4:10pm Friday 23rd November 2012
By Neil Vowles
He terrorised opposition midfielders with his tough tackling but now the tables have been turned on Albion coach Charlie Oatway by organisers of his testimonial celebrations.
The 38-year-old will mark his tenth year with the Seagulls by either eating a plate of insects or being rescued from the sea off the Brighton coast.
The combative coach’s fate will lie in the hands of fans, who will get to choose which ordeal he should undertake.
Seagulls supporters now have until midnight on Monday to vote on whether Oatway will have to undergo the “all things bug and beautiful” ordeal or the “into the deep blue sea” challenge, with all the money raised going to Albion in the Community.
It is expected that Oatway’s dumping into the sea, if selected, will take place next summer once the seas have warmed up.
And that won’t be the end of the coach’s torments with two more “Oatway Ordeals” set to be announced next week.
The testimonial will mark his ten year association with the club since joining from Brentford in 1999.
After hanging up his boots he returned to the Seagulls firstly as a member of the Albion in the Community team and since 2010 as first-team coach.
Albion in the Community joint managing director Alan Sanders said: “Charlie has been a great servant to both the club and Albion in the Community.
“Anyone who has been on the end of one of his pranks will be able to get their own back by voting for one the ordeals.”
Oatway said: “I really can’t thank my testimonial committee enough for coming up with these suggestions. I’m certainly regretting ever telling them that I was scared of water and flying.
“If I can help raise money for Albion in the Community and give people a bit of fun along the way by doing this then I’m more then prepared to go through with it.”
Fans can choose his fate by texting to 70100 either ORDEAL A for Oatway to eat bugs or ORDEAL B for the footballer to be thrown into the English Channel. Texts are charged at £1 plus standard network rates.
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