Sporting streakers’ long history laid bare

A motley collection of sport’s most famous streakers. Adelaide stripper Helen D’Amico tries to give Carlton player Bruce Doull a nude cuddle during her infamous streak at the 1982 Grand Final.

The streaker who stole the stage – and potentially influenced the outcome of the match – in the closing stages of the State of Origin decider on Wednesday night will take his place on an infamous roll-call of dubious characters who have shed their dignity, clothes and the right to attend future sporting events.

The 33-year-old, identified in media reports as Wati Holmwood of Tempe in Sydney, ran almost the length of the field on Wednesday night, tripping just short of the try line two minutes from full time.

He was immediately pounced on by bouncers who flung a tarp over his naked body but not before pictures of his bald, bulky, bare form were captured by thousands of camera phones and official photographers at the match.

Australian sporting history is littered with such spectacles.

Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds escaped assault charges when will he pole-axed streaker Robert Ogilvie during a one-day final against India in March 2008.

Symonds – who once considered playing rugby league for the Brisbane Broncos – flattened the man with a shoulder charge when he invaded the Gabba pitch in the 10th over, with a policeman in pursuit.

The episode echoed the exploits of Bruce McCauley, known as the “beaten streaker”. In 1977 Australian test cricketer Greg Chappell spanked the nude McCauley as he ran towards the wicket with his cricket bat, who then fell to the ground and was arrested by police.

In 1974, an Australian man, Michael O’Brien, who was 25 at the time, was the first streaker to receive major publicity after he ran out naked onto the ground of an England versus France Rugby Union match at Twickenham. He was captured by a policeman who covered his genitals with his police helmet.

The policeman’s helmet remains on display in the museum at Twickenham.

Streaking is not just a game for the boys.

The award for the most infamous Australian sporting streak perhaps belongs to Helen D’Amico – then a stripper from Adelaide -who invaded the ground during the 1982 VFL Grand Final between Carlton and Richmond wearing only a Carlton scarf.

In 2002, a Vodafone network executive faced legal action after loosely encouraging a streaker who ran onto the field during the Bledisloe Cup decider painted with a Vodafone logo.

At the 2006 Winter Olympics, Mark Roberts, a repeat offender for more than two decades, interrupted the men’s bronze medal curling match between the US team and the UK team, wearing nothing but a strategically placed rubber chicken.

The earliest recorded streak occurred on July 5, 1799, when a man was arrested after he accepted a wager of 10 guineas to run naked from Cornhill to Cheapside in London.

And then there are the sporting pests – they may keep their clothes on but the disruption to play can be equally frustrating.

In 1993, during a match at the Sydney Cricket Ground between St Kilda and Sydney, a Swans fan released a live a piglet onto the ground, with “Plugga” Tony Lockett’s #4 spray-painted on it, as a reference to the footballer’s size.

Newcastle resident, Peter Hore, is Australia’s most notorious pitch invader with more than 20 pesky public stunts to his name.

Most notably, in 1993, he ran on field and pulled down the goal net, suspending play during the Socceroos vs Iran World Cup qualifier.

At that time Australia was leading the game 2-0, and it is widely thought the resulting break allowed Iran to regroup and level the game with two goals, ensuring them a trip to the 1998 FIFA World Cup on away goal rules.

Hore required a police escort when leaving the ground for protection from irate Australian fans.

Hore also crashed the funerals of former INXS frontman Michael Hutchence and racehorse trainer T J Smith.

Have we forgotten a famous streak? Got a favourite you would like to share with us? Leave a comment.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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