Recber was one of a kind.

The bizarre & brilliant goth footballers saving the game with darkness: De Gea, Rosicky, Cech…

We need more goths in football, and we need to champion the goths that secretly already exist within the game. It really is that simple.

A number of dark truths have long tarnished our beautiful game. No truth is more horrifying, though, than the fact that most footballers are tasteless souls with Louis Vuitton washbags, clock, rose and lion tattoos, spray-on jeans and terrible Spotify playlists.

That has to change. Football needs a greater appreciation for subcultures, so we’re recounting 10 of the game’s biggest and best goths, past and present.

David de Gea

He steals Krispy Kremes in the name of punk rock and blasts out Avenged Sevenfold whenever he can. Love him or loathe him, you can’t deny that De Gea is a culture king – of the goths.

We are absolutely in love with the idea of the Spaniard blasting his big shouty heavy metal music in the Manchester United changing room and absolutely nobody having it. Stick your DJ sets where the sun doesn’t shine, lads. This is the proper stuff. A trailblazer at the top of the game.

Marek Hamsik

A haircut like that, for the entirety of his career, and you mean to tell us he isn’t a raging goth with an addiction to caffeine and a death metal playlist? Come off it.

Hamsik actually works in business these days and owns a winery, but we think a better use of his time would be as the frontman of one of De Gea’s favourite new bands. He’s already got the look.

Petr Cech

Perhaps it was the scrum helmet that tipped him over the edge, but there was something about Cech that just screamed goth.

Suspicions have since been confirmed, with the goalkeeper taking to YouTube to upload videos of him thrashing it out on the drums. He also now plays ice hockey – out of choice. An absurdly dangerous and thus incredibly goth sport for a subsequently goth man.

Rustu Recber

The hero football needed but didn’t deserve. Way ahead of his time.

Rustu Recber during the UEFA European Championship qualifier between England and Turkey at Stadium of Light, Sunderland, April 2003.

READ: Celebrating Rustu Recber, a mad sweeper-keeper & the most goth player of his generation

Maria Leon

Barcelona Femeni star Mapi Leon is caked in tattoos, spends her time on the pitch snatching the souls of some of the game’s biggest stars and has recently swapped the bleach blonde for a darker brunette.

It appears she’s undergoing a gimmick change to the goth queen of darkness. She also stabs people in her spare time, training to become a tattoo artist. As if being stabbed with ink out of choice just wasn’t enough.

Certified goth. The Undertaker would be proud.

Tomas Rosicky

Quietly one of the coolest footballers the Barclays has ever seen, Rosicky looks the part and plays it too – literally.

In 2010, he put his guitar skills to the ultimate test by turning out on stage with Czech punk band Tri sestry, having learned to play while sidelined with injury. Is that not the coolest thing you’ve ever heard?

Never want to hear of a footballer getting LinkedIn or starting a business ever again when injured. Be more like Tomas.

Raul Meireles

Look at him. Just look at him and try to tell us that Meireles isn’t a raging goth – whether he knows it or not.

He’s been caked in big scary tattoos from the minute he turned 18 and looks like he runs an independent bar for nu-metal enthusiasts in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Certified.

Marcus Hahnemann

Seriously, what is it with goth goalkeepers?

American stopper Hahnemann psyched himself up before games by listening to heavy metal, is friendly with Five Finger Death Punch and has collaborated with Malefice. In a 2010 interview with the Independent, he also confessed his love for Slipknot and admitted his Wolves teammates thought his taste was ‘weird’.

When Five Finger Death Punch played in Wolverhampton, he presented them with a Remembrance Day Wolves shirt. Your dad is suddenly a fan.

Slaven Bilic

A secret goth among the boring, basic breed, Bilic could once be seen rocking stud earrings and – like Rosicky – has taken to the guitar.

That’s not all, though. Perhaps our favourite goth of all, Bilic was part of a rock band called Rawbau, who released their self-titled debut in 2015.

We want more, Slaven. Leave the normies behind and give us more tunes, you big goth prince.

Brian Kilcline

A defender by trade, Kilcline was literally nicknamed ‘killer’ and is still quite possibly one of the coolest dudes to ever grace the game on looks alone.

With his flowing locks and sensational moustache, Kilcline captained Coventry as they won the 1987 FA Cup, but more importantly lives in a ‘hobbit house’ filled with artefacts, ancient weapons and other cool, spooky goth ornaments.

He’s somewhere between hippie and goth, but the looks certainly suggest the latter and that’s good enough for us. Hero.

Pat Nevin

He dressed like a goth, he listened to The Fall and Joy Division while others listened to the charts, he read for a degree in arts and is interested in literature.

Nevin was indie way before it was ever cool to be, and a goth trailblazer for the game in its earliest form. He might actually be the coolest footballer who ever lived.

Dario Dubois

We’ve saved the best for last. The Argentine defender was the biggest and best goth footballer you’ve never heard of, famous for his gothic face paint.

Defenders can be intimidating enough as it is. Imagine having to face a one-v-one with Dubois, decked out in full corpse-paint makeup looking like he’s come from a gig with Slipknot or a tag team match with the Ministry of Darkness? No thanks.

Football’s biggest goth hero, literally taking the subculture to the pitch. Dubois died tragically after a shooting in 2008, but his legacy as a culture king lives on.

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