In a week where top-level international football was embroiled in a horrible pitch invasion incident involving Serbia and Albania, we thought it would be nice to look back at some more jovial incidents involving the weird and wonderful world of ‘things that don’t belong on the turf’.
Through the years there have been some mad, bizarre and plain odd incident of pitch invasions, and here are FIVE that have stuck in our memory…
We’ll start with a recent one in the shape of a cheeky West Ham fan. Jordan Dunn ran onto the pitch at Upton Park earlier this season during the Hammers’ clash with Spurs, before taking over free-kick duty for the away side. The Londoner chipped his effort towards Adrian in the home net, but the Spaniard saved with ease… He was later fined £305.
In a drab draw between Tottenham and Liverpool at Anfield, a bewildered cat strolled into Anfield and onto the hallowed turf. The incident well and truly stole the show and sparked the ‘AnfieldCat’ Twitter account.
This writer recalls an incident of being distracted in his Maths GCSE exam by a squirrel on a window ledge, and it seems the furry critters have a habit of stealing the show. In a 2006 Champions League clash between Arsenal and Villarreal, one of the tree-dwellers made it onto the pitch and TV screens across the world.
Not strictly a pitch invader, but ‘beachball-gate’ in 2009 is one of the Premier League’s most hilarious moments. A Liverpool fan, who was later given a hard time at school, threw the offending inflatable onto the Stadium of Light pitch only to see his antics backfire as Sunderland’s Darren Bent’s low shot cannoned off it and past Pepe Reina…
Way back in 1962 during the World Cup quarter-final between England and Brazil, Jimmy Greaves was on the wrong end of some dog piddle. A stray canine made it onto the pitch before evading a host of players, except for the Three Lions man. Greaves captured the dog, but saw his heroic act repaid with a large urine stain. Rumour has it Garrincha found the incident so amusing that he later adopted the pup.