Why the world's most famous pitch invader is retiring

Oscar Quine@oscarquine
Friday 14 November 2014 09:00
sport

Get off the pitch!

You might not need to worry about that any more. Jimmy Jump – the pitch invader of international sports and cultural events across the globe for over a decade – claims he has gone bust and will have to stop his usual mischief. He told website gazzetta.gr that his dedication to getting into places he shouldn’t be has left him facing bankruptcy.

Not as lucrative as it used to be?

Mr Jump claims that more than 50 per cent of his monthly income now goes to paying off hundreds of thousands of euros in fines resulting from his invasions. “I have no money,” the pitch invader, a 42-year-old Catalan whose real name is Jaume Marquet i Cot, said. “My total debt is around $350,000.”

Where might we have seen him?

At the 2010 World Cup finals, adorning the trophy with a traditional Catalan red cap known as a barretina. Or taking to the court at the French Open final in 2009 to give a barretina to Roger Federer. Or jumping into the pool during the final of waterpolo’s King’s Cup, one of Spain’s biggest sporting events. Or brandishing a Barcelona flag at Luis Figo during the 2004 Champions League final.

What’s the damage been?

One appearance alone – at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 when he mixed with backing singers for half a minute – cost him 24 hours in jail and €1,880 in fines. Being barred from all football matches in Spain and Germany has somewhat cramped his style, too.

Perhaps he should expand the brand, look into advertising...

Ah, fools rarely differ. Woolly red caps adorned with his logo sell on his website for a mere €100 each. T-shirts bearing his slogans cost €20 and his autobiography Asalto a la Fama [Assault on Fame] has a pricetag of around €19. However, not even self-publicity of this high order, it seems, can stave off his financial ruin.

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