.
“In February 1907, Bradford City played Accrington in the FA Cup second round at Valley Parade.The colour of the visitors’ shirts clashed with that of William Foulkes who wore a red jersey.
“It is reported that a change could not be found for him so a white sheet was wrapped around his waist.
“On the basis that the tie was won 1-0 and Foulkes did not concede a goal, it has been suggested that this was the origin of the term ‘keeping a clean sheet’.”