Sutton United's pasty-eating goalkeeper resigns after betting probe

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By Euronews
Sutton United's pasty-eating goalkeeper resigns after betting probe

Wayne Shaw, affectionately known as the “roly poly goalie”, captured the adoration of football fans around the world during semi-professional club Sutton United’s Cinderella run to the fifth round of the FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world.

Now he’s resigned from the club after news broke of an investigation by UK Gambling Commission and Football Association for a possible rule violation after camera’s caught him eating a meat pasty on the sidelines during their 2-0 loss to Arsenal on Monday.

Sun Bets Free Bet, the betting service of the tabloid newspaper The Sun, which replaced Sutton United’s usual shirt sponsor for their match with Premier League club Arsenal offered a prop bet with 8-1 odds against Shaw consuming a pie on the bench during the match.

The two governing bodies are investigating a possible violation of FA gambling rules by the company and Shaw after he admitted to being aware of the offer before the game and the company tweeted that they had paid out a “five-figure sum” on the bet.

“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,’” Shaw said.

“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.

The FA’s rules on betting state: “A participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on (i) the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, a football match or competition.”

Richard Watson, the Gambling Commission’s enforcement and intelligence director, said: “Integrity in sport is not a joke and we have opened an investigation to establish exactly what happened. As part of that we’ll be looking into any irregularity in the betting market and establishing whether the operator has met its licence requirement to conduct its business with integrity.”

South-London based Sutton United, which plays in the fifth tier of English football, made history as just the ninth team outside of the English Football League since 1945 to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup.

The 46-year-old was Sutton United’s reserve goalkeeper while also serving on the club’s coaching staff and was a member of the club’s groundskeeping crew. He’s gained a cult following recently.

He was interviewed by Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain and has been offered a job by one of the biggest supermarket chains in Britain as an “official pie taster”.