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Celebrity fans and their clubs

Alex Perry
May 31, 2013
And the award for best celebrity Brentford fan goes to... © Getty Images

Sunday's Championship play-off final between Watford and Crystal Palace was a relatively dull affair.

So much so that the camera kept cutting to shots of famous fans Elton John and Eddie Izzard in the respective directors' boxes. Now everyone knows Elton's affiliation with the Hornets, but Izzard's undying love for Palace was news to us.

And it got us thinking: Who else is a fan of a club you wouldn't expect them to be? Here are our favourites…

Cameron Diaz - Brentford

She is one of the most popular actresses in the world. They are one of the most popular sides in, well, Brentford. So what was it that attracted the Hollywood beauty to the Bees?

The club's former chairman, Dan Tana, who now owns an LA restaurant popular among the glitterati, explains: "Cameron is a regular and she's always on the Griffin Park terraces whenever she's in London." We may well be posting scouts at Brentford home games in the future, purely for research purposes.

Queen Elizabeth II - Arsenal

One is a Gooner, apparently. When Her Majesty met Arsene Wenger and his side at a Buckingham Palace reception back in 2007, she made a bee-line for then 19-year-old midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

"The Queen told us she was an Arsenal fan," Fabregas excitedly told a Spanish radio station. "She appeared to definitely know who I was and we exchanged a few special words."

Prince Harry is also a fan of the North London side, while brother William supports Aston Villa.

Mikhail Gorbachev - Wigan Athletic

He is one of the most famous politicians of all time - perhaps more-so due to the unmistakable birthmark on his forehead. So why on earth is he considered to be a Wigan Athletic fan?

Before going on to become the first (and last) president of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev was secretary of Kharkov side Metallist, who travelled to Springfield Park - Wigan's ground before Dave Whelan opened his chequebook.

Gorbachev was said to be so impressed with the set-up at the then Division 4 side that he became a fan. We like the idea that Gorbachev would spend Saturday afternoons in the Kremlin wearing a Wigan shirt.

We know Megan Fox's team, but Jessica Alba? Anyone? © AP

Megan Fox - Manchester United

The Hollywood stunner was snapped wearing a Manchester United t-shirt emblazoned with Javier Hernandez - who has a huge following in Fox's native LA due to its large Mexican population.

Plus, you know, any excuse to post a picture of her…

Michael Jackson - Exeter City

As if the multimillion-selling pop star's life wasn't bizarre enough, the singer found himself on the pitch at (the other) St James Park in 2002 with an Exeter City scarf thrust around his neck by then co-chairman, TV psychic Uri Geller.

During his 'Audience with' session, Jackson made a short speech in front of 10,000 confused Grecians fans, before a lap of honour - presumably for just being a good singer.

Pope Benedict XVI - Bayern Munich

When former Pope, Benedict XVI, became the first Pope to resign since the 15th century, he cited a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his age. But we know the real reason.

With the 86-year-old's beloved Bayern Munich in contention to win the historic treble, he wanted to end his papacy to kick back and enjoy the rest of the season.

He once said: "I'd like the game of football to be a vehicle for the education of the values of honesty, solidarity and fraternity, especially among younger generations." Are we talking about the same sport, Benny?

Ridley Scott - Hartlepool United

If we asked you to name a celebrity Hartlepool fan, you'd all scream Jeff Stelling's name. It's alright, we'd have done the same. But it turns out the Sky Sports motormouth isn't anywhere near the Durham club's most famous fan.

Hollywood director Scott - the man behind blockbusters including Alien, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, and Black Hawk Down among others - has nine Oscars to his name. We need to double-check, but we don't think Stelling has any.

Hugh Jackman - Norwich City

The Australian actor, best known for his role in the X-Men films, turned down a chance to invest in his beloved Canaries a couple of years back.

"I got a letter asking that, as a huge Norwich fan, would I like to be a celebrity investor," said Jackman, whose mother lives in Norfolk. "That was a little bit stretched - I've been to Carrow Road once when my mum took me."

Norwich then recorded back-to-back promotions, securing a return to the Premier League. "Sometimes I make mistakes," he added.

Katy Perry wore a West Ham get-up as a treat to then husband Russell Brand (and us, of course) © Getty Images

Everyone - West Ham United

On our travels around the World Wide Web, it became apparent that everyone who is anyone supports West Ham. Actor Matt Damon once said: "I don't like supporting [successful] teams like Man U and Chelsea. I like West Ham, though, and I always try and catch one of their games when I'm in England."

And who could forget those pictures of pop temptress Katy Perry kitted out in claret and blue as a mark of loyalty to then husband Russell Brand? A die-hard Hammer, Brand says supporting the club is the only addiction he's failed to beat.

Actors Ray Winstone, Keira Knightly, Elijah Wood and John Cleese are all Hammers, as are late director Alfred Hitchcock, boxer Lennox Lewis and Iron Maiden stars Bruce Dickinson and Steve Harris - while singer Rod Stewart lists them as his "London side". Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl also said in a VH1 interview that he enjoyed watching the Premier League and West Ham were his club of choice. (Rumours that Courtney Love is a Millwall fan remain unfounded.)

But the favourite has to be Barack Obama. The President's sister lives in East London and her family are all Upton Park regulars. The story goes that the prez himself said he is "hooked" after watching a game on television during his last trip over from the States.

Stone Cold Steve Austin - Torquay United

Now we all know Soccer AM presenter Helen Chamberlain is a Torquay fan, but when WWE wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin was on the show in 2009, he was forced to pick a team to support from a hat. Much to the delight of Hells Bells, he picked the mighty Gulls.

Tenuous I know, writes Alex Perry, but I wanted to get my beloved Yellows in here somewhere and it's my ball so if you don't want to play then I'll just take it home.

Alex Perry is assistant editor of ESPN.co.uk and can be found tweeting here

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