Forget the latest daily dose of depressing news about pathetically-bigoted songs and chants at football matches: a university professor has concluded that the majority of supporters are some of the smartest, wittiest and most creative people around.
Loughborough University’s Dr Jamie Cleland explained: “They show the unique creativity of fans in standing out from, while appealing to, a crowd.”
Whether it be to show team pride, protest the club's current direction, remember a milestone moment in club history or even just to torment rival fans, football-loving artists and their brethren have added a wonderful extra dimension to the sport.
We have picked out 35 of our favourite examples. Enjoy...
1) Ajax fans light up the Amsterdam ArenA
2) San Lorenzo unleash the bird against River Plate
3) Basel present their own take on 'hero worship'
4) Almost 100,000 fans drench Barcelona's Camp Nou in colour
5) Celtic's 'Four Horsemen' come for financially-struggling rivals Rangers
6) And Gers fans are as harsh on their own club as their enemies
7) Only a game? Seattle Sounders v Chicago Fire goes 8-bit
8) Supporters are the heartbeat of world club champions Corinthians
9) Martin Skrtel: Liverpool's answer to Chuck Norris
10) Borussia Dortmund's 25,000 terrace before a 5-1 win over Wolfsburg
11) Zamalek fans protest their portrayal on television
12) Chelsea are guilty by association according to topical Everton fans
13) The Toffees also have an opinion on local rivals Liverpool
14) Like Rangers, Liverpool aren't fans of their own system either
15) Galatasaray becomes a lion's den - literally as well as figuratively
16) Bundesliga basement boys Greuther Fuerth get in on the act
17) Holland fans take the fun to South Africa in the 2010 World Cup
18) 'The Special Pope' won Inter the Champions League
19) Juventus fans replace 'The Old Lady' with a newer, bustier model
20) And if you thought number 19 was a tad risqué...
21) Lyon take inspiration from Hollywood against Saint Etienne
22) Magdeburg fans kindly show their goal-shy team where to aim the ball
23) Malmo cover a goal end with this impressive mural
24) Man United's poignant tribute to the Munich Air Crash
25) Tifo-masters Milan incorporate a fire display into their latest offering
26) Parma with another fine Italian effort prior to a game with Bari
27) Portland Timbers' pop-up book-style tribute to their identity
28) Another MLS jackpot effort: Seattle Sounders go casino
29) Roma taunt rivals Lazio en route to a 2-1 derby victory
30) Russia attempt a 'Polish invasion' at Euro 2012
31) Schalke with another picturesque Bundesliga effort
32) In the German second tier, Union Berlin get creative as rivals Hertha visit
33) Pac-Man is apparently a season-ticket holder at Milan
34) Sunderland get poetic as neighbours Newcastle prepare for relegation
35) Liverpool fans do not have many friends in the local tourism industry
What is your favourite effort from these witty and creative geniuses? Which country/league leads the way when it comes to cool banners? Have your say in the comments section below...
- Sports & Recreation