Deportivo Wanka are a Peruvian football team who lived up to their name in 2004 when they resorted to desperate tactics to try and avoid relegation.
Based in the city of Huancayo in the Andes, the current day Wanka were formed by the merger of Deportivo Pesquero and Deportivo Wanka in 2000. There was a referendum on which name to take. Wanka won by a landslide as most fans believed Pesquero was a bit of a silly name.
Deportivo Wanka were last in the Peruvian First Division in 2004 – a season that brought shame upon the club.
With the team floundering in the relegation zone, the directors tried a cowardly trick to try and avoid the drop. Wanka moved their base to Cerro de Pasco – the highest city in the world – at 4,380m above sea level.
This calculated move played havoc as opposing teams would be devastated by altitude sickness. The weather conditions at that altitude made the game a lottery as players gasped for oxygen while being pelted with hailstones.
The underhand tactics worked for a bit with several sides losing good men on the dangerous trek to the pitch, but the better prepared sides soon started signing sherpers who ran rings round the Wanka players.
Wanka were relegated and haven’t been back in the top-flight since. The phrase 'para ser un poco de un Wanka' (to be a bit of a Wanka) has entered the Peruvian-Spanish lexicon, meaning 'to be a bit of a wanker'.
Deportivo Wanka have become something of a cult team in England where there was a run on their shirts in 2006, just before Christmas.
A club spokesman is quoted as saying to The Sun: ‘It is very strange. Everyone in Britain seems to think we have a funny name.’
It is understandable that the club don’t understand the masturbatory connotations of their name, after all in Spanish Deportivo Wanka simply means Goat Scrotum FC.