Can Andrew the ‘Grey Wiggle’ Redmayne AGAIN be the Socceroos hero at the 2022 FIFA Qatar World Cup?


He was the unexpected hero for the Socceroos in their epic World Cup qualifying win over Peru via a penalty shootout – but whether Andrew Redmayne features in Qatar come November 23 and beyond remains to be seen.

Standing in Redmayne’s way is a significant obstacle in captain and long time first choice goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

The decision will be left with coach Graham Arnold – with fellow shot-stoppers Mitch Langerak and Danny Vukovic also in the mix. 

Regardless of whether he graces the pitches in the Middle East, Redmayne, 33, is a poster boy for football perseverance, and he has spoken to Daily Mail Australia all about that incredible journey.

The man who grew up at Gosford on the NSW Central Coast was an obvious talent as a youngster, earning a two-week trial with English Premier League giants Arsenal aged 17.

Andrew Redmayne was the unexpected hero for the Socceroos in their epic World Cup qualifying win over Peru in June via a penalty shootout

The 'Grey Wiggle', 33, looms as a likely back-up option at the World Cup for captain Mat Ryan (pictured)

The ‘Grey Wiggle’, 33, looms as a likely back-up option at the World Cup for captain Mat Ryan (pictured)

Socceroos goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne is officially a Grey Wiggle (pictured middle)

Socceroos goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne as a Grey Wiggle (pictured middle) earlier this year following his heroics against Peru

It is believed the Gunners were close to signing Redmayne at the time, only to instead opt for Polish star Wojciech Szczesny, who eventually broke into the first team in 2006 and chalked up 132 appearances between the sticks.

Redmayne dusted himself off from the brutal snubbing and set about establishing himself in Australia.

He signed with Central Coast Mariners in the A-League for the 2008/09 season, and stints followed at Brisbane Roar, Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers, with mixed success.

At one stage, Redmayne contemplated giving up football and becoming a primary school teacher. 

Socceroos boss Graham Arnold will have the final say on who is Australia's goalkeeper at the World Cup in Qatar

Socceroos boss Graham Arnold will have the final say on who is Australia’s goalkeeper at the World Cup in Qatar

But in 2017, Redmayne agreed to terms with Sydney FC and soon became the club’s first choice gloveman.

Two A-League championships followed as well as personal accolades, notably being crowned the A-League goalkeeper of the year in 2020 and 2021.

Yet despite his consistency, outside of Australia Redmayne was relatively unknown – until June 14 this year at the Al-Rayyan Stadium.

In what was a monumental gamble by Graham Arnold, the Socceroos boss replaced captain Mat Ryan with Redmayne in the final minute of extra time – with a spot in the World Cup on the line.

It proved to be a masterstroke, with Redmayne denying Alex Valera from 12 yards to send Australia to their fifth-straight World Cup.

Pandemonium followed. 

‘It was surreal,’ Redmayne told Daily Mail Australia when reflecting on the moment he became an instant national sporting hero.

‘I knew I was a chance of getting some (game) time, it was pre-meditated with Arnie and (goalkeeping coach) John Crawley.

‘We had done extensive video on Peru’s penalty takers, it was a matter of holding my nerve and executing the game plan.’

Redmayne also earnt the nickname the ‘Grey Wiggle’ from scores of football fans as his somewhat comical dancing on the line to get in the heads of the bemused Peruvians generated global headlines.

Rusted on A-League fans may also recall Redmayne winning the A-League grand final in 2019 in Perth with Sydney FC after using similar antics.

Redmayne labelled his sporting moment against Peru 'surreal' as he helped the Socceroos qualify for a fifth successive World Cup

Redmayne labelled his sporting moment against Peru ‘surreal’ as he helped the Socceroos qualify for a fifth successive World Cup

The veteran shot-stopper was told he may feature against the Peruvians if the contest went to penalties (pictured, with teammate Aziz Behich)

The veteran shot-stopper was told he may feature against the Peruvians if the contest went to penalties (pictured, with teammate Aziz Behich)

‘Again, there was a method in the madness,’ he added.

‘I’m aware I am not a popular figure in Peru, but the aim was qualifying and to play my part was very special.’

Another upside was iconic children’s group The Wiggles also welcoming Redmayne as one of their own.

To this day, Redmayne’s daughter Poppy loves nothing more than watching her dad alongside her heroes, with the gloveman admitting the clip filmed a few months ago ‘gets a decent workout at home.’

His family plan to travel to the World Cup next month, to what the gloveman describes as the pinnacle of world sport.

‘For me it is bigger than the Olympics, so to be involved, I would be ecstatic, ‘ he said.

‘We have a great stock of goalkeepers to call on, so to get the nod would be a real privilege.’ 

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