Search

Sutton looking forward to giving Arsenal a traditional non-league welcome in tonight’s eagerly-awaited FA Cup clash live on the BBC

PUBLISHED: 09:52 20 February 2017 | UPDATED: 15:36 20 February 2017

An aerial view of Gander Green Lane, home of Sutton United Football Club in South London.

An aerial view of Gander Green Lane, home of Sutton United Football Club in South London.

PA Wire/PA Images

Sutton United are set to be the perfect non-league hosts to Arsenal’s multimillionaires in the FA Cup tonight – but any boisterous fans attending the game should be aware of the club’s reserve keeper and internet sensation.

Wayne Shaw, Sutton’s community-minded 46-year-old shot stopper, is labelled Britain’s biggest goalie as he weighs in a 20 stones and may have a

heart of gold when combining his netminding duties with work as the club’s disability ambassador.

But the hard-working dad of two – who travels from his home in Southampton to Sutton every day - is not a man to be messed around with.

The global interest in his heavy frame has seen interview requests ions – however, when it becomes personal you can’t always take it. But life goes on.”

The popular clubman eventually returned to the fold after current chairman Bruce Elliot invited him back in 2014.

The modest Shaw added: “I will be 47 later this year. I still enjoy training with a quality group of lads, but I am just the number two keeper, that is all.”

He’s looking forward to tonight’s game and believes Arsenal will suffer a culture shock.

With the Gunners playing at Bayern Munich’s state-of–the-art Allianz Arena only four days ago – not to mention suffering a hugely-damaging defeat – this evening’s eagerly-anticipated FA Cup fifth round match, Shaw thinks the game will be a true David vs Goliath-style meeting.

He said: “Arsenal will probably arrive at our ground already changed and go straight out and warm up.

“They see themselves as untouchable. If we can keep it to 0-0 for five minutes we will be doing well.”

Anticipation is growing ahead of the much-awaited fifth-round tie at the Borough Sports Ground – formerly known as Gander Green Lane.

The match-up has captured the country’s imagination as most neutrals will be hoping to see Sutton recreate one of competitions’ most famous giant killings when they knocked out then top-tier Coventry City in 1989.

However Sutton, who play in the National League, were beaten 3-0 at Solihull Motors on Saturday and will be hoping for better form when they

take on Arsene Wenger’s men live on BBC One later.

Managed by Paul Doswell, Sutton beat Championship side Leeds United 1-0 in the fourth round with a penalty from Jamie Collins, to earn

the tie against the Gunners – with thousands of fans queuing in freezing conditions last Sunday for the few remaining highly sought-after tickets.

The 5,013-capacity ground, with 765 seats, has a synthetic 3G surface and no soil, which will be unfamiliar to the players from North London as no

team plays on such a pitch in the Premier League or Football League.

Tony Henderson Smith – aka the Sutton mascot Jenny the Giraffe – believes the gilded Gunners may be in for a culture shock.

Speaking to the BBC he said the communal bath in the changing rooms is now out of action, saying: “We can’t use it anymore because of

health and safety – but I don’t see it as a problem as the holes in the roof will help with the water supply.”

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 17:35

So, England finished fourth at the World Cup finals in Russia.

Yesterday, 16:54

Boreham Wood hosted Unai Emery’s Arsenal’s at Meadow Park on Saturday afternoon. Read on for Layth Yousif’s report.

Yesterday, 11:37

More children than ever across Islington and the surrounding areas are getting the chance to take part in the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) hugely successful Tennis for Kids programme and pick up a tennis racket for the first time, thanks to an increase in the number of places available for children in London and the South East.

Fri, 15:00

Saturday’s battle will be the first of two games between the clubs over the next month

Fri, 13:00

Islington youngster Jack Gentili-Walsh was crowned under-12 world champion at 30kg at the 11th WKF Youth Championships in Croatia at the weekend.

Fri, 11:00

The Calthorpe club have enjoyed a fantastic 2018 season to date, but want to maintain their success

Fri, 09:00

A fine display from captain Sam Bardon helped his team win at Harrow Town last weekend

New Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has been speaking about the club’s goalkeepers during his first press conference at London Colney.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now