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Most Memorable Pitch Invaders

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Pitch invading isn't big, nor is it clever. It's illegal, and you should never do it.

That said, when some foolish fan sneaks their way into the biggest of sporting occasions only to get clattered by somebody twice their size in front of thousands and possibly millions more on TV, well, that's justice. Sweet, sweet justice.

And then there are those stealthy souls who just turn up for the pure entertainment value. So here, for better or worse, are the pitch invasions we won't be forgetting anytime soon.

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The man stopped by a football coach

Ohio State’s assistant strength coach Anthony Schlegel put his own team to shame last week when an excited frat boy entered the field of play, stopping said assailant invader in his tracks with nifty footwork before a light grapple and slamming him to the ground. Hulk Hogan would be impressed, too.

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The man taken down by a mascot

Even the mascots in American Football are looking for that testosterone buzz. No more so than all-round bad-ass Freddie Falcon, seen here unleashing hell on a rampaging Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan dressed as a pirate who he wrestles to the floor before taking him down again. The hero has even been seen riding a BMX into games. We wish the security Falcon at Wimbledon was as committed to his job.

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The penalty taker

Who says professional footballers are becoming disengaged from the common fan? Seconds before a penalty was about to be taken by Spartak Moscow deep into a fierce derby with Saturn Moscow, this portly chap stealthily slips onto the field and right as the whistle blows puts the penalty away like an absolute pro. Running off in ecstasy, it’s hard not to appreciate that sort of behaviour.

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The set piece specialist

Similarly, we’d be lying if we said our inner child didn’t enjoy watching 22-year-old Jordan Dunn take to the pitch during a break in play during a Tottenham and West Ham game and leather a free kick into the hands of the goalkeeper Adrian San Miguel del Castillo, which, cruelly for Spurs fans, was closer to the target than Christian Erikson’s resulting effort.

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Karl Power

All teams have a 12th man, oft-attributed to the fans. For Manchester United, of course, it’s the referee - and when the ref's preoccupied it’s that seasoned sporting imposter Karl Power, who famously kitted up before the team’s Champions League encounter away at Bayern Munich in 2001 and cheekily barged in on the team photo. An unforgettable memory, if only for the perplexed reactions of perplexed Fabian Barthez, Gary Neville and Andy Cole, doubtlessly thinking Eric Cantona had returned.

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Man in drag tackled by rugby player

Life was sure a drag for this poor chap, running onto the field dressed as a female and right into the unforgiving frame of Bath rugby pro Olly Barkly. We’d be surprised if he still knew what day it was, let alone who he came dressed as.

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'Ronaldo' Returning To The Bernabeu

Fans of Los Blancos must have thought the other, tubbier Ronaldo had returned to the Bernabeu during the side’s pre-season friendly with Fiorentina earlier this year, when an out-of-shape prankster wandered onto the pitch in full-kit and started to talk to some of the team. Going on to lose the game 1-2, they should’ve stuck with him.

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