It’s officially ‘Non-League day’ today and in celebrating the weird and wonderful world of lower-league football, we’re harking back to the time Sanchez Watt was involved in the most hilarious mix-up.
Watt, who played three times for the Gunners after coming through the ranks, was playing for non-league outfit Hemel Hempstead in a 2-0 National League South victory over East Thurrock.
And he ended up being involved in one of the greatest stories in football history when the referee showed him a red card because he’d said ‘Watt’ three times after being asked to state his surname.
After being shown a yellow card for kicking the ball away, the man in the middle thought the 27-year old was going all Stone Cold Steve Austin and saying ‘What’ to the official, who deemed his response to be dissent.
The confusion stemmed from the fact that there are no surnames on the backs of shirts in non-league, but fortunately for Watt, captain Jordan Parkes intervened and explained to the referee that the former Kerala Blasters forward was in fact called Watt and the red was subsequently changed to a yellow.
“The ref thought I kicked the ball away even though we were winning 2-0,” Watt told SPORTbible to give his version of events.
“He ran over fast with the book out to give me a yellow. Asked for my name so I said, ‘Watt’ and started walking backwards into position.
“He looks up and says, ‘come back, what’s your name?’ I said, ‘Watt!’. He pointed at me and said, ‘I’m gonna ask one more time, what’s your name?’.
“I said, ‘my name is Watt’. He goes, ‘that’s it!’ and took out the red card. I said, ‘what! You can’t send me off for saying my name!’ He said, ‘off you get’.
“The captain ran over and said that his name is Watt, Sanchez Watt! He stood there looking lost and stupid, put the red back and gave me a yellow.
“Then he had to run to the benches to explain, everyone started laughing – even the players. He didn’t speak to me after that!”
Where else can you get such madness other than in the depths of non-league? Nothing compares to it and we’re not sure there will ever be a better moment in football.