Have you heard the one about the guy who chained himself to the goalpost at an English Premier League match?
In the long and glorious history of pitch invaders, the events of February 1, 2012, are some of the more curious.
During Manchester City’s showdown with Everton at Goodison Park, a gentleman found his way onto the field and made his way toward the end line. He wasn’t streaking. He wasn’t having a jog away from security. He wasn’t trying to hug a player. Hell, he wasn’t even drunk.
No, the tee-shirt-clad 46-year-old Southport native was staging a protest. Against the tyranny of the EPL? Against Everton’s shoddy play? Again, no. The man was protesting low-cost airline Ryanair’s hiring policies. More specifically, the company had apparently failed to hire his daughter.
At the time, Daniel Taylor wrote for The Guardian
“Never before has a Premier League match been interrupted by a middle-aged man protesting about Ryanair’s recruitment policies, on the apparent basis that his daughter did not get a job with the airline.”
Indeed. You’d have to suspect there haven’t been a rash of middle-aged men protesting hiring practices on EPL pitches. It took officials five minutes to round up a pair of bolt-cutters and cut the man loose. He was escorted from the turf, arrested for pitch encroachment, and questioned by authorities.
And if you want to hear more from the aggrieved gentlemen (which of course you do), well, you’re in luck. There’s a video on YouTube—gift that keeps on giving as it is—in which he calls out “Europe’s greatest train robbers.”
Europe’s greatest train robbers, you say? Wouldn’t “Europe’s greatest airplane hijackers” have been a more fitting tagline?