Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Hilariously premature sporting celebrations


Three golden rules in sport: always try your best, avoid doping, and always – always – make sure you’ve won before celebrating for the cameras.

After all, unless victory is 100 per cent certain, all that fist pumping euphoria can quickly make you look even more of a wally as you get pipped at the death, roundly adding to the egg-on-face factor. Which is something one athlete who ran the Peachtree 10K race in Atlanta this weekend knows all too well…

Though one thing's for sure - he's not the first sportsman to celebrate prematurely and he won’t be the last. Here are the moments that prove humble pie is a dish best served LOL.

Payne in the arse

Leading the pack down the home straight in Atlanta, US runner Ben Payne started slowing down a yard or two before the finish the line and began finger shooting to the crowd, only for a gut-busting run from British rival Scott Overall to hurtle past him and take the tape with a matter of inches to go. Rubbing it in, Overall later took to Twitter to offer his fallen comrade some advice. Oh how he’ll be wishing he holstered that digit pistol.

The epic buzzer-beater

During this now infamous title-decider in Croatia back in 2010, home fans were sent into a frenzy when they believed their team had snatched a last-second victory. So did the players. Only their frantic looking manager, seemingly the only one wise enough to know there was still time on the clock, knew the job wasn’t over. Moments later, Dusan Kecman sent a buzzer-beating shot sailing up in the air, landing straight through the hoop to silence the spectators. Scenes.

One lap too soon

Poor Riccardo Russo. With a name that cool he was destined to be a Moto GP champion – just a shame he fluffed his lines spectacularly during an Italian CIV Championship race in 2012, believing he’d crossed the line to victory when in fact there was another lap to go. Russo’s defiance, standing up on his bike and waving his arms as his rivals whizz past him, makes it all the more brilliant. All that hard work during a day’s toil around the racetrack, minutes from glory and he cocked it up magnificently.

Fish out of water

Nicknamed The Flying Fish, rugby league’s Glen Fisiiahi was firmly put in his - ahem - plaice for one memorable game during his U20 days with the New Zealand Warriors. Powering through on a breakaway, the winger was more bothered about saluting the heavens than touching the ball down. Call it what you like, even “the greatest try save of the season anywhere” as the excitable commentary team did, but it all comes down to foolishness. Perhaps this is why the All Blacks do the Hakka before matches.

Marching madness

One of the most famous premature celebrations happened during a 1982 college football game between the University of California’s Golden Bears and the Standford Cardinal, now simply known as ‘The Play’. After conceding a field goal, California found themselves 20-19 down with four seconds left on the clock. At the same time, the entire marching band for Stanford had marched on the field to celebrate, allowing their rivals to make full use of the ensuing chaos and use the band as a sort of human shield. The final charge over the line for the win is superb. Golden indeed.

Cocky keeping

Chest thumping in the direction of a near empty crowd? The sure-fire mark of a goalkeeper who’s not very good yet just pulled off a good save. Sadly for Moroccan shot stopper Khalid Askari, he was that concerned with turning to celebrate his stop that he failed to notice it spinning down and rolling in the net behind him. Schoolboy stuff.

Why you should never cycle with no hands

“Look mum, no hands! Look mum no teeth.” Falling off a bike while riding no-handed is a rite of passage for many two-wheeled mavericks. That said, you’d have assumed by the age of adulthood they’d have mastered it, never mind at a professional level. In this classic clip, a rider on the final stretch decides to wave his hands in victory. Losing control of his bike in the process and careering to an ungraceful landing, his rival comes in from behind and by the time the leader gets back on the saddle he’s demoted to second. His final scramble would be heart breaking if it weren't so funny.

Worst poker face ever

Poker star and first class swaggerer, Dwyte Pilgrim gambled with his emotions and lost during one all-in Poker contest. Content he'd won it on his last hand, even the commentary team questioned why he'd celebrate with his family and every other audience member before the final flip of his opponent's card, Karma inevitably cut short his high-five fest. “I deserved that.” Yes, yes you did.



The Most Successful Colours In Sport Revealed


10 Sporting Youngsters You Need To Know About


Has Paddy Power gone too far with its latest marketing stunt?


Stunning goal leaves MLS commentator massively underwhelmed


Ex-Fifa Boss thinks The Onion is a legitimate source of news


Lionel Messi talks Champions League & Copa America



Boxing doesn’t need Mayweather, but MMA needs McGregor

Who doesn't love a shit-talking, hard-punching antihero?

by Sam Diss
01 Dec 2016

Whatever happened to the Premier League's youngest goalscorers?

Following the EFL Cup heroics of Liverpool youngster Ben Woodburn, we look at pubescent hotshots of yore

30 Nov 2016

Here's how the footballing world paid tribute to Chapecoense

by Joe Ellison
30 Nov 2016

The SPOTY Award nominees are boring. Try these instead

30 Nov 2016

Watch footballer pass ball to steward after mistaking him for player

Not entirely his fault...

by Dave Fawbert
22 Nov 2016

5 Vines that prove Jamie Redknapp is a master of football analysis

by Joe Ellison
31 Oct 2016

Ballon d’Or: Who’s a fraud and who's not

We weigh up the merits of the 30 footballers recently deemed the planet's best

26 Oct 2016

Luis Suarez talks English football and the toughest PL defenders

He's a lover, not a biter

19 Oct 2016

Gary Lineker talks crisps, Rooney and "Sh*t on pitch"

Crisp don Gary Lineker reminisces about the time Diego Maradona nearly fell off a balcony

by Alex Christian
19 Oct 2016

Park Ji-sung now plays for De Montfort University's student side

And can't even prevent them from getting utterly drubbed

by Tristan Cross
14 Oct 2016