Sutton United, who play in English soccer’s fifth-tier, have already grabbed a few headlines by reaching the fifth-round of the FA Cup.
That dream might’ve been ended on Monday night after they lost 2-0 to Arsenal but Wayne Shaw, their backup goalkeeper, has made sure they stay in the news.
The 45-year-old, who weights a hefty 146kg, became an instant internet sensation after being caught eating a pie on Television during the second half of the game.
✅ Back-up keeper
✅ All three subs made
✅ Time for a pie
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 20, 2017
Paul Doswell, the Sutton manager, had just made his third and final substitution, prompting Shaw to chow down on his meaty feast.
“I don’t think that puts us in the best of light,” an annoyed Doswell said afterwards.
All the fun had turned sour by Tuesday evening.
The club announced Shaw had left the club after the FA, England soccer’s governing body, confirmed it was investigating a case of him potentially engaging in illegal betting.
SunBets, the betting platform for the daily The Sun, had offered 8-1 odds on Shaw “eating a pie at any stage during the match”.
The shot-stopper admitted he knew of the offer but made a point of stating not him nor his teammates were involved.
“A few of the lads said to me earlier on: ‘What is going on with the 8-1 about eating a pie? I said: ‘I don’t know, I’ve eaten nothing all day, so I might give it a go later on,’ ” he said according to various reports.
“As I say what is that, Sun Bets had us at 8-1 to eat a pie. I thought I would give them a bit of banter and let’s do it. All the subs were on and we were 2-0 down.”
Shaw’s subsequent departure make those words ring hollow.
He also revealed he had taken the pie from the club kitchen during half-time and contained meat and potato.
“I think there were a few people that placed a bet. Obviously we aren’t allowed to bet. I think a few of the mates and a few of the fans did,” said Shaw.
“It was just a bit of banter for them.”
However, the FA’s code of conduct is clear: a player should not “instruct, permit, cause or enable” any person to bet the “result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, a football match or competition.”
Generally, it was an exciting night at Gander Green Lane, Sutton’s homeground.
Flares were thrown, Arsenal fans attacked with bottles and there was a pitch invasion.