Regardless of what sport takes your fancy, there have been some notable and absolutely hilarious fan interventions in football matches. From the curious case of the beach ball, to the infamous ‘Kung-fu’ kick, here are the top 5 funny, shocking and bizarre moments.
1. The Ball Boy
With Swansea narrowly beating Chelsea in the first leg of the 2013 League Cup Semi-Final, in the return fixture, the ball had drifted out of play. A Swansea ball boy, and more notably a Swansea die hard fan, grabbed the ball. In order to waste time, the boy decided to hold on to the ball for dear life. Cue Eden Hazard, one of the world’s greatest players, who was that desperate, he decided to KICK the ball boy lying on the floor as he clutched the ball. Fair play to the ball boy, as he made a massive meal of it which caused the referee to SEND HAZARD OFF! Chelsea would go on to lose the tie, and Swansea would go on to win the cup. The power of the fan!
The ball boy had tweeted before the game: “The king of all ball boys is back making his final appearance #needed #for #timewasting.”
2. The Beach Ball
Liverpool are playing Sunderland away from home in the 09/10 season. A young Liverpool fan decides to be a numpty and throw an inflatable beach ball on to the pitch to get laughs. Sunderland begin to attack and striker Darren Bent’s tame (as usual) shot should travel straight into the arms of Liverpool Goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Easy save, right? Instead, the beach ball drifts its way into the box, and as the match ball strikes the beach ball, Reina mistakenly goes for the inflatable. The match ball deflects off the plastic inflatable and goes into the net to Liverpool’s despair, and they consequently lose the game 1-0. Despite protests and agony from the Liverpool players during and after the game, the goal will perhaps go down as the most infamous goal in Premier League History.
After nine years, Reina is still ‘haunted’ by the goal…
“Football fans across the globe dream of becoming a part of their team, standing shoulder to shoulder with their idols, proudly wearing their clubs crest.”
3. The Kung-Fu Kick
In January 1995, Manchester United travelled to Crystal Palace desperate for three points. Eric Cantona, United legend, and arguably one of the greatest players to play in the Premier League, is sent off after kicking an opponent. Instead of ignoring a torrent of abuse coming from Palace supporters, Cantona decides to jump up and KUNG FU KICK a Palace fan in the face as he walks off, much to the shock of everyone in the entire country.
United went on to concede an equaliser late on and Cantona was given a 9 month ban from football.
4. Lets be ‘avin you!
It is normally rare to see chefs and Football mix, but not for Delia Smith, a cooking expert and Norwich City majority shareholder. This passionate, die-hard fan and Canaries owner delivered the most shocking and ultimately most cringeworthy half time ‘gee up’ at Carrow Road. In February 2005, with the club fighting relegation, Norwich City were struggling against Manchester City at home. In comes Delia Smith, with an angry but passionate half time speech, where she came on to the pitch and delivered a rather infamous “message for the best football supporters in the world: we need a 12th man here. Where are you? Where are you? Let’s be ‘avin’ you! Come on!”
Norwich lost the match 3-2 and were relegated back to the Championship at the end of the season. Delia denied being drunk at the time.
“they add some comic relief to the emotional rollercoaster that is being a football fan.”
5. The Team Photo
Football fans across the globe dream of becoming a part of their team, standing shoulder to shoulder with their idols, proudly wearing their clubs crest. Karl Power: COMPLETED IT MATE. In 2001, Manchester United faced Bayern Munich away in the Champions League. In European competitions it is compulsory that teams get a squad photo before kick-off.
However, in this fixture, there were 12 players in the photo, as Karl Power, notorious prankster, had changed into a full Manchester United Away kit before sneaking his way onto the pitch and into the team photo. An angry Roy Keane (yikes) noticed just after the photo that Mr Power was not one of his team mates, and he was quickly escorted off the pitch and subsequently arrested, much to the amusement of the crowd and both sets of players.
Karl Powers other notorious pranks involve making his way onto Centre Court at Wimbledon to warm up, walking out at Headingley to bat for England and gracing the Formula 1 Podium at the British Grand Prix.
In spite of players fury at these interventions from fans, it is these loyal and sometimes eccentric supporters who are the centre of a football club and keep the game exciting. It is always interesting to see the innovative ways fans get involved with games and they add some comic relief to the emotional rollercoaster that is being a football fan.