Everton v Newcastle had to be halted for EIGHT minutes as a protester ties himself to goal, leaving many fans, players and staff puzzled.
It came with the second half barely five minutes old when the game was stopped after a protester tied himself to the goalpost at the Gwladys Street End and was only removed after half-a-dozen people and bolt croppers were deployed.
The man was then led away by police and stewards before the Premier League game was restarted.
Just Stop Oil later released a statement, saying: “At 8:50pm today, a young supporter of Just Stop Oil ran onto the pitch during the Everton vs Newcastle United game to draw attention to the group’s demand that the Government ends all new fossil fuel supply projects.
“Louis, 21, locked on to the goalpost at Goodison Park wearing a Just Stop Oil t-shirt, causing the referee to briefly stop play.”
Attached to the statement, Louis added his own message: “It’s 2022 and it’s time to look up, time to step up and not stand by. It’s time to act like it’s an emergency.
“Report after report is telling me that my future is going to be dire, and my government is telling me not to worry and pay into a pension.
“My generation is being shafted – we face a cost of living crisis, a housing crisis, a fuel crisis and an unlivable planet – but we have a choice. We can choose to highlight that our climate is breaking down, we can choose to resist this government that is betraying us, we can choose to step up and not stand by.”
The incident came during a crucial fixture for Everton, whose recent form has been woeful and seen them pulled into the relegation battle. Going into the game, they were just outside the top three on goal difference, so points were needed form this game.
It was goalless against Newcastle at the time of the protest.
Alistair Magowan (for BBC Sport at Goodison Park) said: “Well, I have never seen anything like that at a match before.
“I have no idea how the person managed to tie themselves to a goalpost so quickly.
“The over-sized pliers being brought on added to the bizarreness of the situation.
“Fair to say the person involved didn’t get much sympathy from the crowd. Extraordinary.”
However, within the added time at the end of the second half, Everton broke the deadlock to the surprise of many.
The goal came in the 99th minute, with Seamus Coleman winning possession in the middle of the park and flicked the ball into Alex Iwobi.
The 25-year-old skipped past a challenge and exchanged passes with Dominic Calvert-Lewin before driving low into the bottom right corner.
Everton boss Frank Lampard talking to Amazon: ‘I’ve broken my hand in the celebrations. My bones must be going soft, I don’t remember the moment.
“It was an amazing night and we need those nights. Spirit and togetherness, the players stood up tonight. It was not a night for quality or calm. It means so much to the stadium we all felt that. I wanted to use the atmosphere.
“Everton fans wanted to see passion. We proved what we could be tonight. I don’ t think it is a red card. It is a yellow, yes, is it a strong yellow? Possibly. But that isn’t a clear error. It was the wrong decision and we lose Allan for three games.”
Listen to that noise 🔊
Everton secure three crucial points in their fight against relegation.
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) March 17, 2022
Twitter users reacted as Everton v Newcastle gets halted for EIGHT minutes as the protester ties himself to the goal…
@reyes: The most exciting thing to happen at Everton Vs Newcastle so far is the protestor zip tying himself to the goalpost. 8 minutes of goalmouth action!
@Cliffo1981: Reckon that protestor has shown more commitment and resolve than a few Everton players have all season. #EVENEW
@iammrazul: An Everton fan running on the pitch to rag off an oil protestor is very very Goodison Park.
@Fentuo_: Everton really have that protestor to thank lol
@CharleyNine: Still howling at the Everton fan coming on to belt the protestor and then getting chucked out 😂
@_ethannn: how the fuck has he had enough time to do that
@nicola_cookson: It’s probably the most entertainment Everton fans have seen
@gussf96: Someone said he’s better at defending the first post than Harry Maguire 😂
@UTDxGoat: Preparing for life in the championship don’t look easy for him
@timothyNUFC: Wonder if the pitch invader/protester is on Everton’s payroll?
@AIlEverton: Just a normal night at goodison. A sending off, a fan tying his neck to the post, someone from the crowd giving the steward a knife to help get him off, someone from the crowd running on to do him in and Everton scoring a winner in 14 minutes of injury time. Never change Everton
@richiem42: Everton should make a statue to that protester as thanks to him they had all that extra time to score the winner in
Some mad bastard just ziplocked himself by the neck to the goal post in this Everton game ahahahah pic.twitter.com/aVpjW3vgGk
— dylan ;p (@abritishboy) March 17, 2022
Most effort put in at Goodison park this season pic.twitter.com/kkV18s6DbQ
— Sean (@WafcSean) March 17, 2022
That Everton protester should be hailed a hero. Without him Everton would have lost pic.twitter.com/Hd7YQkLTiv
— Jay Winstanley (@Jaywin83) March 18, 2022