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Jens Martin Knudsen[]

Jens Martin Knudsen (born June 11, 1967 in Saltangara, Faroe Islands) responded to playing in goal for a silly little country by wearing a silly little bobble hat.

In 1988, people realised that the Faroe Islands existed and should really have a national football team, so they played their first friendly against Iceland.

That game was the first of Knudsen’s 65 caps and he delighted the watching world by dressing as though he were taking his children sledging.

Although biographies claim that Knudsen’s hat originated from having to wear a head guard at the age of 14 due to a Petr Cech style injury, no medical condition to date has required anyone to wear a bobble hat.

Knudsen’s finest hour came in a Euro 1992 qualifier when the Faroe Islands secured their first win over real, albeit dull, team Austria.

Jens, who at the time worked as a forklift driver at a fish-packing facility, made all sorts of saves in a 1-0 triumph, even using his hat to deflect a venomous free-kick from Toni Polster or someone.

Knudsen shot to fame in Britain when he was featured on BBC programme Fantasy Football and comedians David Baddiel and Frank Skinner (although mostly Skinner) recreated his heroics against Austria.

The newly famous ‘keeper signed for Scottish side Ayr United for a bit but couldn’t deal with the bright lights and the tropical temperatures so he returned home.


Due to the Faroe Islands being a tiny place with barely any people on it, Knudsen also stood in as goalkeeper for the country’s handball team. He wore a silly bobble hat.