Andrew Redmayne became an instant Aussie hero when he saved Australia into the World Cup, but his sneaky act divided the world.
Socceroos goalie and gray Wiggle Andrew Redmayne became an instant Aussie cult hero last week when his save sent Australia into its fifth straight World Cup.
Subbed into the game for Aussie skipper Mat Ryan, Redmayne proved coach Graham Arnold was right to throw him into the deep end just one minute before the end of extra-time in the all important game.
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After four years of qualification drama, it was an incredible achievement as the Socceroos are now heading to Qatar, where they will face France, Denmark and Tunisia in a tough group D.
But for now, the nation is still reveling in the seemingly clutch decision for Redmayne to take on the shootout.
Redmayne came with a win at all costs attitude, doing several things to both give his shooters the best chance possible and confound the Peruvian shot takers.
However, no act was as debated or controversial as the footage of the Sydney FC goaltender throwing Peruvian goalkeeper Pedro Gallese’s water bottle and some notes over the advertising boards.
The act has been labeled from gamesmanship to cheating and everything in between but the result stands and there’s little doubt it will be debated for years to come.
But the act was hardly just in the spur of the moment as the calm, cool and collected Redmayne revealed on SEN Breakfast that, as Andrew Voss called “water bottle-gate”, was part of the plan.
“It was discussed weeks prior,” Redmayne said.
“We were talking about ways of getting messages across or what not, we did say if it were coming down to a penalty shootout, I would have a water bottle because that was our plan A.
“But if they (the opposition) had a water bottle that was beside the goal or in my little area, that it would be picked up and tossed into the crowd because it’s a do-or-die moment, it’s us against them.
“I’ve said to a few people it goes against every moral fiber in my body to be that kind of person and that kind of antagonist.
“But I know how much it means to our squad and the game as a whole in Australia.
“I know we were prepared if our bottle got thrown but we chose to run purely with plan B.”
And it could easily have gone the other way, according to Redmayne.
“The South Americans are very football savvy, they’re very street smart, they’ll be the first ones to undercut you if they can,” Redmayne said.
“In my little pile of things, I had a little tub of Vaseline, a towel and a drink bottle.
“It wasn’t right next to the goal like the Peruvian goalkeeper had, it was away on the sidelines.
“My little pile and collection was long thrown away before that.”
As for being labeled a hero, Redmayne said it’s not something he enjoys, despite having the highlight real moment.
“Being a team-oriented person, it was a four-year campaign to get to a World Cup,” Redmayne said.
“I played one very small role at the end of a four-year campaign, to be touted as the hero doesn’t sit well with me.
“I know everything the team has gone through and the squad’s gone through to get to this moment.
“I’m just rapt for the boys and for football in Australia that we can go to another World Cup and experience it as a nation.”
Redmayne’s performance drew comparisons to John Aloisi, who ended Australia’s 32-year-old World Cup drought in 2005.
But his unique “grey Wiggle” dance instantly won hearts during the tense shootout.
“The Gray Wiggle, yeah. That’s how it’s kind of been dubbed,” Redmayne told Nine’s Today last week.
“It’s something we came up with at Sydney FC. If you can make a fool of yourself to try and distract the opposition, I’m more than happy to be the butt of the joke if this is the end result, to get to a World Cup.”
Hopefully the Socceroos can get deep enough for Redmayne’s antics to earn some more history.