It took Jason Cummings only a few minutes to live up to his ‘joker’ nickname, after Shrewsbury’s superb 2-2 draw with Liverpool in the FA Cup.
The 24-year-old Scotland international had just scored both goals as a substitute in an unlikely fightback for the League One side to set up a fourth-round replay at the home of the European champions.
Told, live on BBC One, that former Arsenal striker and I’m a Celebrity contestant Ian Wright had backed him to step off the bench and score against the Reds, he was quick with his reply.
“Wrighty knows his stuff,” said Cummings. “I called I’m A Celebrity every week to get him into the final.”
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It was a moment that just scratched the surface of the personality of a man who has been known to walk past a live television interview semi-naked, volley a steak across a restaurant in Dubai and hit a team-mate in the face with a naan bread.
Cummings likes impersonating Batman villain The Joker and has the character’s smile tattooed on his hand.
In 2016 he posted a clip on social media of him doing The Joker’s ‘why so serious’ speech and a few days before the FA Cup tie with Liverpool, Cummings walked out wearing nothing but his underwear as team-mate Dave Edwards was doing an interview for television and attempted the iconic dance from the 2019 hit movie starring Joaquin Phoenix.
He has even dabbled in wrestling.
When he was at Hibernian – where he made his career debut – the team were paid a visit by professional wrestler and actor Grado, who Cummings saw fit to challenge, wearing underpants.
And then there was the time he supposedly took a travel adaptor plug with him for a game in Wales.
Cummings’ liveliness has landed him in trouble, particularly after he videoed himself hurling a flatscreen TV and a dining chair through a window – and spraying champagne around a living room.
His boss at Peterborough at the time, Steve Evans, defended his player, saying he was dealing with a break-up with his girlfriend,.
A former Nottingham Forest striker who has had loan spells at Rangers, Peterborough United and Luton before joining Shrewsbury in 2019, Cummings had been injured recently.
But this was the second successive game he has come off the bench to score after netting in last week’s 2-2 draw at Fleetwood.
“My fitness is not up to scratch,” Cummings told BBC Sport after his heroic performance on Sunday.
“I don’t know if I have got a full 90 minutes in me, or even 70 minutes at the moment.
“I thought the gaffer might have started me and pulled me off after an hour, but I feel that when I come on it is better for me to make an impact.”
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Liverpool led 2-0 before the 24-year-old scored twice in the space of 10 second-half minutes to earn a replay.
“We managed to dig in and I’m delighted to get two goals as well,” he added.
“We were saying after the game that we were disappointed not to win. It’s crazy to say that against Liverpool, but a replay at Anfield is great news for the fans and the club as well.”