BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: screwed up protest signes are thrown on the pitch during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Southampton at Villa Park on April 23, 2016 in Birmingham, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Getting Creative: 7 of the Weirdest Things Thrown Onto Football Pitches by Fans

Footballers have to put up with a lot during their playing careers. Cruel chants and abuse from fans, criticism from pundits, the media intruding on their private lives...dead cats being lobbed at you from the stands...

Yep, footballers put up with a lot - and sometimes they have to put up with projectiles being thrown at them by fans during matches. They can range from your standard stuff, to some down right weird objects. 

Sometimes they're thrown as a joke, sometimes as a symbolic message, or in a fans' pure hatred of their most bitter rivals. Because what doesn't say 'I don't like you' like a dead cat? 

Here are 7 of the weirdest things fans have thrown onto pitches during matches... 

7. A Pig's Head

Deceased animals seem to be popular projectile amongst football fans so we're going to lump all carcasses into this entry. 

Dead animals include rats thrown during the Copenhagen derby between Brondby and FC Copenhagen in April 2017 to, you guessed it, dead cats. 

In an awful yet bizarre act, during a 1982 match between Charlton Athletic and Luton Town, a Charlton fan threw a dead cat onto the pitch towards the Luton fans. 

But as severed animals go, none are quite as iconic as the moment Luis Figo had a pig's head thrown at him. During a 2002 Clasico former Barcelona star Figo, then playing for Real Madrid, returned to the Camp Nou - and got a fair bit more than he bargained for.

6. Toy Pigs

A projectile with a message, this time from fans of Charlton Athletic.

In a 2016 League One clash with Coventry City, the match was brought to an abrupt halt after thousands of toy pigs were thrown onto the pitch by Charlton supporters. 

The fans were protesting against the club's owner Roland Duchâtelet over mismanagement and Charlton's recent relegation from the Championship. 

Coventry fans, also unhappy with their club's owners, supported Charlton by joining their protests before and after the game. 

5. A Car Door

You wonder how fans manage to bring some of these objects to games without being immediately stopped by security?

A good example of that would be when in 2002, during a pre-World Cup friendly between New Zealand and Chile, a fan stormed the pitch carrying a car door. 

After the fan was escorted off the pitch, the stadium announcer gave this brilliant message: "Do not bring car parts onto the pitch."

4. Babies

Not real babies. That would have been really weird. 

Rosario Central had just beaten their fierce rivals Newell's Old Boys 3-1, and it's safe to say they were pretty happy about it. 

Their next Argentine Primera División match was against Racing, but the Rosario fans were still celebrating the previous win.

So during the match with Racing, Rosario fans threw baby dolls onto the pitch, each one wearing the shirts of Newell's Old Boys players. 

Rosario would also go on to win that match 4-1. 

3. A Wheelbarrow

This is another to add to the 'how did they manage to get that passed security?' category. 

This incident comes out of Mexico in a match between America and Sao Caetano in the 2004 Copa Libertadores quarter-finals.  

As the full-time whistle blew, things started to kick off on the pitch as a heated match turned into a brawl. 

The fans duly joined in with the chaos as security in riot-gear tried to quell the situation. From somewhere, a fan managed to throw a wheelbarrow onto the pitch. The message the fan was trying to convey remains unclear. 

2. A Bounty Bar

Food is another popular thing hurled at players during matches. When an item of food is thrown at players, the go to response seems to be to eat whatever is thrown at you. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped himself to some peanuts after a bag of them was thrown on the pitch. Dani Alves responded brilliantly to a racist jibe when he ate a banana which was thrown at him. 

Paul Gascoigne had a Mars bar thrown at him while playing for Newcastle which he proceeded to take a bite of. And at the beginning on 2018, St. Mirren defender Stelios Demetriou had a Bounty bar thrown at him - which he calmly unwrapped and ate in front of the fans. 

1. Celery

This instance of football projectiles has been a tradition amongst Chelsea fans since the 1980s. 

Its unclear how Blues fans' affection for singing rude songs about celery and throwing sticks of it at players started. Some believe it was started by Gillingham when the vegetable started growing on the pitch.

Others credit famous Chelsea fan Mickey Greenway for introducing the Bridge to the song. Regardless, the tradition had become so persistent that the club actually banned it. 

In 2007 Chelsea released a statement declaring that any fan caught bringing celery to Stamford Bridge would be denied entry and risked a stadium ban. While it may have died out at home, Chelsea fans do sometimes sneak the vegetable into away matches.