Max Crocombe

The most surprising soccer ejection in some time comes from Max Crocombe, a 24-year-old keeper from New Zealand who plays for Salford City in the National League North (the sixth tier of English soccer). Crocombe was shown a red card in the 87th minute of Salford City’s 2-1 road win over Bradford Park Avenue Saturday, and as the BBC reports, public urination was the reason why:

Salford City goalkeeper Max Crocombe was sent off for urinating during his side’s 2-1 win at Bradford Park Avenue.

The 24-year-old New Zealander was shown red in the 87th minute of the National League North game.

“He was told by the steward twice not to do it and he went ahead and had a pee,” said Park Avenue secretary Colin Barker.

Crocombe later apologised, saying he has been in an “uncomfortable position” and made “an error in judgment”.

Writing on his Twitter account, he added: “My intention was never to offend anyone and I’d like to apologise to both clubs and sets of supporters.”

A spectator made a formal complaint and the incident was reported to the police.

Barker added: “He went to the side of the stand as I understand it. I didn’t actually see it, but the referee definitely sent him off for it because he was alerted to it by his linesman.”

Bradford Park Avenue’s Twitter account had quite the play-by-play of this:

Here’s Crocombe’s full apology:

This is just the latest urination incident in European soccer, as earlier this month, Giovanni Liberti of non-league Italian side Turris earned a five-match ban after he “urinated in the direction of the away section, making obscene and vulgar gestures, while showing his genital organ.” The Crocombe incident doesn’t sound as serious, but it certainly could lead to further discipline as well. Meanwhile, BT Sport and BBC pundit Gary Lineker (who infamously had an on-pitch bowel movement in a 1990 World Cup match against Ireland) had the best response:

Here’s video of Lineker’s embarrassing moment:

Fortunately, Lineker wasn’t banned for life. And Crocombe won’t be either. A lot of people do now know his name for highly-unfortunate reasons, though; previously, his biggest claim to fame was making four appearances for Oxford United, and now it’s this. It’s not exactly great publicity for Salford City, either; their main previous claim to fame was making it into the FA Cup proper in 2015 and being partly owned by former Manchester United stars Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes. Now, they’re known as “the team whose keeper had to urinate in the middle of the match.” That’s not a great tagline.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.