Sublime to the absolutely ridiculous – Round up of Sunday League Stories

Sunday League, a place where men and women of all sizes and talent take the field to play the glorious ninety minutes, in which literally anything can happen. At #GRG we’ve scurried the web to bring you a sample of some of the outrageous things seen on the nation’s Sunday League pitches. Just to be clear, there’s a couple here that we in no way condone, terrible behaviour…

First we start with the Ref who has seen his fair share of action on the pitch, here’s a horrific example:

”I was refereeing a match getting on 4 years ago now, cracking cup tie, 94th minute and it’s 5-4 to the team from the lower division. Team losing are attacking but lose the ball and it’s cleared, a defender and attacker challenge in the air for the ball but the attacker pushes the defender, clear foul. Both players get up then without warning the attacker unleashes the most almighty haymaker of a punch you’ve ever seen. I can still hear the noise as the punch snaps the defenders jaw in 3 places, blood everywhere. Amazingly no confrontation between the teams, the lad who threw the punch scarpered pretty quickly and the game ended there!”


A defender has a glorious moment turned into an absolute nightmare:

“In the Altrincham League, one of our defenders picked up the ball at right back, but was facing in field, being challenged by attackers. He beat his first man, but came against another attacker. He beat him as well, and came up against another opponent. This run continued and he had got himself free of challenges, but he was well within his own penalty area. He managed to make time and space for a clearance, but having no left foot, he tried to get his right foot on the inside of the ball to curve it away to the left wing area. However, his unfortunate lack of Brazilian technique meant that he misjudged the clearance completely. Instead of left spinning the ball and curving it to the right, he hit it with his instep and curled the ball right into the top corner of his own goal. The end result was so comical – beating three attackers only to score an unstoppable own goal. Every player on the pitch, and the referee, just burst out laughing. Take a bow.”


Wanted criminal up top:

“A known and wanted drug dealer was arrested in the middle of the pitch during a Sunday League game by the police. The match took place in Leeds in 2009 with 20 officers storming the pitch and preventing the man from running away. However, the team he was playing for did go onto secure a 6-3 win.”


No place for this next one from Manchester:

“I once refereed in the Manchester Amateur League up in Bury. A couple of the players ended up in a confrontation, and I sent one of them off. He went off, then ten minutes later ran back on the pitch holding the top end of a broken glass bottle, and went for the player he had the confrontation with. Luckily, his teammates restrained him and no damage was done. Someone called the police though, and by the time they arrived, the player had scarpered.”


Beats one, beats two, and smashes it in his own net!

“We are playing in a tournament one summer and it’s the last group match. We were playing the best team in our age group who we’d later beat in the final. Anyway, we’re up 2-0 in the second half and they clear out a corner and start to counter. A long ball is played up to their striker, running alongside our last defender. Our defender goes to just clear it out to the side but by some powers he hits a clean half volley off the side of his foot which flies 40 yards and bends into our goal for an own goal. Our defender celebrates for a good five seconds before realizing what happened. The look of the lightbulb going off in his head was priceless.”

If you have any Grassroot goals, stories, banter that you think is worth sharing, send it to #GRG

By Harry Hancock

Matthew Cook


  1. Its one of my best games played and i think its worthy of sharing 🙂

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