Socceroos goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne cops an astonishing lashing for his penalty shoot-out tactics – as Australians are slammed as hypocrites for making him a hero: ‘He’s a borderline cheat’
Andrew Redmayne has been likened to Sandpapergate cheats Steve Smith and David Warner in an astonishing lashing following his antics in Doha earlier this week.
The 33-year-old Sydney FC goalkeeper earned headlines across the globe after helping Australia book their place at this year’s World Cup with a nail-biting shoot-out victory over Peru.
Redmayne – a late substitute from Socceroos coach Graham Arnold – took a very unorthodox approach to stopping the Peruvian penalties and earned the nickname ‘the Grey Wiggle’ as a result of his unpredictable movement on the goalline.
Andrew Redmayne has been labelled a borderline cheat for his antics against Peru
Yet it was a cunning intervention midway through the shoot-out which saw Redmayne scrutinised by the wider soccer sphere, with the veteran swiping Peru keeper Pedro Gallese’s water bottle before throwing it into the stands.
The water bottle was complete with a sheet of paper with detailed instructions as to how to combat the Australian penalty takers. Redmayne’s action, then, served to debilitate his rival keeper – who failed to save the remaining Socceroos spot kicks.
Redmayne admitted on Friday that the incident ‘went against every moral fibre of my body’ and while many fans have found no fault in his antics, Fairfax journalist Malcolm Knox has launched a scathing attack on Australia’s latest sporting hero.
The stop that stunned a nation. It was Redmayne’s skill, not his dancing or water bottle shotput actions that blocked the Peruvian shot and hoisted Australia into the FIFA World Cup
Aussie journalist Malcolm Knox has blasted the 33-year-old for his ‘borderline cheating’ antics
‘Funny old world game. Imagine if it was the Peruvian keeper who stole our guy’s notes and leapt about like a dandelion on the breeze to get inside our shooters’ heads. All Australia would be up on its hind legs about cheating and poor form,’ he wrote.
He continued later in the column: ‘If this were a school match and a goalkeeper acted this way, you would have field invasions by parents and the furious exchange of letters followed by a public apology on the principal’s letterhead.’
Knox compared Redmayne’s behaviour to that of Australian cricket stars Steve Smith and David Warner, who were banned from cricket four years ago for applying sandpaper to the cricket ball against South Africa.
‘Criticism has emanated from England. I know this because on Twitter his actions have been repeatedly described as ‘shithousery’ and ‘elite shithousing’,’ Knox wrote.
Warner (L) and Smith (R) were exiled from cricket for their role in the saga which embarrassed Australian sport
‘No, I’d never heard this term either. Through etymological fingerprinting, it can be traced back to English soccer, where it refers to what we polite folk would call a blackguard or a scoundrel.
‘In some parts of the world, Redmayne is seen not as a loveable hero but a borderline cheat.’
Redmayne told SEN: ‘If they had a water bottle that was beside the goal or in my little area, it would be picked up and tossed into the crowd. It’s a do-or-die moment, it’s us against them,’ Redmayne explained on SEN on Friday.
‘I’ve said to a few people it goes against every moral fibre in my body to be that kind of person and that kind of antagonist.
Kids across Australia have been inspired by Redmayne but Knox says he is not a hero
‘But I know how much it means to our squad and the game as a whole in Australia.’
The 33-year-old’s performance in Doha has inspired legions of young fans across the country, with schoolkids at St Andrew’s Cathedral School in Sydney re-capturing the moment he denied Alex Valera on their rooftop play area in a clip that has gone viral.
‘Check out this video of some Year 9 students on our Rooftop recreating Andrew Redmayne’s spectacular save which sent the Socceroos to the World Cup,’ the school posted on Facebook.
‘The video went a little viral on twitter, and was even retweeted by the Socceroos and Redmayne himself.’
The Wiggles themselves have even approved his title as the Grey Wiggle and released a song dedicated to Redmayne.
‘Congratulations to all the Socceroos, especially Andrew the Grey Wiggle, mate you have inspired everybody including [Purple Wiggle],’ Anthony Blue Wiggle Field said.
‘He wants to be a goalkeeper just like you.’