Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac spent Thursday leaping out of Mesut Ozil’s motor to chase off two knife-wielding robbers. With his and Ozil’s wives in the car, the player nicknamed ‘The Hulk’ in Bosnia bravely went on the attack despite being outnumbered by armed men in helmets.
All parties thankfully emerged unscathed – and Kolasinac now joins this list of footballers who performed heroic acts in everyday life...
Juventus centre-back Bonucci went “full Sead” in the face of robbery. Naturally, he was outside a Ferrari dealership in Turin with his family when crime reared its head. A masked man approached Bonucci, pointed a gun at him and demanded his watch.
Instead, Bonucci punched the mugger in the face and gave chase as the would-be thief cried: “What are you doing? Are you mad? I’ll shoot you,” before escaping on the back of a moped. Bonucci reported the matter to the police, who presumably set about constructing a ‘Bonucci-Signal’ spotlight on their roof.
Talk about picking the wrong house. In 2001, two burglars broke into a home in Lancashire at 1am, only to be confronted by a terrifying sight: an angry, half-asleep, 6ft 4in Duncan Fergsuon barrelling down the stairs in his nightgown.
One thief, clearly the brains of the operation, fled. The other was overpowered by the Everton striker and restrained until the police arrived, after which he was taken to hospital for his injuries. Both men received 15-month jail sentences; still preferable to 15 minutes with an enraged Dunc.
Former England player Beattie helped rescue a family after their yacht collided with a ferry in 2017. The ex-striker – who probably fears nothing after surviving a nude Tony Pulis headbutt – leapt over a barrier to save a woman and her two small children, personally scooping up one child to carry to safety.
“Glad the family are OK. Acted on instinct while too many people get their phones out to video. Crazy!” Beattie later tweeted in reply to a message praising his swift action.
The Celtic and Republic of Ireland winger stepped in to stop four bullies punching and kicking a schoolboy last year. Hayes came to the rescue, gave the 11-year-old a lift home and then posted him a signed shirt with the message: "If you ever need anything, I'm only 5 minutes up the road."
That is absolutely the kind of thing an actual superhero would say. The only twist here is that the grateful urchin is a Rangers fan. Proof that true heroism is colourblind.
Best known for hysterically yelling at a TV camera while, with precious little connection, a football match plays out behind him, Kamara did make an incisive interjection back in 2014.
In Brazil for the World Cup, the former Premier League midfielder chased down and caught a Rio street thief after he’d swiped a necklace. The police arrested the man, but Kammy later warned: "Police & British Consulate in Brazil have politely told me off, a lot of these guys are armed! So don't chase again.” Presumably said while ironing his cape and donning a mask.
When Paul Long’s car broke down by a busy roundabout, he was in a pickle. “Cars were buzzing past and I had my two kids in the back – but no one stopped, no one came to help,” he said, presumably through a mask of tears.
"But after 10 minutes I saw a car had pulled over into a layby in the distance. Its hazard lights came on. A figure got out, wearing a hoodie. It sort of slipped down, and as he got nearer it became apparent to me that it was David Beckham.”
Now shorn of his cunning superhero disguise, the England and Manchester United icon helped push the car to safety. “As he walked away I said: 'Thanks David, I love you,'” confessed the rescued Long. Five words we’ve all been Long-ing to say for some time. Don’t worry, the coat is already on.
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