Home » People are only just realising why its called a ‘clean sheet’ in football

GOALKEEPERS always like it when they win, but there’s only one thing they love more and that is clean sheets.

The Premier League has had a number of legends standing between the sticks, such as David Seaman, Peter Schmeichel, David de Gea and more.

Goalkeepers like nothing more than a clean sheet during a football match


Goalkeepers like nothing more than a clean sheet during a football matchCredit: PA
The term clean sheet originates from sports reporters' notes back in the day


The term clean sheet originates from sports reporters’ notes back in the dayCredit: Getty

But none of them know more about keeping their goal intact in the English top flight than Chelsea legend Petr Cech.

Cech amassed a record 202 clean sheets throughout his celebrated 15-year career in the English top flight.

The Czech great played for Chelsea as well as Arsenal and won every major honour, mostly with the Blues.

But even the 40-year-old shot-stopper, who has sensationally crossed over to ice hockey, may not know why we call it a clean sheet.

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We all understand that this is a term used when a team doesn’t concede a single goal in a game.

But the history behind it is not as known and it in fact originates from sports journalists.

Reporters used to record scores on white sheets of paper back in the day when there were no laptops.

So if a journalist’s sheet was clean at the end of the match, that would mean no goals had been scored against a team.


Football is filled with colourful terms that many are unaware of their actual origins.

For example, football fans started to use the term hat-trick only after it was adopted by cricket.

The same goes for “nutmegging”, which has a much more complicated background.

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