Pasties? A 322 pound goalie? A complex gambling syndicate scheme? These three odd things eclipsed during Sutton United’s match against Arsenal during a Football Ass. Cup match on Monday.
Wayne Shaw, better known as the “Rolie Polie Goalie” was the back-up goalie for Sutton United. He is a fan favorite, probably because he is an odd combination of a talented yet severely overweight professional athlete. A 46 year old, 322 pound goalie just seems like too much of an oxymoron to be true. Yet, there he was. Standing on the sidelines of the Sutton-Arsenal match during the second half. Sutton was the underdog, trailing 121 ranks behind Arsenal. By the second half of the game, Arsenal had a 2-0 lead.
The game was going as expected. Arsenal had their anticipated lead and everything was as a normal soccer game should be. Until Wayne Shaw got hungry. At half-time, he picked up a meat and potato pasty. During the second half of the match, he paced the side line while he ate. Little did he know, this simple snack would end his career as a professional goalie.
This one pasty sparked an investigation into the prevalent betting and gambling problems connected to the sport. Before the match, a lesser-known betting company called Sun Bets offered 8-1 odds that he would eat a snack on the sidelines at some point. Shaw later confessed that he knew about these odds, but ate the pasty anyways because he had not eaten all day and was hungry. Some of his teammates and many fans had bet on the Sun Bets’s odds and made a profit from Shaw’s snacking habits. Sun Bets excitedly tweeted that they paid out a five-figure sum.
The Football Association was not as excited. They saw this as participation in gambling and betting. They forced Shaw to resign as they investigate the incident.
Something as simple as a back-up goalie eating a pasty during a soccer game probed the continuing issue of betting that the soccer world has faced for decades. It is still unclear if Shaw will be able to return to Sutton’s roster. Until then, he will remain the Rolie Polie Goalie who turned a pasty into a internationally-broadcasted scandal.