Friday 15 November 2019

Donncha O'Callaghan's bright red y-fronts and 11 other funny sporting wardrobe malfunctions

After Pep Guardiola's trousers split during Bayern Munich's 6-1 win over Porto we look at how other sportsmen and women have suffered sartorial mishaps

Munster's Donnacha O'Callaghan is told to get a new pair of shorts by referee Christophe Bedros after losing his in a ruck against Cardiff in 2006
Munster's Donnacha O'Callaghan is told to get a new pair of shorts by referee Christophe Bedros after losing his in a ruck against Cardiff in 2006

It is now 11 years since the phrase 'wardrobe malfunction' was coined when Janet Jackson exposed her breast during the 2004 half-time Super Bowl entertainment.

Given the rigour sportmen and women put their bodies through when they're competing and some of the skimpy and skin-tight attire they are dressed in, it's no surprise to see their clothes fail them at the worst possible moment.

It does provide viewers and spectators with something to snigger at, though. Need a recap on some of the funniest ones? Well if we must....

Donncha O'Callagahan, Rugby

No man has made more appearances for Munster than Donncha O'Callaghan but one appearance remains in the memory for all the wrong reasons.

He lost his shorts in a ruck during Munster's 22-12 victory over the Cardiff Blues in a Heineken Cup match in 2006 revealing a pair of bright red briefs and tried to play on.

He took his place for a lineout with team mate David Wallace looking perplexed before the referee insisted that he leave the pitch for replacement shorts.

Gillian Cooke, Bobsleigh

British bobsledder Gillian Cooke gave TV viewers and those standing behind her in close quarters an eyeful when her skintight outfit ripped at the 2010 World Championships in Switzerland. Unaware of the sudden breeze, she launched into action at the back of the bobsleigh as GB finished in seventh place.

Ricky Berens, swimming

American swimmer and Olympic champion Ricky Berens became an internet sensation when his swimsuit ripped right up his back to expose his entire backside at the 2009 World Championships in Rome. It didn't stop him competing as he helped his time qualify for the 4x100m freestyle relay final. They went on to take the gold medal.

Berens said of the incident: "I kind of freaked out for just a second,I felt like [the split] was almost down to my knees. I felt like I was putting on a pretty good show."


Flavia Zoccari, swimming

Flavia Zoccari wasn't as fortunate as Berens.

The Italian was disqualified when her swimsuit split in the worst possible place as she geared up to dive in the water at the Mediterranean Games in 2009. She burst into tears as she could only watch her fellow competitors from the sidelines.


Jelena Jankovic, Tennis

The former world No 1 has suffered not one but two wardrobe malfunctions over the last seven years.

At the 2008 French Open, the Serbian changed her black pants for a pair of frilly pink ones on the side of the court...

And her underwear got the better of her at last year's 2014 Rogers Cup in Montreal when her bra strap snapped mid-point during a match against Sloane Stevens. A kind female spectator came to her aid to fix the strap and she went on to win the match.

Arsene Wenger, Football

Jose Mourinho might get under his skin, but nothing seems to bother or cause the Arsenal manager more befuddlement than his damn old winter coat. His issues have been well-documented and widely-lampooned.

Thankfully Puma came to his aid to design a new one that was Wenger-proof.

Devin Hester, American Football

Sometimes an opponent's just got to grab hold of whatever they can to stop their rival. As a wide receiver for the Chicago Bears, Devin Hester is used to getting tackled. But he probably wasn't expecting to have his trousers pulled down and his backside exposed for the American television audience to feast their eyes on when they went up against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009.

Jon Cornish, American Football

...Hester won't be the first and won't be the last. Three years ago Calgary Stampeders' Jon Cornish's trousers were given a tug. What makes this clip worse is that he pulls up his underwear without realising his trousers are still hanging round his knees.

Nick Helenius, Football

The Aston Villa striker had to resort to shooting at goal with his shorts round his ankles when they were tugged down by Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen back in 2013.

As Helenius raced into the penalty area, Vertonghen took drastic action. By the time the Villa man fired his shot over the bar (and you can't blame him for missing), he was showing his white pants to the fans inside Villa Park. The only consolation was that it was a League One clash so there was only the 23,000-supporters in attendance to witness the incident.

Kerrie Walsh, Beach Volleyball

When your partner is one of the world's most googled female athletes - take a bow Misty May Treanor - you have to resort to new ways to get yourself noticed. Well there are probably better ways to go about it then show off your derrière to all and sundry.

Given the skimpy outfits on display in the first place you could argue it was always going to happen.


Ronnie O'Sullivan, Snooker

It was less of a malfunction for O'Sullivan but more of an irritant as he went shoe-less at the Crucible for his World Champinship clash with Craig Steadman yesterday. The Essex potter faces a fine for breaching snooker’s strict dress code having removed his footwear citing a painful big toe.

Ronnie O'Sullivan talks with referee Brendan Moore about his shoes his after he played in his socks against Craig Steadman, during the Betfred World Championships at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 21, 2015. See PA story SNOOKER World. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Turning to the fans inside the Crucible he said: "Does anyone in here have some size eight or nine shoes I can borrow. I’m serious?" Tournament director Mike Ganley summoned him out of the arena and lent him his own shoes for the last three frames of the session.

Venus Williams, Tennis

Another that doesn't necessary fall into the 'wardrobe malfunction' category but one of an optical illusion. While it did appear on a first look that the American was showing more flesh than usual at the 2010 Australian Open, on closer inspection the five-times Wimbledon winner was in fact wearing skin-coloured shorts.


Online Editors

The Left Wing: Champions Cup preview, the World Cup hangover and Joe Schmidt's next team

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport