Andrew Redmayne said he was “no hero” but the internet thought differently after the goalkeeper’s wobbly limbed antics gave the Socceroos a famous penalty shootout win – and launched a thousand memes.
The Australia goalkeeper channelled his inner octopus on the goalline in Tuesday’s win-or-bust World Cup qualifying play-off against Peru before making the decisive save to send the Socceroos to their fifth straight World Cup.
Whether he liked it or not, Redmayne’s save to deny Alex Valera instantly elevated him to national hero status – putting him in the same lofty echelons as the likes of Cathy Freeman, Don Bradman, Kylie Minogue and Alf Stewart. It was unclear whether calls for a statue to be made were tongue-in-cheek.
But it was the tactics he employed while Peru players were waiting to take their penalties that attracted a great deal of interest during and after the shootout.
While it is not unusual for goalkeepers to move around on their line in an effort to put off the penalty taker, the extent of Redmayne’s movements are remarkable and have earned him the nickname “the pink/grey Wiggle”, a reference to the colour of his keeper’s shirt and the popular music band.
It should not have come as a surprise to the Peru team though – Redmayne is well known for his pre-penalty manoeuvres and used them to good effect in the A-League Men grand final two years ago.
Some likened his jelly-like arm and leg movements while moving up and down the goalline to moves more suitable to a dancefloor.
Redmayne had only been introduced off the substitute’s bench in the dying moments of extra-time, replacing captain Mat Ryan specifically with the shootout in mind, for his first appearance in a Socceroos shirt this qualifying campaign.
His feats were instantly labelled “iconic” on Twitter, as he entered Australian legend alongside other greats from sport and entertainment.
Despite the lavish praise, Redmayne remained humble in the moment, and played down his influence on the result while paying tribute to his teammates, who will contest the tournament in Qatar later this year in a group with France, Denmark and Tunisia.