Alan Pardew's "rape" shame and other TV moments that left football red faced

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

The news that Alan Pardew is now odds-on favourite to replace the harshly disposed of Chris Hughton as manager of Newcastle United reminded us of one of Pards' lowest moments.

No, not the God-awful 'Academy of Football' T-shirt he sported during the 2004 play-off final, rather the night he sent jaws dropping to the floor by uttering the immortal words "he absolutely rapes him" during Match of the Day 2.

Making a rare appearance on the MotD2 sofa alongside Alan Hansen undoubted television success story Adrian Chiles, the former Charlton boss was happily waxing lyrical about Michael Essien's muscular and combative playing style.

All was going swimmingly until he jovially and casually proclaimed that the Ghanaian had 'absolutely raped' Manchester City’s Ched Evans – a quote that's not so much Alan Pardew as Alan Partridge (yeah, we went there).

Although a Daily Mail-led witch-hunt didn't really get off the ground, the Beeb still received 35 complaints and Pardew wasn't invited back to Television Centre again. Here are ten more moments that had Ofcom shaking clenched fists like put-upon middle-aged men in 1950s American sit-coms…

Stephen Bywater

Despite conceding five at Arsenal the day before, Derby keeper Stephen Bywater seemed in good spirits as he appeared on Sky’s Goals on Sunday in October 2007.

So much so, in fact, that he overlooked the fact that it was probably not the brightest thing in the world to spell out the most obscene word imaginable on a Sunday morning television show.

What's best about the clip is that Bywater considered his options, deciding against saying the word and spelling it out letter by letter, as if the viewers were toddlers overhearing a grown-up conversation. Host Clare Tomlinson was reprimanded following the incident, presumably for not jumping across the studio and clamping her hand over Bywater’s mouth.

Micah Richards

Having just scored an injury time equaliser for Man City in an FA Cup tie at Villa Park, a young Richards was cornered on camera by Garth Crooks and asked the usual stupid questions (“How does it feel to score an equalising goal in the last minute? Good?”) Richards’ excitement got the better of him and he promptly dropped the F-bomb all over the Beeb’s Sunday teatime audience. You’d never have caught Hugh Scully or Nora Batty doing that.

Taken aback slightly, Crooks dismissed the slip as the result of Richards’ youth and inexperience in front of the cameras. Which is all very well and good, but doesn’t explain the rambling claptrap of Crooks.

Rodney Marsh

To be honest, this one was coming for a while. The former QPR and Fulham maverick has a habit of opening his gob before engaging his brain, although the gaffe that saw him axed by Sky Sports seemed all too carefully prepared.

Less than a month after a tsunami had devastated large parts of the Far East and left 225,000 people dead, Marsh joked that David Beckham had turned down a move to Newcastle "because of trouble with the Toon Army in Asia".

He may have made light of the death of thousands of people but, hey, at least he didn’t swear…

Ron Atkinson

The former Manchester United jewellery model broke the ultimate taboo in 2004, by using the ‘n’ word on live television. Sadly, it wasn’t done in an edgy, intellectual, ‘make you think’ kind of way; but rather in an overtly racist, moronic, ‘makes you think he’s a massive racist’ kind of way.

Thinking the microphones were off following Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final defeat in Monaco, Atkinson was far from gushing with praise for defender Marcel Desailly (you know what he said, which saves us the effort of finding a glossy way of putting it). Sadly for the tubby chancer, the broadcast had continued in some parts of Asia that were using ITV’s coverage of the game. 

Glenn Hoddle

It’s 1987 and Spurs are marching to their third FA Cup final in seven seasons. England midfielder and chart-bothering karaokeist Glenn Hoddle is describing his quarter-final free-kick against Wimbledon to a television reporter. “I saw the keeper off his line so I thought I'd have a tw*t.”

We’re not really even sure where to start with that one…

Harry Redknapp

The mild-mannered Spurs boss flipped his lid following a home defeat to Wigan in August, when Sky's Rob Palmer had to front to suggest the wheeler-dealing former Portsmouth and West Ham boss may be about to endulge in some late transfer window wheeler-dealing, being a wheeler-dealer and all...


Richard Keys

The first rule of live broadcasting is to stay calm and not allow your words to mutate into a slew of nonsensical jibberish. The second rule of live broadcasting is to wait until you know the cameras have stopped rolling before unleashing a potty-mouthed tirade against a set of small North Atlantic islands. Chin up, Richard...

Didier Drogba

Oh yeah, the other rule of live broadcasting is not to repeat a clip you know contains 'indoor language'. This is exactly what Keysey and the Sky Sports posse did after Chelsea's Didier Drogba went loco following the Blues' controversial Champions League defeat to Barcelona in 2009. Oops!

Peter Crouch

Crouchie is known for having 'a good touch for a big man' - which is probably why he was so peeved to clumsily knock the ball out of play following a cross-field pass from Benoit Assou-Ekotto. 

John Motson

Last, and by no means least, comes dear old Motty's incredible triade against Germany's substituted front line...

Well, it was funny at the time...