Nature calls at the worst of times for even the very best of us. And as we all know, when you gotta go, well you've just gotta go. Who hasn't taken off up an alleyway while walking home for a relieving leak? Luckily for us, the rest of the world isn't out filming to try and catch our misdemeanors on camera and spread them to the wider world. This is of course one of the great disadvantages of being an athlete.
In a world of instantaneous social media, the camera has fast become the enemy of the famous. When you're a professional sportsman this makes it extremely difficult to let your hair down. Sometimes they'll be out on the drink and they can't locate a toilet, so they opt for the nearest tree only to find a Paparazzi snapper recording their every move. Or sometimes they're on the field and they just get the urge.
Imagine this for a second. You've just come out for the second half in a soccer game, you're leading 1-0 and the manager has told you to defend that lead as if your life depended on it. The referee blows his whistle to kick things off and suddenly you're hit with that burning desire to locate a restroom. What do you do? You can't exactly run off the field and duck down the tunnel, lest the opposition put one past the keeper in your absence. Better off waiting for a break in play, and discreetly taking care of business on the field. Now that's not quite as easy as it sounds when there are tens of thousands watching from the stands and millions more from the comfort of their armchairs at home.
Here's a handful of athletes who have been caught on camera draining the main vein.
15 Jack Wilshere
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere felt the urge to go at England training a couple of years back. Usually this wouldn’t pose much of a problem but unfortunately for the talented midfielder, this training session was being filmed. His plan? Find the nearest wall and hide behind a human shield of English teammates and staff. Wilshere fooled no one, and the British tabloids had a great time with it claiming Wilshere was ‘Bursting To Play’ against Poland a few days later.
England manager Roy Hodgson wasn’t too bothered by Wilshere’s actions, bringing him on as a late substitute with his team winning the game 2-0 and sealing their World Cup qualification in the process.
14 Wayne Rooney
In fairness to Wilshere, he was only emulating his captain Wayne Rooney, who had been snapped in the act three years earlier. Rooney was out on the golf course between games at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when he decided to relieve himself on some large rocks adjacent to the hole he was playing. It was his most accurate moment of the tour given he failed to find the net once during the World Cup. Just two months later he was at it again, spraying a wall on his way home after a night out back in England.
13 Cristiano Ronaldo
Not even the world’s best are immune from the stubborn call of nature. Cristiano Ronaldo was caught in the act back in June while holidaying in France during Real Madrid’s off season. Moments after leaving a nightclub he ducked off behind a couple of cars to answer for a quick slash while a couple of friends stood guard. Unfortunately for Ronaldo, he didn’t escape the gaze or the ire of local police. They gave the superstar a talking to and then may or may not have asked for his autograph before letting him continue home. Ronaldo and co sheepishly cleared out, not realizing a hidden camera had caught every moment of the action.
12 Robby Painter
Nebraska Cornhuskers big man Robby Painter just had to g back in a 2013 game. There was an element of patriotism about his efforts too. During a short break Painter ducked off to the sideline and took shelter behind a staff member brandishing a small towel. Flapping gently in the breeze above the scene was none other than the American flag. Painter went home happy that day with Nebraska claiming a 39-19 win. That was until he realized the ESPN cameras had caught him in the act. Ohh say can you peeeeeee, by the dawn's early light...
11 Don McKinnon
Australian rugby league player Don McKinnon is the godfather of urinating on the field during a game. The year was 1988 and the referee had just blown a penalty to the opposition. The cameraman swung over to the referee and in the background about 10 metres away, McKinnon was unashamedly watering the grass. This was in the days before there was an interchange rule so players weren’t allowed to leave the field unless there was an injury. He was later quoted as saying that he couldn’t just “take time off and race off the field”. McKinnon copped a $1,000 fine for his troubles.
10 Russell Packer
Another rugby league player who emulated McKinnon's efforts two years ago. Packer was a little more discreet, not using his hands and just letting the stream trickle down and through the underside of his shorts. The ever-vigilant cameraman wasn't to be fooled though, capturing the incident just before kickoff. Packer's team won the game and he later tweeted "u gotta go u gotta go".
Packer's team, the New Zealand Warriors, were fined $15,000 for the indiscretion and the culprit allegedly faced a charge of public urination, although this never materialized. According to one unnamed sideline commentator, it's not the first time Packer has relieved himself on the field.
9 Jerry Collins
The former New Zealand enforcer was caught in the act moments before a rugby union international match against Australia. His ploy was to kneel down and take care of business, giving himself a good shake before standing back up. His coach Steve Hansen staunchly defended the incident saying "If you're a male and you're about to play a test match and you're seconds away from kick off and you get the urge to want to go to the toilet, what do you do?" A decent point well made perhaps, but as always the cameramen didn't let Collins off easily.
8 Nick Novak
San Diego Chargers kicker Nick Novak simply had to go four years back with a 1:34 left on the clock in a tight game against the Denver Broncos. Novak was on the sidelines and appeared to urinate into a Gatorade cup, most likely figuring the cameras would be focused on the field where the action was. He was wrong, and Novak's no.9 jersey became instantly famous around the USA with his actions broadcast across the country. Novak went on to miss a 53-yard field goal attempt and the Broncos won the game 16-13. Certainly not his best final quarter.
7 Manny Ramirez
Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez was probably the most crafty of them all when he was suddenly struck with a desperate need for the restroom one night at Fenway Park. He hustled speedily to the Green Monster between pitches and snuck through a door before relieving himself just out of view of the cameras and fans. He was however filmed sheepishly returning to his station in left field, just in time for the next pitch. There are no facilities behind that green wall, just a lack of air conditioning and a couple of scoreboard attendants. Ramirez was later quoted as saying he'd urinated in a cup.
6 Mario Gotze
Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze thought he'd kill two birds with one stone when fetching a stray ball while preparing for a Champions League game in Malaga. Gotze jumped behind some advertising boards, but before grabbing the ball he crouched down on one knee for a cheeky wee. He thought no one was watching until he peeked over his right shoulder and realized there was someone filming the whole thing. These cameramen seem to have a sixth sense for this sort of thing. Gotze finished up, grabbed the loose ball, jumped the advertising fences and went straight back to training feeling much lighter.
5 Fabian Barthez
Barthez joined this illustrious list during his second spell at Marseille. The bald-headed ex-Man United goalkeeper had to go one night during a European fixture, and proceeded to do just that without a care in the world. Now there isn't too much cover on a soccer field, particularly when it's a European tie played in front of a huge crowd and being beamed live around the world. So Barthez didn't waste any time or effort ducking for cover or trying to maintain any modesty. He just picked his spot on the field and unleashed a full-bodied and conspicuous stream of urine. Just as brazen and direct as his goalkeeping was really.
4 Jens Lehmann
Former Arsenal keeper Jens Lehmann showed a lot more tact than Barthez when he was faced with a similar situation while at Stuttgart during a European fixture. Lehmann quickly ducked off the field behind the advertising boards for some relief before an opposition counter attack whisked him back into his goal. The referee was none the wiser and Lehmann escaped reprimand. Stuttgart management later claimed their goalkeeper should have been yellow carded, while the club's sporting director Horse Heldt praised Lehmann's handling of the situation. "He could hardly run into the dressing room while play was going on," Heldt quipped.
3 Douglas Dos Santos
What is it with soccer players constantly ending up here? Perhaps it's that in other sports, there are plenty of breaks in the action to relieve yourself in the locker room, but when you're playing non-stop, 45 minute halves, it doesn't lend you much time to do so elsewhere. Brazilian soccer player Douglas Dos Santos of Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense got the urge right before opening kickoff. Rather than have to hold it in until halftime, Dos Santos went right there on the field, with teammates forming a protective wall around him.
2 DaMarcus Beasley
Beasley takes the gong for the most famous sporting urination by an American athlete. It was the 2002 soccer World Cup, and Team USA was up against Mexico with Beasley named in the team as a substitute. He was still on the bench when he needed a whiz, so in theory he could've ducked out the back into the locker room. Instead he opted to relieve himself while warming up, bending down near the bench and striking up the most comfortable pose he could find. He knelt on one leg, straightened the other and just unleashed in full view of the dozens of cameramen nearby. Enough said really. Oh and for the record, the U.S. went on to win that game.
1 Todd Carney
For starters, let me clarify from the outset that we are not making this up. Look it up, it's not digitally enhanced photograph...that actually happened in a Sydney nightclub toilet midway through last year. Todd Carney is an Australian rugby league player who has been sacked from almost every club he's represented for off field indiscretions. His latest and most creative stunt was to urinate into his own mouth.
Naturally someone decided to film the episode and within days it had gone viral on the internet and he'd been sacked by the Cronulla Sharks. Carney ended up moving to France and the photo no doubt continues to haunt him. Now that really is taking the piss.