There remains much confusion over which football team Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter supported. It’s made plain that his mother was a Charlton Athletic supporter (for the purposes of a joke about Rodney’s middle name) and that their old dad was a hopelessly optimistic Millwall man.
There was what many attest to be a Crystal Palace scarf hanging limply in the hallway in the early episodes (see above) but the club’s name is never mentioned after that. A throwaway comment seems to peg Rodney as a Chelsea fan. But Del, we don’t know. One is tempted to conclude that his Thatcherite, win-bar loving, yuppy pretensions incorporated a disdain for the sport but this doesn’t seem quite true…
Here are some of the more impressive sporting references in Only Fools and Horses (we've excluded that Sport Relief featurette in which David Beckham appeared in 2004, on the grounds
1. Tickets to Wimbledon
Boycie has no grounds for complaint here in our opinion.
2. They should never have sold a lad who left them 20 years ago
An odd one here. Curiously, Del Boy attributed Chelsea’s loss the previous weekend to the decision to offload Jimmy Greaves.
Jimmy Greaves left Chelsea for Milan in 1961 and last played top level football in 1971.
This episode was screened in 1982.
This would be the equivalent of responding to a Chelsea loss in 2016 by blaming it on the decision to let Gavin Peacock go.
3. Rodney Trotter - International tennis player
Del tried one of the most ambitious chat-up lines when he and Rodney headed up west in the series' second episode.
Rodney is an international tennis player and he is his manager.
He deftly disposes of the thorny matter of Wimbledon and Rodney's surprising anonymity in London by telling the girls that 'he only plays the big 'uns'.
They had just come back from a tournament in Miami, for instance. Of course, Rodney won it, defeating 'that fella Jimmy Connolly in the final'.
'Surely, you mean Jimmy Connors?' asked the girls, showing signs of doubting the proposition.
Del, as brilliantly agile as ever, said 'no, no, he knocked that divvie out iu the first round, 10-1.'
Their story comes unstuck an ill-attentive Rodney is asked whether he preferred grass or an exotic sunstance called astriturf.
4. Poker is Del's kind of sport
Of course, this hand wouldn't leave you nowhere in a James B0nd film.
Those unfamiliar with James Bond might think, for instance, that a full house is a good poker hand, but anyone who has ever seen any of the films knows that with anything shy of a straight flush, you'd be well advised to just throw them away. If you turned over a hand like 'Three of a kind' in a Bond film, you'd be laughed off the table.
5. An Italian called Camaraderie
Gazzamania has barely abated when the last six episode series of 'Fools and Horses aired in early 1991. Sure enough, Del recalled himself as a 'midfield dynamo' in the mould of the Paul Gascoigne. Also, features a a teak tough Italian stopper called Camaraderie.
Only Fools and Horses - Del's midfield pedigree by dm_5243421981344
6. Del giving the ref some welly
A rather dated one here. The laughter track/studio audience finds the idea of Del taking football with a camp, theatre-head rather too hilarious.
Football references became more frequent post Italia '90, a compeition almost as beloved in Eng-er-land as it is this side of the water.
Only Fools and Horses - England V Yugoslavia by dm_5243421981344
A topical reference to hooliganism during their eventful sojourn in Benidorm in 1982. Though, the Scots might be upset at being lumped in with their southern rivals as troublemakers.
8. Named after a football club
Rodney is lucky his mother wasn't a supporter of Rushden & Diamonds. Did they even exist in 1989? It turns out not. They were founded the same year the Sky marketing people decided to invent the game of association football - 1992.