Example: Team A beats Team B 3-0, so Team A are said to have "kept a clean sheet," as they have not conceded any goals.
Alternatively the term may post back to Willy "Fatty" Foulke during his Bradford City days. While playing against Accrington Stanley in February 1907, it is said that Foulke's jersey clashed with the red of Stanley and no-one could find a jersey large enough to fit him, so he played wrapped in a sheet, procured from a nearby house. Bradford won the game 1–0 and Foulke didn't dive during the match, so he kept a 'clean sheet'.
Villa Clean Sheet Spur for Final Push - Davies; BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE: N Shut-Out Reward for Resilience in Laursen's Absence
May 06, 2009; Byline: MAT KENDRICK Aston Villa defender Curtis Davies saluted the claret and blue backline for the clean sheet which has...