The pitch invasion. Once a rare spectacle that would often be mentioned by commentators or pundits, but hardly ever seen. Here in the UK, cameras would pan to other areas of the ground or cut back to the studio. The thinking was to show such incidents would encourage them, despite the harsh penalties often handed to fans that dared to entire the field of play! Having seen streakers at both Premiership football and an NFL game, as well as all manner of animals invading the pitches of football teams across the globe, I enjoy the surreal nature that some of these incidents create. Now sometimes, I like something a bit odd to go off in a soccer match. When an invader often occurs these days, they’re often good natured and the fans respond with cheers and songs. I’ve collected some of my favorite, funniest and furry pitch invaders for your entertainment and amusement!

11. West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur, 2014

When the Premiership returned back in August, one of the more notable talking points was that from the West Ham against Tottenham game when one fan decided he fancied his chances of testing West Ham’s goalkeeper to liven up a dull game. Hammers fan Jordan Dunn had got bored and was apparently a little tipsy when he tried to slot a free kick home in the 63rd minute. Of course, his involvement saw the referee add some additional time on, which allowed Eric Dier to slot home the winner for Spurs on his debut and leave Jordan’s team empty handed.

10. Barnsley vs Manchester United, 2009

Usually, here in the UK, the tendency is to ignore anyone who encroaches into the playing area, but thankfully these days, the multimedia mobiles offer us an opportunity to enjoy these rare moments when fans upload such moments from games or the action catches the camera men completely out, such as this gem on a wet night back in 2009 when Barnsley entertained Manchester United. Clearly, these lads were not wearing the correct footwear, but it’s a lovely move and smart finish!

9. Luxembourg vs Russia, 2013

Of course, when it comes to entering the field of play, scoring is all well and good, but what about a bit of dribbling trickery that leaves the stewards for dead, before finishing with a delightful slide into the net. To be fair, I was watching Luxembourg, I’d be picking this guy for the next game.

8. Germany vs Argentina, 2012

As we live in an age of footballing greats such as Ronaldo, Bale and Messi, it’s no surprise that some fans simply want to run and touch one of their idols. Messi receives a handshake in Germany from one fan, who seems delighted his idol shook his hand.

7. Miscellaneous games

Though this doesn’t seem to something Messi is that surprised by as this rather odd compilation proves! Clearly giving him a hug seems to be quiet popular!

6. Brazil vs England, 1962

Yet it’s not just the fans who want to get into the game or the coverage. Animals have been entering the pitch for years as this classic clip from England vs Brazil in the 1962 World Cup proves. Jimmy Greaves showed his animal magnetism to entice the furry friend to his arms, where he decided relieve himself over Greaves’ shirt!! The dog was supposedly adopted by Garrincha after the game, though sadly this may be nothing more than rumor!

5. Sante Fe vs Botafogo, 2011

Dogs it seems have an uncanny knack of finding themselves in football grounds somehow though not many manage to disrupt a game for as long as this canine interloper seems to be having the time of its life!

4. Rosario Central vs River Plate, 2014

Continuing in South America though sees things take a rather more disturbing turn! This dog seems to have no manners at all!

3. Galatasaray vs Aalen, 2011

In fact, they even seem to bring some friends with them to games in Turkey as these two rather friendly chaps interrupt play for an impromptu game of fetch!

2. Toronto FC vs Columbus Crew, 2007

Now Arsenal fans had plenty to chuckle about when this Squirrel decide to make his Champions League debut back in 2006, and of course, he’d had more minutes in the competition that rivals Spurs had had at the time, but it seems the Squirrels solicitor has taken an injunction out and suppressed the evidence (or more likely UEFA!). However, Toronto fans welcomed a squirrel on to the pitch with its own song!

1. FC Thun vs FC Zurich, 2013

Finally though, my favourite clip of recent years has to be this absolute gem from a Swiss League game between FC Thun and FC Zurich in 2013 which has everything. This still makes me laugh every time I watch it!

So what are your funniest pitch invaders? Seen anything to top the collection above, then please share your links below.