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Pie-Gate: A Sad Ending To Wayne Shaw’s Fifteen Minutes Of Fame

This is truly one of the craziest, saddest, and funniest sports stories I’ve seen in quite some time. Yesterday, Arsenal played fifth tier Sutton United in the FA Cup. While Sutton held their own and only lost 2-0 to the heavily favored Arsenal side, the star of the game quickly became Sutton’s backup keeper Wayne Shaw, the “Roly Poly Goalie”. 

The hefty 45 year old fan favorite gained national and international fandom for his antics on the day. Prior to the game, he was cutting the grass on the field and cleaning the bench area. At halftime of the Arsenal match, he was seen at a local pub enjoying life with fans.

Then, during the second half of the fixture when Sutton had made all three of their substitutions, Shaw was seen eating a pie (or a pasty) on the sidelines (becoming a folk hero for “bigger” sports fans all over the world).

After yesterday, most soccer fans thought that Wayne Shaw’s new found celebrity status was going to be one of the sport’s feel good stories. However, it was for not. Following the game, the Gambling Commission began an investigation into Shaw’s pie eating. A British newspaper had Shaw eating a pie during the game at 8-1 odds. Shaw said he knew about the bet but hadn’t bet on the event himself.

Nonetheless, the commission was not going to go easy on Shaw and he was forced to resign from Sutton.

Clearly, I don’t think Shaw meant any harm or wrongdoing by eating the pie on the sideline. Even if he knew there was a bet out there, he ate the pie because he was hungry and not to make a buck. One could say that him not eating the pie would’ve also been “insider gambling” but I do understand the stance taken by the gambling commission.

I’m hoping for the best for Wayne Shaw. Maybe another soccer club will pick him up or maybe he’ll get a national pie endorsement deal. Shaw was one of the most fun athletes I ever followed, even if it was for a short period of time and he never saw the field. Thanks for the memories and for teaching us the difference between a pie and a pasty.

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