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The Strangest Curses in Sport

 ‘The Crucible Curse’- Crucible Theatre Sheffield – Snooker World Championships


This curse concerns players defending their title at the Snooker World Championships. No one has ever successfully defended their title at the Snooker World Championships, and five people have gone even out in the first round following victories the previous year. The closest any players have come is Joe Johnson and Ken Doherty, who were both beaten in the final the year following their victories.

‘The Curse of 51’- Prevents Mayo Winning the All Ireland Final

The curse of the ’51 allegedly prevents Mayo winning the Sam Maguire Cup ever until every member of the 1951 team had passed away. Since the curse Mayo have reached the final seven times, and each time have either not performed or have been undone by unfortunate events.

In 1996 a freak last minute point by Meath sent the match into a replay that Mayo ended up losing. In 2012 following the previous defeats Prime Minister Enda Kenny seeking divine intervention from Pope Benedict XVI the day before the final, but they were still beaten by Donegal. Most recently they lost in the 2013 final to Dublin by a single point.

‘Sports Illustrated Magazine Cover Jinx’


Athletes to grace it’s cover have either seen a dip in form or have faced setbacks in their career. The curse dates back to 1954 when Braves baseball player Eddie Matthews was the first person to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Following his appearances the Braves had their nine game winning streak end, and a broken hand caused Matthews to miss seven games.

Most recently in August 2015, Serena Williams graced the cover just before the U.S Open tournament. In winning this tournament she would achieve the illustrious calendar grand slam, by winning all four grand slam tournaments in 2015. She was however beaten in the US Open semi-final by Roberta Vinci missing out on making history.

The Socceroos ‘The Witchdoctor Curse’


This curse is based on the autobiography of former Australian footballer Johnny Warren, who claims the Australian football team hired a witch doctor during the 1970 World Cup qualifiers. The aim was to curse their opponents, but when the team were unable to come up with 1000 pound fee the witch doctor was demanding, he reversed the curse onto the Australian football team. In 2004 Australian film maker John Safran travelled to Africa to reverse the curse. When he found the original witch doctor was dead, he hired a different one to reverse the curse. In 2006 the socceroos not only qualified for the World Cup, but they also progressed to the knockout stage of the tournament for the very first time.

‘The Billy Goat Curse’ 1945 Chicago Cubs

In 1945 Chicago Cubs fan Billy Sianis brought a goat to game four of the world series. He was removed from the stadium when the goat was spotted during the seventh innings. During his removal Sianis claimed the Cubs would never win a World Series. Until this day he has been proven correct, but stranger than the curse is how he managed to hide a goat for seven innings!

The Curse of Billy Penn – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Many believed a curse was placed on the city following the construction of a building in 1987, which was taller than the statue of William Penn located on top of city hall.

Following the construction of the Comcast centre in 2007, iron workers attached a small figure of William Penn to the beam in order to break the curse. The following year, the Philadelphia Phillies won the 2008 World Series.

That concludes our list, if you know of any other creepy sporting curses be sure to leave them in the comments below. For sport clothing and equipment that isn’t cursed, be sure to visit