Fat Back-Up Goalkeeper Eating a Pie on the Bench Is a Lie


Everything in this world that seems too good to be true probably is. And 300-pound reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw, who plays for Sutton United in the 5th tier of English soccer's pyramid, is the latest example of that truism.

Shaw, 45, was pushed into the spotlight with Sutton United's FA Cup 5th round match against Premier League side Arsenal. (The FA Cup is the annual single-elimination tournament featuring 736 teams from the top 10 leagues of English football. And sometimes the draw results in a semi-pro team like Sutton playing against a top-level team like Arsenal.)

Shaw remained in the spotlight with no small helping of self-promotion, playing-up his tremendous weight. Seriously, the guy is way too big to be playing goalkeeper.

During the game, with Arsenal up 2-0 and Sutton out of substitutions, he began to chow down on a meat pie while sitting on the bench. Full Disclosure: If there were no chance I would have to play, I would also eat a meat pie on the bench, because meat pies are delicious. However, Shaw wasn’t doing just eating the pie because it was delicious. In fact, this whole thing was a lie. A stunt. A charade.

According to the AP, a British newspaper's betting company—which was the main sponsor on Sutton's shirt for the game—had 8-1 odds that Shaw would eat a pie during the game.

Today, Shaw resigned from the club after the Football Association and Gambling Commission have launched an investigation into a possible breach of betting rules.

''Integrity in sport is not a joke and we have opened an investigation to establish exactly what happened,'' Richard Watson, the commission’s enforcement and intelligence director, said via a statement.

''As part of that we'll be looking into any irregularity in the betting market and establishing whether the operator has met its license requirement to conduct its business with integrity," Watson said.

Shaw spent halftime at the club bar, which was funny, but then he pulled this stunt and it ruined the entire experience for me. Everything is a lie.

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