Terry Butcher, the former England defender who courageously played on despite suffering a deep cut to his forehead during a vital World Cup qualifier against Sweden in Stockholm in 1989, has admitted in an interview that the 'blood' wasn't real, and was, in fact, tomato ketchup.
Butcher, then 30, had some 'impromptu stitches' inserted by the team physio and, swathed in bandages, carried on. Playing in the centre of defence, and constantly clearing the ball using his head - Butcher's dressing disintegrated, and the 'cut' reopened, to the extent that his white England shirt was entirely red by the end of the game.
The incident epitomised Butcher's fighting spirit, and he became a national hero.
This week, though, the current Inverness Caledonian Thistle boss, told TheSpoof.com that the whole incident was staged in order to invigorate the England players at their moment of extreme need. It worked; England drew 0-0 and qualified for Italia '90.
Butcher, who is the brother of now-dead former EastEnders pub landlord and car salesman Frank Butcher, said:
"Our physio came on and handed me some small sachets of tomato ketchup which I applied liberally throughout the rest of the game. I looked like something out of that Gladiator film!"
England won't win the World Cup.