Strange moments in sports III

Updated: December 12, 2017

It is not uncommon for sidelined players to be given a yellow card in soccer or even a red. Argentinean Claudio Caniggia received a straight red against Sweden in the 2002 world cup, while sitting on the bench. We have seen coaches being sent up to the stands for protesting too loud and even some for getting into a fistfight with players. This happens from time to time, but 30 April 2007 marked a special occasion when Reading mascot Kingsley Royal was sent off during a game against visiting Newcastle. Kingsley is a seven foot tall lion with a gigantic head, as per usual mascot standards.

The Reading mascot had had been told off on numerous occasions that he was confusing officials when venturing too close to the pitch and this distracted the official who claimed that they couldn’t distinguish the seven foot plush lion from the players. Finally, head referee Mike Dean had enough and sent the mascot off with a red card. Reading managed to hold their 1-0 lead despite the loss of this pivotal team member and clinched all 3 points.

During Reading’s next game at home Kingsley Royal had prepared with a new addition to his outfit when he wore a T-shirt under his regular shirt. It simply stated “INNOCENT” and was revealed during a pretend goal celebration.

However, Kingsley’s behaviour is shadowed by Bury FC’s mascot Robbie the Bobby who managed to get sent down the locker room three times in as many months during the 2001 campaign, twice for mooning the fans and once for getting into a fight with visiting Cardiff City’s counterpart Barclay the Bluebird.

Another strange incident dates back to 2009 and is often referred to as The Battle of Douglas Park. Hearts and Hamilton – the two Scottish sides – had just finished playing when players from both sides started to fight with the backrooms staff for both sides in the tunnel. One masseur was given a red card along with three of the players, but this was not the first time during the season where Hamilton’s staff had been involved in brawls. A few weeks prior to the incident with Hearts, Hamilton’s kitman was sent to the stands for unacceptable conduct during a game against Motherwell.

And to round this off, USA has not been spared of strange red cards related to soccer. PA-announcer Kevin Slaten was sent off during a Major Indoor Soccer League game for taking a swing at one member part of the visiting team. How the referee managed to notice this remains an enigma for us but we will trust the St Louis Post on this one.