Wayne Shaw & #PieGate one year on - what is the 'Roly Poly Goalie' up to now?

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Wayne Shaw
On the anniversary of one of the most ridiculous scenes in football, Goal looks back at the patsy who ate a pasty

There's a narrative around every football match.

Whether it's a big head-to-head between two-star players, managers trying to get one over on each other after a war of words in their press conferences, or even just knowing victory will give a team momentum heading into a bigger clash on the horizon.

Every once in a while, however, something ridiculous dominates the talking points, like when a rotund reserve goalkeeper hits the headlines for eating a pie live on television.

February 20 marks a year to the day since Wayne Shaw's life got turned upside down during that fateful FA Cup clash against Arsenal, but in case you missed it, Goal breaks down exactly what happened and what the 'Roly Poly Goalie' is up to these days.

Who is Wayne Shaw?

A semi-professional footballer, Wayne Shaw started his career at Southampton where he played as a striker in the Saints' youth ranks alongside future England internationals Alan Shearer and Matt Le Tissier.

Shaw didn't make the cut at Southampton, however, trialling with a few other clubs before being converted to a goalkeeper at Bashley under strange circumstances: 

“I left for an apprenticeship at Reading and then joined Basingstoke before going on loan to Bashley,” the 46-year-old told the Daily Mail. “One day they had a goalkeeping dilemma and the manager said I had to buy a pair of gloves. We beat Salisbury 1-0 and I've been in goal ever since.”

Shaw's weight of 20 stone (127 kg) has seen him have to deal with heckles from fans - 'Who ate all the pies?', etc. - throughout his career, and though the keeper has taken most of it in good nature, one incident in 2013 saw him sacked by Sutton United after vaulting advertising hoardings to headbutt a particularly offensive fan.

“I had a bad day at work,” he said. “Usually it's good fun and banter but sometimes it gets too personal.”

Shaw was hired again by Sutton a year later, this time for their coaching staff, where he remained until #PieGate.

What is #PieGate?

In the 2016-17 season, National League side Sutton United made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup where they would face Arsenal at the Borough Sports Ground – a massive achievement for a club with such slender means.

But the big talking point heading into the game was nothing to do with the club punching above their weight, it was all centred around whether coach and reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw would eat a pie live on television after The Sun's betting branch offered odds on such a scenario.

Lo and behold, Shaw was caught on camera after 82 minutes eating a pasty (not a pie as he would go on to say), which was deemed to contravene the FA's betting by-laws in spite of Shaw claiming that it was all a bit of banter.

Wayne Shaw

“Wayne Shaw has been fined £375 and immediately suspended from all football and all football-related activity for two months after he was charged in relation to a breach of FA Rules," read an FA statement in September.

“It was alleged the former Sutton United goalkeeper intentionally influenced a football betting market during the FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Arsenal on Monday, February 20, 2017, contrary to FA Rule E5(a).

“The charge, which he denied, was found proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today.”

What is Wayne Shaw doing now?

Shaw looked to be having a whale of a time before his ban, having been offered a job as a pie taster by supermarket chain Morrisons as well as given the opportunity to pose for photos wearing nothing but goalie gloves.

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But the ban sent his career into a tailspin, with Shaw admitting to having been 'naïve' to take part in the bet after receiving little or no sympathy from Sutton United and the FA regarding his punishment.

Things are looking better for the big man nowadays, however, as Shaw now works with Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South and West side AFC Totton. In January, the 46-year-old helped organise 'Pie Day' at the Total Branding Community Stadium, with all food prepared by, you've guessed it, Roly Poly Goalie Catering.

Shaw continues to play football for charity, too, and is currently preparing to line up for Rangers vs Portsmouth legends on April 1 as part of the Lee Rigby Memorial Cup.