Remembering 5 times food made the headlines in football
From sausage-themed kits to dodgy lasagne, we reminisce about the times food has made the news in football.
Firstly, apologies to the readers who are currently eating.
Let’s face it, there’s never a good time to be violently sick or get the squits. But the night before the top-four-deciding final game of the season is probably up there with the worst.
Tottenham went into their match against West Ham a point ahead of Arsenal, needing only to match their rivals’ result to secure a place in the 2006/07 Champions League.
But after the squad’s evening meal of lasagne and spaghetti bolognese at the London Marriott the night before, players started ‘dropping like flies’ according to Jermain Defoe.
Spurs’ requests to postpone the game were denied by the FA, and Martin Jol was forced to play many players who had spent the lead up to the game hugging the toilet.
They lost the game 2-1 and were pipped to fourth by the Gunners.
The London Marriott, meanwhile, was cleared of blame by the Health Protection Agency. It was instead a bout of norovirus that laid Spurs low.
Battle of the buffet
How should you react to losing your 49-game unbeaten run away to Manchester United?
If your answer isn’t throwing a slice of pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson, then you’re doing it wrong.
Tempers were running high at Old Trafford after United had beaten Arsenal 2-0 in October 2004, ending the Invincibles’ record-breaking unbeaten run.
After a series of heavy challenges went unpunished by referee Mike Riley, and a suggestion that Wayne Rooney had dived to win a penalty for the home side, Arsenal’s Sol Campbell refused to shake the striker’s hand after the final whistle.
Then all hell broke loose. Scuffles broke out in the tunnel, with a number of Arsenal players having to be held back.
Ferguson, meanwhile, was slapped across the face with a slice of pizza, rumoured to have been thrown by Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard later admitted that was the culprit 13 years later while appearing on the panel show A League of Their Own.
Tottenham’s cheese room
Get something to eat at half-time at most football grounds and you’re probably looking at a lukewarm pie, a hot dog or a tray of cardboard-like chips.
You would be hard pushed to find a selection of specially sourced cheeses on offer at any club, until 2017, when plans were revealed for the tunnel club at Tottenham’s new stadium.
It was proposed that fans would have the opportunity at half-time to congregate in a room next to the tunnel with one-way glass panels and scoff a selection of top-quality cheeses.
But with the proposed cost of £15,000 per season, it wasn’t for everyone.
When the stadium opened in 2019, and after a few jokes at their expense, Spurs attempted to set the record straight.
While the tunnel club was happening, they claimed that there had never been plans for a VIP cheese room. Un-brie-lievable (I’ll get my coat).
The wurst football kit ever
🌭🌭🌭🌭🌭🌭🌭🌭— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 8, 2019
Mashed potato ✅
Gravy boat ✅
Nope, not a shopping list. All these items feature on Bedale AFC's new away kit!
Read all about it: https://t.co/RJvIvopqSr pic.twitter.com/P7b8mloArV
When non-league Bedale’s fans wished for more bangers on the pitch, this probably isn’t what they had in mind.
The 11th-tier side from the north east hit the headlines at the beginning of the 2019/20 after unveiling an eye-catching away kit.
Sponsored by sausage makers Heck, Bedale’s strip featured a background of bright green peas topped with mashed potato and, well, sausages.
Obviously you can’t have bangers and mash without gravy, but don’t worry. A gravy boat also appeared on the socks, mid-pour of course.
Don’t worry, the goalkeeper wasn’t forgotten about. The stopper’s shirt resembled a red butcher’s apron with white pin stripes complete with a tied knot at the back.
But clearly, the FA weren’t taken with the club’s fashion faux pas.
The governing body banned the use of the kit after it was found to contravene regulations over the size of the advertisement logo. Spoil sports.
Victor Wanyama’s very nice spaghetti
I had spaghetti and it was very nice i enjoyed it— Victor Wanyama (@VictorWanyama) May 7, 2012
Go back a few years on most people’s Facebook or Twitter profiles and you’re bound unearth some embarrassing stuff.
Footballers are no exception, I’m looking at you 2011/12 Wayne Rooney.
But despite a quick search revealing tweets offering himself out for a fight, calling Piers Morgan an egg and telling Phil Neville how boring he is, the former England international wasn’t alone in using social media as a sounding board for his stream of consciousness during that period.
Midfielder Victor Wanyama gets a mention for telling the world about what is surely football’s most famous plate of pasta since, well, 2006.
“I had spaghetti and it was very nice,” tweeted Wanyama while playing for Celtic in 2012. No context, no explanation, not even a hint of the accompanying sauce.
It’s since had over 43,000 retweets and 38,000 likes. Wanyama later explained that he had simply enjoyed a meal at a restaurant so much, he felt compelled to tweet about it.
Give us a bit more detail next time, Victor.
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