Cult Kits: Whatever Happened to Deportivo Wanka?

The potty-mouthed deep green shirts of Peruvian minnows Deportivo Wanka have developed a cult following in Great Britain and we probably don’t need to explain why.

Let’s not get too far into the graphic design flair, the glorious memories of titles and legendary players who wore it; this one is famous purely for the big rude word daubed across the front of the shirt.

This football shirt is like going on holiday and finding a chocolate bar called “bum” and sniggering at the restaurant menu offering “soup for sluts.”

Deportivo Wanka are the footballing equivalent of visiting the Donegal town of Muff, Shag Point in New Zealand, Fingringhoe in Essex, or Fucking in Austria.

We love to chortle at those silly locals and their whimsically named products and places and really couldn’t give a toss who thinks we’re childish for doing so.

For Peruvian readers not quite in on the joke, Wanka sounds a lot like the name Brits give to men who spend a lot of time alone with only the internet for company.

Yes, that’s right, the sort of man who knows how to delete his browser history.

Deportivo Wanka, Peru, Football Shirts, badge
The perfectly innocent looking badge of Deportivo Wanka

So it was no surprise when in the mid-2000s, around the peak in popularity of Roger’s Profanisaurus; Deportivo Wanka’s shirts began ticking some important boxes for kit connoisseurs:

Exotic club/rarity factor ☑️

Half decent design ☑️

Big rude words across the chest ☑️

Thousands of shirts were shipped from high in the Peruvian Andes to British shores and those sweary tops were advertised for sale in the back of every football magazine you cared to pick up.

Even today an original green and white striped 2002 home shirt will still sell for around £80 anywhere you’re lucky enough to find one.

Deportivo Wanka, football shirt, Polmer, Peru, Rude, kit
Peruvian kit firm Polmer’s cult classic Deportivo Wanka home shirt

Maybe they were given as “gifts?”

Perhaps Deportivo’s new supporters wanted to “own” their questionable shower habits?

Yet we imagine most football fans would find it hard to place those Wankas on a map.

Founded in 1996, Deportivo Wanka were based in the high-altitude city of Huancayo in central Peru and took their name from the indigenous Wankas people.

Stop sniggering at the back please.

The Wankas were contemporaries of the Incas but sided with the Spanish king Philip II in the conquest of Peru, before apparently disappearing off the face of the earth.

And sadly, a similar fate has befallen the luminary lights of profanity laden professional football.

Threatened with relegation in 2004, Deportivo Wanka started moving their home games to ever higher altitudes in a dangerous attempt to gain an advantage over their opponents.

Playing football where the air is rare didn’t exactly help, and when faced with the dreaded drop, Deportivo launched an appeal against relegation and were immediately suspended from all competition by the Peruvian authorities.

That’s why you won’t find a Deportivo Wanka shirt for the 2020 season.

Whilst you can still find a number of different Deportivo shirts in a number of designs online, it is the dark green and white 2002-03 kit by local firm Polmer which has achieved cult status.

Deportivo Wanka, away, shirt, Polmer
An away version of the Deportivo Wanka shirt by Polmer

The people of Huancayo replaced that Deportivo Wanka sized hole in their hearts with a new club, who now compete in the Peruvian Liga 1 under the far less vulgar name of Sport Huancayo.

So there you have it, that’s what happened to Deportivo Wanka and if you want to know what happened to the indigenous Wankas, then look around you.

Wankas are everywhere.

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