Touching meaning behind Socceroos hero's iconic celebration

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Pictured left is Socceroos keeper Andrew Redmayne, with his wife Caitlin and daughter Poppy on the right.
Andrew Redmayne's wife Caitlin says the iconic celebration from the Socceroos keeper was a tribute to their daughter Poppy. Pic: Ch10/Instagram

Socceroos goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne is Australia's newest sporting hero after his penalty shootout save against Peru sealed the team's place in a fifth straight FIFA World Cup.

Redmayne - dubbed by some in Australia as the 'Grey Wiggle' because of his unorthodox 'dancing' during the shootout triumph - dived to his right to save Alex Valera's spot-kick for Peru and send the Aussies through to Qatar, 5-4 on penalties.

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Socceroos coach Graham Arnold's decision to bring on penalty specialist Redmayne in the final minute of extra time proved a masterstroke as the substitute keeper cemented his place in Aussie sporting folklore.

Aside from his comical dancing routine in the shootout, Redmayne's iconic celebration also left fans in a frenzy on social media.

Rather than sprint towards his teammates in celebration - as is often the case when keepers make game-winning saves in a shootout - Redmayne simply stood on the spot with his mouth open and his head moving from side to side.

In a beautiful revelation after the momentous occasion, the goalkeeper's wife Caitlin explained on Channel Nine's Today Show that it was actually a face he pulls for their one-year-old daughter, Poppy.

“I must say that was a tribute to our little girl Poppy,” Caitlin told the Today Show.

“That face of his that he pulls always lights up her face. I’m pretty sure that was for her, it wasn’t just him pulling that crazy face. That was pretty special. Look at that face, you couldn’t not love it.”

Socceroos coach explains Andrew Redmayne call

In explaining why he replaced Socceroos captain and regular goalkeeper Mat Ryan with Redmayne for the shootout, Arnold admitted that mind games were at the heart of the decision.

Arnold said that Ryan is a "fantastic goalkeeper" but Sydney FC's Redmayne "is a good penalty saver and at that stage of the game I was just trying to do something that could affect them (Peru) mentally."

"Maybe that's why they hit the post," Arnold said. "They thought they had to put it closer to the post to score. It's a risk but it worked."

Redmayne denied he was the hero of the night, saying his routine was "a little thing I do" for Sydney FC that has "proved quite successful".

"If I can gain one percent by making a fool of myself then I will," he said.

"I love this team, I love this country and I love this sport. I am under no illusions that all I did was to save one penalty."

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Everything was against Australia heading into the knockout contest.

The World No.22 side, Peru, were highly fancied to beat the Socceroos as they did at the 2018 World Cup, especially with approximately 12,000 fans cheering them on in the stands in Qatar compared to roughly 500 Australian supporters.

Having battled through 120 minutes, the shootout began horribly for the Socceroos with Peru captain Pedro Gallese saving Martin Boyle's opener.

But from there the Socceroos didn't miss, with Aaron Mooy, Craig Goodwin, Ajdin Hrustic, Jamie Maclaren and Awer Mabil all scoring from the spot before Redmayne's triumphant moment.

Pictured here, Socceroos keeper Andrew Redmayne is swamped by teammates after his match-wining save in the penalty shootout against Peru.
Socceroos keeper Andrew Redmayne was swamped by teammates after his match-wining save in the penalty shootout against Peru secured Australia's spot in the World Cup. Pic: Getty

"I'm quite speechless because no-one in Australia gave us a chance. I'm accountable for the results," Arnold said.

"But I'm a coach and manager, my style is management and getting the best out of players and doing things face-to-face. Being on the training pitch with them.

"During Covid having to train and try to do meetings and talk to the players on Zoom meetings, it's not my style.

"I didn't like it at all and to be honest, there were times when I nearly walked away because it's not my style of coaching.

"The only reason I didn't walk away is because of the players and the sacrifices they've made."

with agencies

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