A large, jovial goalkeeper for a fifth-division English soccer team who rose from obscurity to meme status is now unemployed, because this is the year 2017 and mankind simply cannot have nice things.
Wayne Shaw, the 46-year-old reserve keeper/goalkeeper coach/stadium caretaker of Sutton United, officially submitted his resignation on Tuesday. The reason: He ate a pie on the sidelines during Sutton's 2-0 loss to Arsenal and got caught up in a gambling controversy.
Shaw became a minor celebrity during Sutton's surprising run to the fifth round of the FA Cup, as fat, gregarious athletes are wont to do in these situations. He played his role to perfection, stopping in at the bar during half-time and eating a meat pie on the sidelines.
Wonderful, life-affirming stuff. Ah, but the pie-eating took an ominous turn when it was revealed that the website Sun Bets was offering 8/1 odds that Shaw would eat a pie during the match. Shaw admitted to the press that he knew about the odds, and that some of his friends bet on his pie-eating, which sealed his fate:
"A few of the lads said to me earlier on: 'What is going on with the 8-1 about eating a pie?' I said: 'I don't know, I've eaten nothing all day, so I might give it a go later on,'" he said. "Sun Bets had us at 8-1 to eat a pie. I thought I would give them a bit of banter and let's do it. All the subs were on and we were 2-0 down.
"I went and got it at half time from the kitchen, I had it all prepared and ready to go. It was meat and potato," added Shaw.
Asked if he knew anyone had backed the bet, he replied: "I think there were a few people. Obviously we are not allowed to bet. I think a few of the mates and a few of the fans.
"It was just a bit of banter for them. It is something to make the occasion as well and you can look back and say it was part of it and we got our ticket money back."
The Football Association and Gambling Commission quickly stepped in to ruin the fun, launching full-blown investigations into the pie controversy.
"Integrity in sport is not a joke," said Gambling Commission enforcement and intelligence director, Richard Watson, "and we have opened an investigation to establish exactly what happened. As part of that we'll be looking into any irregularity in the betting market and establishing whether the operator has met its licence requirement to conduct its business with integrity."
Ah yes, it is ever so important to ensure a gambling website conducted the business of placing odds on a fat dude eating a pie with integrity.
As for our hero, Wayne Shaw, he is guilty of being too honest, trying to bring a little joy into our miserable lives, and skipping breakfast. Hopefully he lands on his feet.