England’s most loved and missed goalkeeper, Wayne Shaw, has said he’s eyeing a return to the beautiful game, stating that “I need football and I think football needs the Roly-poly goalie” and he couldn’t be more right.
This statement from the 45-year-old has come in response to his encouraged resignation from Sutton United, following the horrific scenes that took place on the 20th February in the match between Sutton United and Arsenal.
Prior to the game, the media took it upon themselves to make Wayne Shaw a comical footballing icon for the day as not everyone is used to seeing an obese professional goalkeeper. And the nation fell in love with him. Twitter was full of the content dedicated to the 20 stone shot stopper.
To many of the neutral viewer’s disappointment, Monday night’s fifth round FA Cup game saw the legendary reserve goalkeeper start on the bench as Sutton faced a much changed Arsenal 11. But were we left displeased by a game that did not feature the highly talked about GK? Not at all. As the game reached half time, Shaw emerged from the bench holding a pie which he inelegantly began to devour live on TV. Yes, you read that correctly. In the quarter finals of the FA Cup, the Sutton United goalkeeper was seen enjoying a pie by the dugout.
What seemed like a moment of footballing brilliance soon turned sour as it emerged the following day that the act was in fact a publicity stunt set up by Sun Bets who had offered odds on the Roly-poly goalie to eat a pie during the game. This revelation led to the unfortunate sacking of Wayne Shaw by Sutton United.
Talking on Good Morning Britain, Shaw described how he has no hard feeling towards Sutton United, stating, “Maybe the club had to be seen to do something and that was probably their knee-jerk reaction. I’ve got no animosity towards the club, it’s fantastic.”
“A few weeks on it’s just starting to sink in, it’s time to draw a line under everything and move on. The club has.”
What started off as a funny publicity stunt by Sun Bet, has now resulted in the unemployment of a man who loved his involvement with Sutton United and got caught up in the public eye by no means of his own.
Unfortunately for Mr. Shaw this isn’t the first time that he has got himself in trouble with his beloved club. In 2013, Sutton United were again forced to release the goalkeeper after he clashed with rival fans prior to a cup game. Shaw jumped over the advertising hoardings to confront supporters who had been hurling abuse at him during the pre-match warm up.
In an interview with the Daily Star Online, the Roly-poly goalie described how “there was a confrontation. Fans pay their money they can say what they want but when it gets personal you cant always take it.”
It’s a shame that Wayne’s slightly unique body image attracts so much attention, diverting the focus away from the game of football. A game that Wayne loves but can no longer enjoy. On behalf of the only man at Read The Game, I wish you every success in your hopefully impending football career. Stay legendary, Wayne Shaw. Stay Legendary.