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Wayne Shaw, the ‘roly-poly goalie,’ resigns from Sutton United amid sideline pie investigation

Wayne Shaw was hungry, so he ate a meat pie.

The problem with that is he did so while serving as a backup goalie for Sutton United during a Football Assn. Cup match against Arsenal — and with the knowledge that a betting company had 8-1 odds that he would grab a snack on the sideline during that match.

“A few of the lads said to me earlier on, ‘What is going on with the 8-1 about eating a pie?’” Shaw told British media. “I said, ‘I don’t know. I’ve eaten nothing all day, so I might give it a go later on.’”

With the FA and Britain’s Gambling Commission now investigating the incident, Shaw departed ways with the club after being asked for his resignation on Tuesday, Sutton Manager Paul Doswell told Sky News.

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“It’s been very disappointing. There’s no doubt about that. I woke up this morning to this storm of criticism,” Doswell said of Sutton, who was also a member of the team’s coaching staff. “Wayne, himself, has offered his resignation to the chairman this afternoon and it’s been accepted. It’s a very sad end to what has been a good story.

“The club were very disappointed in the way that we have been portrayed. We were very concerned with the implications at the club.

“It’s clear in FA rules you are not allowed to bet and whether it was a fun bet, or whatever it was, it wasn’t acceptable.”

Doswell added: “It was an honest error but one that has had quite sad ramifications. I think Wayne has been swept along with what’s happened in these last three or four weeks.

“I think he’s been ill advised at times. He’s such a lovely man but his judgment was not great last night and I think he’s going to pay the price for it.

“He’s absolutely devastated. Tears down the phone this afternoon. There’s no joy or something good coming out of this particular situation for him.”

Shaw said he picked up a meat and potato pie at halftime but waited until Sutton had used up all its substitutions, ensuring he would not be called upon to play, before indulging. British TV showed the player known as the “roly-poly goalie” eating the pie on the sideline during its broadcast of the game.

Gambling house Sun Bets tweeted that it “paid out a five-figure sum” on Shaw’s late-game meal.

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“Integrity in sport is not a joke, and we have opened an investigation to establish exactly what happened,” Richard Watson, the Gambling Commission’s enforcement and intelligence director, said Tuesday. “As part of that we’ll be looking into any irregularity in the betting market and establishing whether the operator has met its license requirement to conduct its business with integrity.”

Shaw said the stunt was for “a few of the mates and a few of the fans.”

He added: “We’re not allowed to bet, but a few of the lads laid on. So hopefully there will be a pie and a pint in the local [pub] when I get back.”

FA rules state “a participant shall not bet, either directly or indirectly, or instruct, permit, cause or enable any person to bet on the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, a football match or competition.”

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An FA spokesperson said, “We are investigating to establish whether there has been any breach of the FA rules relating to betting.”

No matter what comes out of the investigations, the incident has enhanced the reputation of the already popular player — much to the chagrin of those above him in the organization.

“Wayne has become a global superstar on the back of being [322 pounds],” Doswell said. “He’s made that a chance to get more media coverage off the back of it.”

Sutton Chairman Bruce Elliott said of Shaw: “He has got himself in the papers again and the fame obviously has gone to his head a little bit, but we will soon bring him back down to earth, don’t worry about that.”

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charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii

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UPDATES:

10 a.m.: This article was updated after Wayne Shaw turned his resignation in to Sutton United.

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This article was originally posted at 8:10 a.m.


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