Scoring wonder goals galore in the Premier League this season, Gareth Bale may have thought his claim to be the “Welsh Maradona” was secure. Little did he reckon upon a rival claim from a 20-stone, 50-year-old, unemployed fisherman from Pembrokeshire.
Andrew Cassidy attracted the nickname after his keepy-uppy skills, performed in a Milford Haven car park, were filmed and uploaded to YouTube – leading to organisers of the World Freestyle Championships promising to fly him out to Dubai for an all-expenses-paid trip to their competition.
Yet after a burst of attention around his invitation, Cassidy’s prospects of footballing stardom have foundered after tournament organisers apparently failed to book him on to a flight.
“I was told it was 1 May, so it’s not looking good is it? I’m quite sorry it happened to me because I’m getting in debt and nothing is happening,” said Mr Cassidy. “The pub- licity is nice but it doesn’t put money in your pocket does it?”
Promises that he would be flown out first class, paid £200 a day and be treated as a VIP are looking increasingly unlikely. “I was told I was meant to meet Maradona, but it looks like that’s not happening now,” he said. “Until a contract comes through it’s all talk.”
Organisers told The Independent that a contract with Mr Cassidy had not yet been agreed, saying: “The booking is not really confirmed.”