Sutton United immediately felt the aftermath of Wayne Shaw’s departure from the club when they were forced to call on an outfield player in goal during their comeback win at Torquay.
Shaw, Sutton’s reserve goalkeeper, left the club after eating a pie on the sidelines during their FA Cup tie against Arsenal, something a betting company offered odds on happening during the game. Shaw admitted that he knew the market was open, and suggested that some friends place a bet on it happening. The Football Association and Gambling Commission have confirmed they are investigating Shaw.
With no time to sign a replacement, Sutton were left a little short-handed for the National League trip to Torquay, particularly after starting keeper Ross Worner was struck down with an injury in the 15th minute, unsuccessfully trying to prevent an opening goal from Torquay’s Luke Young. With no replacement available from the bench, defender Simon Downer had to fill-in between the sticks.
Roarie Deacon scored a first-half equaliser and Downer held out until the 46th minute, when he was beaten by Brett Williams, a goal which put Torquay 2-1 ahead. But the visitors came back as the second half wore on, with goals from Maxiame Biamou and Dean Beckwith finally sealing a 3-2 victory.
Shaw had described the stunt as a ‘bit of banter’ before offering his resignation. “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,’” he 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. 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,” added Shaw.
Asked if he knew anyone had backed the bet, he replied: “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.”
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Saturday 25th February 2017 17.09 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010