Although Chelsea and Australia striker, Sam Kerr, is mostly known for her goalscoring exploits she is also famed for tackling pitch invaders. The Sam Kerr pitch invader incident of 2021 went viral at the time and it is still brought up every now and then to remind everyone in the world of women's football that Kerr isn't someone to be messed with.
The Matilda's forward has just come off the back of another stellar season for Chelsea in the Women's Super League where she helped Emma Hayes' team to a league and cup double. After scoring 12 goals and providing five assists in the league, Kerr then showed why she is a woman for a big occasion when she netted the winner in the Women's Fa Cup Final in May.
On that day, Kerr and her teammates played in front of 77,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in London so the pressures of a home World Cup won't be too much of a worry for the 29-year-old. And if anyone tries to stand in her way this winter, then they may well just get a shoulder charge just as one pitch invader found out 18 months ago. If you've never seen the incident before, then here is everything you need to know.
Sam Kerr pitch invader incident – What happened
On December 8th 2021, Chelsea took on Juventus in a group game in the Women's Champions League at Kingdsmeadow – the home stadium of Chelsea Women. After a frustrating night on the pitch for both sides, with the game ending in a 0-0 stalemate, a pitch invader decided to test their luck getting onto the pitch.
The man, who appeared to be in his early 20s, waltzed onto the field of play without much resistance and tried to take a selfie with Chelsea skipper of the time, Magda Eriksson. As he walked around the pitch with his phone in the air, Kerr jogged over to him and delivered a shoulder charge that knocked him instantly to the ground.
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) December 8, 2021
The shoulder charge seemed to knock the stuffing out of the pitch invader who was then hauled off the ground by security staff before scurrying off the pitch and back into the stands. Despite the fact the Australian forward had single-handedly neutralized the pitch invader, she was then inexplicably booked by the referee.
Despite the uproar afterwards, the booking stood while the pitch invader was suspended by Chelsea Football Club. Due to a conflict of laws, no legal action could be taken against the pitch invader which meant no arrests were made at the time.
Emma Hayes' response at the time
Chelsea Women's manager Emma Hayes was rightfully furious at the time and called for better protection of her players. She said:
“We do have to think about player safety. We’ve seen in the growth of the game that there is this sense of the players being more in demand. It should serve as a reminder to us all in our stadiums and with our stewards we’ve got to put player protection first.”
With a large number of fans expected at stadiums across Australia and New Zealand this Winter for the Women's World Cup, security should be of a higher standard than that night in West London. Hopefully, this means Sam Kerr won't be needed to down any more pitch invaders during any Group B fixtures.