Eden Hazard’s dismissal for seemingly kicking a ball boy represents one of the most bizarre sendings off ever witnessed on (or just off) a football field.
But there have been plenty of others which firmly put in the shade incidents like last night’s at the Liberty Stadium and famed red cards of the past for the likes of Paolo di Canio and Eric Cantona. Remember them?
1 - In June 2011 during a match between Old Hill Wanderers reserves and Swinburne reserves in the lower leagues of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia home player Aaron Eccleston was red carded for ‘piercing on his penis’! How the ref knew in the first place is anybody’s guess but, even more bizarrely, the official marched the player to the dressing room to check for himself before brandishing the red card on their way back to the field of play. Worth a watch on youtube; the sending off not the dodgy dressing room scene, that is...!
2 - Dorchester Town's player-manager Ashley Vickers was dismissed for tackling a streaker who interrupted their match with Havant and Waterlooville in March 2011. In a Telegraph video clip, player-boss Vickers clearly flips when all around him stand with hands on hips watching an ‘amusing’ incident unfold. The referee clearly didn’t find Vickers’ actions, which involved a neck-high rugby tackle,‘amusing’ and decides to implement the forgotten rule for smashing pitch invaders and deploys his red card.
3 - In 2005, then Newcastle United teammates Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer were sent off for fighting each other in a Premier League defeat by Aston Villa at St James' Park. The Magpies were already 3-0 behind and down to ten men when the two squared up (in David Batty-Graeme Le Saux) and were both shown the red card. Both players were forced to appear at a post-match news conference to apologise.
4 - Sheffield United's Gillespie had a day to forget in 2007 during his team's 3-1 loss to Reading at the Madejski Stadium. Coming on as a substitute, the Northern Ireland winger was red-carded just TEN seconds later after being shown a red card for throwing an elbow in the direction of Stephen Hunt. As Gillespie headed for the tunnel he threw another punch at Hunt for good measure.Have you witnessed any bizarre sendings off in your leagues? Leave your comments below!