Football’s 8 strangest moments including mascot feuds and players fighting

Football may be known as the beautiful game, but for as many amazing moments that the sport produces, it does spark some rather strange instances.

It can't always be slick passing and glamorous goal scoring, as other bizarre moments sometimes occur on the pitch and bring the headlines away from the match action.

From funny moments to physical exchanges, there isn't much that the football fan hasn't seen, although the sport always seems to throw up random stories that catch the eye.

Here, Daily Star Sport take a look at seven strange moments that have occurred in football over the years…

Mascot winds up Wilfried Zaha

Wilfired Zaha has worked up quite the reputation as somewhat of a diver in football, but then again in this day and age, who isn't?

The Crystal Palace star is usually locked for his antics and often ignored by referees due to his reputation, but it's rare he receives stick from a rival mascot.

As Palace travelled to Vicarage Road to face Watford, the Hornets mascot Harry dived by Zaha as he left the field to mock the Ivorian, and although it produced a smile at first, his reaction very quickly turned sour.

Zaha is often involved in altercations with opposition players and fans, but never before had this spilled over to mascots, until now.

Alan Pardew headbutts David Meyler

With the introduction of VAR, the aggression has somewhat disappeared from the modern game as players can no longer get away with what they used to, and headbutts were rather common as players would come face to face.

Regular amongst players, maybe, but not with managers. That was until Alan Pardew stepped up.

Pardew shockingly gave a cheeky headbutt to Hull City midfielder David Meyler while he was managing Newcastle, as the player brushed him aside to grab the ball.

The boss was fined £100,000 for his actions and handed a seven-game ban after the freak incident on the touchline.

Eric Cantona's flying kick

Eric Cantona's flying kick is perhaps one of the most infamous moments in the Premier League, as the Frenchman turned on a fan in attendance at Selhurst Park in 1995.

Cantona was sent off following a scrap with Palace defender Richard Shaw, and while being heckled in the crowd the forward unleashed his anger on a fan by kung-fu kicking him in the stands.

Cantona revealed that he almost quit football following the incident, as he was banned from playing for nine months and was handed a two-week prison sentence, which was later reduced to 120 hours community service for the attack.

The Frenchman revealed to The United Way: "I have been insulted thousands of times and have never reacted, but sometimes you are fragile."

Newcastle players fight each other

Sometimes on the pitch emotions between two sides can boil over and tempers flare, and even the managers can get involved as previously mentioned in this list.

It's rare though that teammates turn on one another, as Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer did while playing for Newcastle in 2005.

Newcastle were being taught a lesson by Aston Villa, but it got worse as Dyer and Bowyer began throwing punches at one another, and the Magpies were reduced to nine-men as both were sent off.

Both players were fined and handed three game bans, with Bowyer's lasting four as he'd already picked up a red card that season.

Mascots scrap on the field

So, we've had players and managers so far, with mascots mocking players, but during Wolves' trip to Bristol City back in 1998, it was the club mascots that began fighting on the field.

At half time fans of both clubs were treated to a penalty shootout from Wolves' mascot Wolfie and Bristol City's Three Little Pigs, but the fun and friendly entertainment turned very sour.

Wolfie was confronted by the pigs and after clearly feeling threatened, he punched one of the pigs with his paw, before pandemonium began.

Wolves fans were cheering on their mascot in the fight, but the stewards stepped in to separate them before it escalated any further.

Nigel Pearson grabs James McArthur

It Isn't just Pardew that's been involved in an altercation with a player, as Nigel Pearson was in the thick of it against Crystal Palace midfielder Jame McArthur while in charge of Leicester.

Unlike the Pardew incident, Pearson claimed that this was all a joke, as he held down McArthur who has accidentally collided with the Leicester boss on the touchline.

Pearson proceeded to hold him down by the neck, but then broke into a smile as McArthur got up, although the Palace man failed to see the funny side at the time.

The pair made up after the game however, and joked about the incident over a phone call according to McArthur.

Eden Hazard kicks ball boy

With managers, fellow players and mascots already coming to blows with players in this list, it's now the turn of Eden Hazard and the ball boy incident, as Chelsea faced Swansea.

In the second leg of their cup semi final against Chelsea, Swansea were keen on wasting as much time possible to make their first ever cup final, and in doing so, the ball boys weren't in any rush to keep the balls moving quickly.

Hazard was eager to get things moving as Chelsea chased a two goal deficit, and as ball boy Charlie Morgan held onto the floor, the Belgian kicked him in order to free the ball from under his grasp.

The incident sparked fury, and Hazard was sent of for his actions as the ball boy was led away from the field, in what was a truly bizarre moment in Wales.

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