The inspirations behind Andrew Redmayne’s smooth goal-line moves as he danced Australia into a fifth-straight World Cup have paid a fitting tribute to the Socceroos hero.
Redmayne was brought on to replace captain Mat Ryan in goal in the dying moments of the do-or-die play-off against Peru on Tuesday morning in a bold Graham Arnold move which would ultimately prove extremely valuable.
It meant Redmayne was in goal for the crucial penalty shoot-out and he would soon etch his name in Australian sporting folklore — dancing on the goal line to distract Peruvian striker Alex Valera before making the clutch save which would send his country to the World Cup.
His heroics sent social media into a frenzy, and now legendary Australian children entertainers the Wiggles are on board.
Redmayne has been dubbed ‘the Grey Wiggle’ for his unusual antics and the real Wiggles say he is an honorary member and have even performed a song, posted to their social media channels in honour of him.
The groups’ official social media page also shared two posts about Redmayne on Tuesday morning — one a hilarious clip of Redmayne’s moves put side-by-side with those of Greg Page, the original Yellow Wiggle.
They then shared a doctored image of Redmayne sitting with a more recent incarnation of the group on their iconic red couch, produced by the Herald Sun.
“Andrew has an open invitation,” the Wiggles responded to the image.
Perth fans have already been exposed to Redmayne’s dance though, with the Sydney FC ‘keeper also dancing his way to penalty shoot-out glory in the 2019 A-League grand final at Optus Stadium.
Images of the face Redmayne pulled after making the deciding stop went viral, with his wife Caitlin later revealing it was made with his daughter in mind.
“I must say that’s a tribute to our little girl Poppy, that’s face of his that he pulls always lights up her face,” Caitlin told Channel 9.
“Obviously I’m pretty sure that was for her, it wasn’t him just pulling that crazy face. That was pretty special.”
Perth football legend Stan Lazaridis said the result will provide a massive shot in the arm for the sport in Australia, which has been left flailing after some poor years for the A-League in terms of quality and attendances.
“Financially it’s important, it’s important to keep the enthusiasm, to keep the young kids’ aspirations and it just keeps it all going with momentum. It would have been sad had we not made it, because it was almost like you’re rebuilding again,” Lazaridis said.
“With COVID, our game has suffered, the A-Leagues have really suffered with crowds and funding the individual teams, and that (World Cup) money can be spent on grassroots football in the development side of things.”
“It is very difficult if you don’t make the World Cup, it takes away that marketing for young kids that are aspiring to play in a sport.”