Wayne Shaw, the 23-stone Sutton United reserve goalkeeper filmed eating a pie during his side’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, may have landed himself in serious trouble.
The 45-year-old became an overnight viral sensation after a video of him chomping down on what may or may not have been a chicken and mushroom pie went viral on social media.
Shaw had opted to tuck into the snack after Sutton had used all three of their substitutions and, on first glance, the stunt seemed harmless enough.
✅ Back-up keeper
✅ All three subs made
✅ Time for a pie
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) February 20, 2017
However, it soon emerged that Sun Bets, the online betting spin-off of The Sun who were sponsoring Sutton, had been offering odds of 8/1 on Shaw eating a pie live on air during the broadcast.
Shaw has emerged as something of a cult hero during Sutton’s run to the fifth round, despite never actually stepping foot on the pitch during his team’s FA Cup run.
But he could now face serious questions given that FA regulations on gambling dictate that no player should “instruct, permit, cause or enable” any individual to bet the “result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, a football match or competition.”
When eating a pie could lead to Wayne Shaw breaching the FA betting rules…. pic.twitter.com/3G0RbIwUrO
— Daniel Geey (@FootballLaw) February 20, 2017
The rules also state that no player should relay to others”any information relating to football” obtained “by virtue of his or her position within the game”.
Speaking after the game, in quotes carried by The Independent, Shaw admitted that while he knew about the odds neither he nor any other Sutton player he knew of had placed a 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,’” he explained.
In the meantime, Shaw is likely to face the wrath of Sutton manager Paul Doswell, who expressed his displeasure at the goalkeeper’s pie-eating antics in the aftermath of his team’s loss to the Gunners.
“I think Wayne has become this global superstar on the back of being 23 stone. He’s made that a chance to make some more media coverage off the back of it,” Doswell said.
“The reality is I don’t know [if Shaw did it for a bet] but it wouldn’t surprise me. I don’t think it shows us in the best light.”
The 45-year-old keeper is in his third stint with Sutton United, having once played for Southampton as a striker at youth level alongside none other than Alan Shearer.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.