The latest viral sensation to hit football is Sutton United’s reserve goalie, Wayne Shaw, who was photographed wolfing down a pie on the substitutes bench during the team’s game against Arsenal on Monday night.
The pie-eating was in fact a response to a bet placed by Sun Bets who were offering odds of 8-1 that Shaw would be filmed eating during the game. This has led Wayne to be the subject of a number of investigations by both the FA and the Gambling Commission with enforcement and intelligence director Richard Watson stating “integrity in sport is not a joke.”
A very sad end to an otherwise amusing story, Wayne Shaw has now resigned from the club following these investigations that shed light on the fact he knew about the bet and there was no dismissal of this claim from Sutton manager Paul Doswell who made the abrupt suggestion that Wayne had become a “global superstar” due to his weight and the club’s chairman, Bruce Elliott, referred to him as the “roly poly goalkeeper”. Rude. It may not show Sutton in their “best light” but it certainly says something about the fact that during a live event such as this more attention can be placed on a member of the reserve team devouring a pie than what is going on on the pitch.
Commenting on the fiasco after the game, Wayne said, “A few of the lads said to me earlier on what is going on with the 8-1 [bet] about eating a pie. I said I don't know, I have eaten nothing all day. So I might give it a go later on. Sun Bet had us at 8-1 to eat a pie. I thought I would give them a bit of banter and do it. All the subs were on and we were 2-0 down. I went and got it at half time from the kitchen, I had it all prepared and ready to go. It was meat and potato." When asked if he knew anyone who’d placed a bet he added, “I think there were a few people. Obviously we are not allowed to bet. I think a few of the mates and a few of the fans. It was just a bit of banter for them. It is something to make the occasion as well and you can look back and say it was part of it and we got our ticket money back.”
The FA’s rules on betting clearly state that “A participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, a football match or competition” and Doswell made it very clear that Shaw would be “brought back down to earth” as what is now being considered a publicity stunt failed to sidle past the higher end of the club.
Things aren’t all bad for Shaw who, since being asked to leave the club, hasn’t been short of job offers and has even been offered the role of ‘official Pie-Taster’ at Morrisons, who are trying their best to tempt Wayne into the role with a year’s worth of free pies. The supermarket’s chief pie buyer stated, "Wayne's performance last night sets him apart as one of the country's most famous pie connoisseurs. We were really impressed by his commitment to pie eating, and we understand that a good pie is the best way to warm up for any occasion, even if it is the biggest night of your football career."
Wayne later hopped onto Twitter to clear up that it was in fact a pasty, not a pie.
Maybe a year’s worth of free pasties will tempt him then? Greggs?