Footballer nicknames are all fine and well, until you find yourself stuck with an unflattering one like 'psycho', 'ape', 'calamity' or 'sicknote'. Luckily you're not necessarily stuck with a nasty nickname. Gerd Müller is proof of that. The height challenged German striker was in danger of having to spend his career being known as 'Kleines Dickes'. That was after his first coach at Bayern Munich famously asked 'what am I meant to do with this little fat one', when Muller first entered the club's training ground. Stick him up front and let him shoot at goal, as it turned out. So outstanding was Müller at hammering in the goals, he ended up earning himself the much more flattering nickname 'Der Bomber'.
The opposite happened to William Henry Foulke, the legendary Sheffield United goalkeeper who was active around the turn of the twentieth century. At the start of his career, Foulke was noted mainly for his impressive height. At six foot four he was extremely tall for the period that he lived in. His extraordinary ability to stop even the best placed balls soon earned him the nickname 'the octopus' and a well deserved call up for the English national team.