The fastest red card in a football/soccer game was after 2 seconds for “foul language”. After the whistle to start the game Lee Todd said “Fuck me, that was loud”
“Chippenham striker David Pratt was sent off just three seconds into a game against Bashley last month,” says Jimmy Finn. “Does that qualify as the fastest sending off ever?”Surprisingly it doesn’t, Jimmy. Pratt was indeed reported (by this very website, among others) to have set a new record when he was dismissed for ploughing into Bashley’s Chris Knowles after three seconds of Chippenham’s 2-1 British Gas Business Premier defeat on December 27. We had all forgotten, however, about Cross Farm Park Celtic striker Lee Todd, who was sent off just two seconds into a game back in October 2000.Where Pratt was sent off for a reckless challenge, Todd got his marching orders for foul language. Todd had his back to referee at the start of Cross Farm’s Sunday league game against Taunton East Reach Wanderers, and was startled by the force with which the whistle was blown for kick-off. “Fuck me, that was loud,” muttered Todd, and the referee promptly showed him the red card.”I wasn’t swearing at the ref or anyone else,” protested Todd afterwards. “Anyone else would have done the same – he nearly blew my ear off.” Manager Mark Heard was supportive. “Players should be sent off for swearing at the ref or a player,” he added after his team won the game 11-2. “But referees are supposed to use a bit of common sense.”Previously, we discovered the record for the quickest dismissal at the beginning of a professional match was believed to have been held by Giuseppe Lorenzo of the Italian club Bologna, who was sent off after 10 seconds in 1990 for hitting a Parma player. And then there are the substitutes. Sheffield United’s Keith Gillespie was technically sent off after zero seconds during a Premier League game against Reading in January 2007, but that was after he had come on as a substitute. After replacing Derek Geary early in the second half, Gillespie elbowed Stephen Hunt in the face and duly saw red before the game had even been restarted. Walter Boyd achieved a similar feat whilst at Swansea, earning himself a dismissal before play had resumed when he was brought on as a substitute by Swansea during a game against Darlington back in 2000.