Wily British teen Harry Peak got in his silly little teenaged brain a silly little idea for a prank: what if he showed up to the English national team’s open practice, decked out in a full England kit, and tried getting onto the field by pretending he was a player? Like most plans borne of the teenaged mind, it didn’t quite work out how he imagined.
You can watch his invasion attempt above. He does make it onto the pitch with the players as training pauses for a water break, and gets a few dribbles in as he jogs over to the huddle, but the jig does not remain down for long. A coach (and I think Joe Hart?) spots him and turns him away. With a sheepish grin, Peak trots back from where he came, takes one last kick of a ball, and returns to spectators’ seats. There, a security guard escorts him away. On his way out of the building, Peak probably rued the fact that he spent all that money on a kit that didn’t even match the ones the actual players were wearing.
The story could’ve ended there, with a dumb teen doing a dumb but harmless thing, but it hasn’t. In light of the fake bomb at Old Trafford mix-up last weekend, plus heightened fears about potential terrorist attacks at the upcoming Euro 2016 in France, the incident has been interpreted as a worrying lapse of security. The FA released a statement making clear that it would be taking the matter seriously, while England manager Roy Hodgson was asked if the ease with which Peak made his way so close to the players gave him cause for concern. He said it didn’t.
Peak, meanwhile, posted an apology on Twitter—
—and was suspended by the radio station where he hosts a show. Kids these days. They just don’t think ahead.