Di Canio and five more acts of great sportsmanship

16 years ago today, Paolo Di Canio cemented his place in Premier League folklore.

It wasn’t for one of his trademark scissor-kick volleys, famous on-pitch temper tantrums or fisticuffs with an official; rather, for one of the greatest acts of sportsmanship we’ve ever seen in the English top flight.

With West Ham on the attack away at Everton, Toffees goalkeeper Paul Gerrard came out to meet the ball before it was clearly evident that he had injured himself in doing so.

However, the Hammers carried on and when the ball was floated into the box with no stopper between the sticks, instead of finishing into the unguarded net, Di Canio instead caught the ball to allow Gerrard to get the treatment he required.

The Italian may still be seen as a rather controversial character, but in that split second, Di Canio decided which side of the line he stood on, demonstrating inherent respect for the sanctity of the beautiful game.

So in honour of the moment which immortalised Di Canio as a Premier League cult hero, here are five more examples of great sportsmanship in the beautiful game…

 


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