When Athletes and Fans Clash


Without stadiums, cheering and fan interaction, live sport would simply lack the excitement which makes us all love it so much.

There is nothing better than going along to Suncorp Stadium for a State of Origin decider, the MCG for the Boxing Day Test or the Adelaide Oval for a Crows vs Port clash – for a fan nothing beats being there and amongst the thick of it.

Sometimes fan interaction can extend far beyond the boundaries of engaging in a hearty cheer however and the action in the stands spills onto the playing surface.

Fan Pours Beer On Marcus Thornton

It is fair to say that interest in the NBL has waned over the last ten years and several times it has been on the verge of folding. The competition received a reboot this season however and interest has already picked up. On Wednesday night, week 8 of the competition got underway when local rivals the Hawks and Kings clashed in Illawarra and probably to the delight of organisers, the game made national headlines, but unfortunately not because of the basketball.

Eric Cantona Channels Jackie Chan

English football is known for producing some of the world’s most parochial and rowdy fans who often support their own team to the point of arrests, fights and rioting. In 1995 Manchester United star Eric Cantona was sent from the field for a foul against Crystal Palace’s Richard Shaw. Copping abuse left, right and centre, one unlucky fan clearly mustered one of the better sledges of he night, because he copped a famous Cantona fly kick for his troubles.

United Fans Pay For Bellamy’s Ticket Home

The Manchester Derby is renowned for being one of world sport’s fiercest rivalries and sparks always fly when United and City lock horns. Craig Bellamy is known as one of the league’s most fiery competitors, so of course he would cop plenty of stick from United fans, particularly at the famed Old Trafford. Preparing to take a corner for his side in 2010’s Carling Cup semi-final, Bellamy was pelted by coins and a bottle from the crowd and was unable to take the kick.

Symonds Gives Streaker The Cold Shoulder

For as long as live sport has been a thing, so too has drinking too much at live sport. Streakers are often one of the more hilarious delays to a sporting match and it is even better when they try to get involved with the play. In 2008 at the Gabba in Brisbane, one fan had clearly spent more time in the XXXX line that he had watching Australia play India and took it upon himself to get the kit off and run onto the field. Literally any player but the biggest man on the field in Andrew Symonds would have been a better choice to say G’day to that night.

Fan Attempts To Break Onto MLB Roster

Baseball is one of those sports in Australia not a lot of people play but everyone seems to have something of a vested interest, and we perform surprisingly well at international level in. One of the best things about being a baseball fan is if you’re lucky enough to catch one, you are allowed to keep a ball that is hit into the stands, which of course has led to legions of supporters brings their own gloves along in the hope of landing a stray fly ball. In 2014, an excited Minnesota Twins fan’s eyes lit up when he saw one heading his way – the only problem was his successful catch cost his team an out.

LeBron James Cops A Spray 

One of the biggest sporting stars in the world currently is without doubt Cleveland Cavaliers enforcer LeBron James. Whether you like him or not, there is absolutely no doubting James’ class, skill and presence on court, and whatever team he is signed to is simply not the same when he is not playing. The Cavaliers produced a huge turn in form when the prodigal son returned home from his stint in Miami and made last season’s playoffs against the Golden State Warriors. For one rival fan, seeing LeBron up close and personal was clearly too good an opportunity to pass up.

Fan Packs the Referee into a Scrum

Contact sports often draw the most vocal supporters and there is nothing better than being on location for a big Rugby feature. Whenever the Springboks and All Blacks face off it is a big deal – two of the world’s most talented sides boasting big forwards and slick back lines; any result is possible. There probably isn’t a more stupid sport to get yourself involved in if you’re a drunk fan, as one South African found out when he took exception to the referee’s efforts at a particularly ridiculous time.

Doggies Fans Lose the Plot

The South Sydney Rabbitohs steamrolled the Bulldogs in the late stages of the 2014 Rugby League Grand Final, really kicking an old rivalry back into gear. When the two teams met for the first time in 2015 there was always going to be plenty of heat exchanged on the field and in the stands and an arguable call made late in the picture to essentially hand the Rabbits the win did not sit well with the Canterbury fans, and the referees were the target.

AFL Fan Can’t Follow Through

Perhaps owing to the ability for fans to have a kick on the field after the game, AFL matches don’t tend to herald as many streakers or the like as some of Australia’s other sporting codes. We have unfortunately witnessed some appalling behaviour from fans at AFL matches over the last 12 months, as well as a few more laughable instances like this one. It’s fair to say Isaac Smith and his mates have had the last laugh…

Simpson Gets More than He Bargained For

Players are not the only targets of fan interaction and abuse – coaches and staff are also constantly in the firing line for decisions made on everything from plays to players. Springfield Wildcats fan Homer Simpson found out the hard way what heckling a staff member can do when Coach Ned Flanders climbed the bleachers and confronted his taunts head on.

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