OnlyTrolls: how football and OnlyFans collided

An explosion of spicy creators means that clubs across the land now have their own highly unofficial x-rated ambassadors. But do they bear any responsibility for the backlash that follows?

It’s Saturday 20th April and I’m at Wembley Stadium for the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Manchester City. But I’m not just here to watch two of the most expensively assembled teams on Planet Football. I’m also here to investigate an off-the-pitch subplot that’s far more sensational, unlikely and outrageous than any scoreline that this blue-on-blue fixture could toss up.

I’m talking about the internet rivalry between Astrid Wett (Chelsea) and Elle Brooke (City), two of the UK’s biggest football-loving OnlyFans stars.

In some ways, they’re just like ordinary fans: they never miss a match, shout and scream at the top of their lungs, and wear their team colours with pride. The big difference? They also get their kits off in front of thousands of paying subscribers. Think of them as digital ultras, but with an erotic twist, recording themselves at games and reacting to results in sexually suggestive ways.

It started with one or two individuals. Now, there are almost enough performers for an 11-a-side kickabout. At the time of writing, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Hull City, Liverpool, Leicester City, Manchester United, Manchester City and Southampton all have their own OnlyFans representatives” (even Wrexham FC, in the third tier of the English football league, have one).

But the price of fame and fortune for these young women is particularly high – from internet pile-ons to death threats to facing sexual assaults outside grounds. The usual suspects will say they’re asking for it”.

Still, the uncomfortable question remains: as long as these stars intentionally court controversy, do they bear any responsibility for the sad but predictable backlash that follows?


That’s what we call dedication

♬ original sound - Elle Brooke 🥊

It’s tricky to pinpoint exactly when and where the phenomenon kicked off, but most digital archaeologists agree it started sometime in 2019, when Elle, an adult content creator and TikToker from Surrey, began wearing the sky blue shirt of Manchester City in her videos. This content made its way onto Football Twitter where, perhaps unsurprisingly, it found an eager audience of young male supporters. (To paraphrase Gary Neville: this was the no-brainer. The banker. The one that could never fail).

In case you’ve never passed by Football Twitter, it’s a bit like stepping into the world’s largest match day bar: millions of anonymous fans noisily debating Jude Bellingham’s best position, or whether Kylian Mbappé is better than Erling Haaland, or the respective merits of Ben White’s tattoos. It’s the preserve of the shitposter, the wind-up merchant, the troll.

Online hate has become especially common on Twitter since Elon Musk took over because he prioritises freedom of expression over moderation,” Colm Kearns, a Postdoctoral Researcher at Dublin City University, and the author of big-brain articles about football and online hate, tells me.

A lot of the abuse is about proving your fan-hood. Some supporters see it as their job to police who is a real fan and who isn’t. In their eyes, a sexy woman on the internet wearing a team jersey deserves to know that she isn’t one.”

According to Colm, this way of thinking has a dark precedent in the game. It’s similar to how hooligans in the 80s saw themselves as defending the honour of their team. Now, fans can be sitting at keyboards thousands of miles away from the stadium and still fight’ for their club.”

Elle Brooke was good at playing to the crowd. She was up for a bit of banter, and the trolls only amplified her posts. Throughout 2019, she shared videos with risqué captions like Man Utd girls spit, Man City girls swallow” and did Fifa 20 giveaways for her growing fanbase.

Her posts were gaining so much traction that within six months of setting up her OnlyFans page, she was earning $7,500 a week. This was serious money. More money than she’d make at a proper job”. And so she dropped out of her law degree at the University of Southampton.

Tabloid attention followed. At the turn of that year, Elle made headlines for a flirtatious Twitter exchange with Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie. Blades fans, predictably, invented a chant. Oli’s shagging Elle Brooke,” sang the fans, da-da-da-da!”

Whether by accident or design, Elle had landed on a winning formula: her content, perfectly suited for the binary tribalism of football, converted OnlyTrolls on Football Twitter into paying subscribers on OnlyFans.

And then the pandemic hit. In March 2020, football grounds around the country had to close and online became the only place where supporters could voice their passionate/​edgelord opinions. While the stadiums weren’t booming, OnlyFans was (the site went from 7.5 million users in November 2019 to 85 million by December 2020). Enter the adult content cavalry.

Throughout lockdown, there was an explosion of spicy creators making football-themed content. Lucy Nicholson (@unitedluce) became the representative for the red side of Manchester. Bonnie Brown (@onlybonniebrown) got foxy for the Foxes (that’s Leicester City) (you knew that). Then 20-year-old Astrid Wett (@astridwett) appeared on the scene.


My message to Mauricio Pochettino 😂

♬ original sound - astridwett

Something about Astrid stood out to me. Maybe it was because we were both Chelsea fans, or maybe it was because her content was much more provocative than anyone else’s. The technical term on the terraces for someone like her is a wind-up-merchant”. Only this wind-up merchant was starting to savvily monetise the dark arts”.

On 28th November 2021, as the blues were preparing to face Manchester United, Astrid posted a video of herself choking on a large black dildo. The caption read: Me getting ready to give Rudiger head when he heads in the winner today ;)”. She had tagged Chelsea’s centre-back Antonio Rudiger (who is of Sierra Leonean descent and now plays for Real Madrid) in the post.

It was typical of Astrid to make dirty jokes on her feed, although they didn’t usually have undertones that could be considered, whether intentionally or not, racist. But that didn’t stop the tweet, which she later deleted, from going viral. But, it had the opposite effect to her attempt at banter: it was now being used to attack her.

Please stop putting Astrid on my timeline,” said one user. She is so fucking ugly,” said another.

Astrid had hit, perhaps accidentally, upon an even more winning formula: rage bait. As the name suggests, rage bait is a type of post that shocks and upsets other users into reacting to you. The tactic is the reason you’ve heard of Andrew Tate or why Joey Barton keeps attacking female pundits. It works because Twitter’s algorithm is designed to reward negative engagement. The site runs on anger. In other words, it’s much easier to offend people than entertain them.

I reached out to Astrid and asked her if she agreed with this characterisation. Was she, for want of a better phrase, trolling the trolls?

I’m just passionate about my club,” she told me. Football is my everything and sometimes emotions get the better of me.” (Astrid has, it’s worth noting, issued an apology for creating a situation where real” female football fans are lumped in with fake” fans who are out to get clout and followers: I actually feel bad for real female football fans because people will just assume they’re doing it for clout now.”)

But after Dildogate, the stakes, the rage and the financial returns had to be raised again. In April 2022, Elle and Astrid, the first superstar signings to the football OnlyFans universe, were filmed fighting” in a Portsmouth nightclub. The beef then spilt out onto TikTok Live, where they traded insults. All of this looked about as authentic as a backstage segment at Wrestlemania. But what did it matter as long as users were continuing to engage?

After plenty more tweets, banter and viral slanging matches, Elle and Astrid arranged to settle the dispute in the only way that internet personalities know how: influencer boxing. The sell was obvious: pay your money to watch one shithouse punch the other shithouse on the nose. And so the stage was set, on 16th July 2022, for a co-main event fight at a Kingpyn Boxing match at London’s O2 Arena.

At the pre-fight press conference, Elle brought out a coffin containing a blow-up doll of her opponent and promised to kill her” in the ring. Stunts and extreme trash talk are commonplace in the weird world of crossover boxing. But for Astrid, it was a step too far and she pulled out of the bout, citing concerns about the event’s safety.

When I asked her about it, Astrid maintained that the organisers were to blame. The fight didn’t happen because of the company who were running it. They’ve since gone bust and nobody got paid. In hindsight, I was right to pull out,” she says.

Within a couple of weeks, Elle had found a replacement opponent in Love Islands AJ Bunker. Astrid, meanwhile, was lining up a new fight of her own. And as the two adult-content trailblazers swapped one sport” for another, embarking on lucrative new careers as influencer boxers (or at least promoters), their competition were taking notes.

Astrid and Elle had created a negative feedback loop. The stunts were becoming more extreme, so the reaction was becoming more extreme, so the stunts were becoming more extreme”

Copycat football accounts started appearing, posting even more provocative videos. In December 2023, Mia Williams (@miawilliamslfc), Liverpool’s x‑rated ambassador, recorded a soft-porn tribute to the Hillsborough disaster. The video got 7.2 million views.

Absolutely disgusting,” commented one user. Electric chair,” said another.

Meanwhile, Arsenal’s Arabella Mia (@greengirlbella_) started going to the Emirates Stadium wearing nothing but red body paint.

Imagine bringing your kid to a game and she rocks up,” said one user. All girls using football Twitter to promote their OnlyFans need to die,” commented another.

Something disturbing – but at the same time, wearyingly inevitable – was happening here. Astrid and Elle had created a negative feedback loop. The stunts were becoming more extreme, so the reaction was becoming more extreme, so the stunts were becoming more extreme.

Perhaps the most memorable video from this period came in December 2023, when Astrid uploaded a clip of herself talking on the phone with a man alleged to be Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson.

I want you to send me something,” says the suggestive voice on the other end of the line. Astrid laughs from the back of a car. Maybe if you win on Sunday.”

The Senegalese forward (if it really is him) comes away from the encounter looking foolish and unprofessional. After all, it was filmed a few days before a match. The video feels a little uncomfortable to watch because he doesn’t know he’s being recorded. This repost of the clip has 15 million views.

I asked Astrid if she had any regrets about the post. I didn’t expect it to blow up as much as it did. I genuinely meant no malice. Jackson has been awesome for Chelsea recently – I wish him all the best! Maybe if he sees this we can go for coffee soon?”

The incident wasn’t publicly acknowledged by anyone at the club – after all, doing so would play right into Astrid’s hands – but was probably brought up in the dressing room. In January this year, she suggested as much when she tweeted a photo of herself with Chelsea midfielder Moisés Caicedo alongside the caption: Might be the last picture for a while. Backroom staff had a meeting about me I was told.” Even if you weren’t a subscriber, the OnlyFans football phenomenon was becoming impossible to ignore.


Alex Le Tissier (@alexletissier) is a former Babestation presenter and reality TV star. She’s also the daughter-in-law of Matt Le Tissier, probably the greatest Southampton player to have ever lived (which is only the second most unlikely part of her story).

In November, Alex tweeted a video of herself bouncing up and down in the red and white shirt of the Championship side. The clip got 10 million views and 3,000 people subscribed to her OnlyFans. Now, in a good month, she makes between £10,000 and £15,000 from her page.

If I go viral, I know that’s a week’s wages done in one day so I take a break for a bit,” she tells me. Alex almost always looks like she’s on the verge of laughter. But when I bring up the online hate that she receives, her tone lowers.

I’m bigger than other creators,” says the 32-year-old, so not only do I have to put up with sexism, I have to put up with fat-shaming, too. When I posted that bouncing video the whole of the internet was like: Oh my God, Southampton have got the ugliest OnlyFans girl!’”

It speaks to Alex’s strength of character that she doesn’t let online hate interfere with her work. But she admits that the abuse is harder to ignore when it crosses over into the real world.

The other week I was walking my son to school and a man wound down his window and yelled: Fuck you, you fucking slag, you’re ruining our club.’” Her voice drops. That sort of thing has happened a few times now.”

Football, of course, has a deep-rooted and long-standing misogyny problem. The game was codified in Victorian [boys-only] public schools,” Colm Kearns points out. The FA banned women’s football entirely for 50 years [from the 1920s onwards]. These events happened in the past, but their effects are still being felt today.”

The data supports this – a recent survey by the group Women in Football found that 82 per cent of women working in the industry reported some form of discrimination. And when female sex workers enter the game, that discrimination means male objectification – warped by the prism of social media – can turn violent.

In May 2022, in a since-deleted post, Astrid shared footage of a stranger spanking her outside Wembley Stadium. Didn’t want to have to tweet this,” she wrote, but this [is] totally unacceptable, this is sexual assault. Please do something about this @ChelseaFC @ChelseaSTrust.”

Predictably, some supporters blamed the OnlyFans star for the assault – as if she was responsible for the attacker’s actions because she’s a sex worker or because her partisan, prurient content is annoying or enraging (or all of the above). These responses are as old as misogyny itself. They ignore the root of the problem and seek to excuse the mindless, hateful thoughts and actions of some male supporters.

When I ask Alex Le Tissier about the incident, she shares my concerns about the dangerous direction we are heading in.

I worry about Astrid’s safety,” Alex says. She’s so young and on this very fast train. There’s sex workers out there who are not as famous as her who have been attacked. All it takes is one weirdo. Maybe that’s why Elle Brooke has stepped back and is doing more podcasting and boxing.”

Alex also shares her predictions for where the phenomenon is going. I think that at some point people are going to get bored and start ignoring us. That’s not a popular view in the industry, but it’s what I believe.”

Maybe Alex was right. There’s an hour to go until kick-off at Wembley Stadium and I can’t see any sign of Elle or Astrid outside the ground. When I check their feeds, Elle seems busy promoting her next boxing match against a former UFC fighter, while Astrid has recorded herself giving away her ticket to a fan.

Today is the day I’m giving back to the fans who have given me so much over the past few years,” she explained in an earlier post. I had assumed it was the set-up to a situationist prank – really, she was going to set the ticket on fire or swallow it whole on a live-streamed mukbang.

But no: to my surprise, she really has given it away and the exchange is even a little heartwarming to watch. This is my first time [at Wembley],” the man in the video says with a gleaming smile, and trust me it’s a dream come true.”

Still, no good deed goes unpunished for the terrace OnlyTrolls. Don’t become likeable,” one of the top replies to the video reads, it doesn’t suit you.”

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