A recent Macclesfield Town v Stoke City friendly match saw wealthy Silkmen fan James Gorfin pay £10,000 for the privilege of turning out for his cash-strapped home team.
Sadly things quickly turned sour for our debutant, who was taken out by one Mark Hughes’ charges before injuring his groin reaching to turn home a cross that would have provided him with a much cherished goal – eventually limping off in front of his wife and children after just 10 minutes.
Here are four more of the worst ever footballing cameos for your delectation.
Michael Theo (formerly Michael Theoklitis) – Norwich City 1 Colchester United 7
Theoklitis – as he was then known – arrived at Carrow Road on the back of two A League Championships with the Melbourne Victory in three seasons, but was to play just once for City after an error-strewn debut that he described as “the worst performance I’ve had in my career”. His change of moniker had nothing to do with the incident apparently…
Norwich – now with the far more reliable John Ruddy in goal – are as short as 9/4 for Premier League relegation this season.
Michael Ricketts – England v Holland, 2006
It’s not too often that you can pinpoint the exact moment when a football career goes into irrevocable decline, but with then-Bolton striker Ricketts a curtailed debut at international level was that moment.
12 goals before Christmas had earned him an England nod from Sven Goran Eriksson, but an inept performance against Holland seemed to be all it took to irreparably damage Rickett’s fragile love affair with the game and he failed to score another goal all season, after which his career went into terminal decline.
Stan Collymore – Basic Instinct Two
Much like Ricketts, Collymore was a gifted, troubled striker, although he did at least manage to hang around long enough at the top level to score some fabulous goals by which we can remember him – see his strike for Aston Villa v Atletico Madrid in 1998 for details.
His 45-second role as Kevin Franks – one of murderous siren Sharon Stone’s victims in the aforementioned, somewhat unnecessary sequel – sees him pulling some extremely unconvincing faces in the name of sexual arousal, before being driven into the Thames and a watery grave.
Diana Ross – World Cup USA 1994 Opening Ceremony
The Americans were doing their level best to put on the most glamorous opening ceremony in the history of the tournament so they brought out the big guns, namely master of ceremonies Oprah Winfrey and ex-Supremes diva Diana Ross.
Having lip-synched along to ‘I’m coming out’ with scant regard for any illusion of propriety, all she had to do was put away a penalty to provide the coup de grace to the whole performance. After a casual double-shimmy she shanked her effort wide-left.