One of the most recognisable faces of Sutton United's FA Cup run is a man who hasn't played so much as a minute of first-team football for the U's this season.

Back-up goalkeeper Wayne Shaw's picture has been plastered across the internet since Sutton were paired with Premier League giants Arsenal in the fifth round and it's not hard to see why.

At 46 years old and weighing in at about 20 stone, Shaw has been lovingly labelled the Roly Poly Goalie on Twitter, Facebook and all other social media platforms in between, and it's a tag he's happy to play along with.

“It’s incredible really. It’s gone global. It all kind of happened overnight.

“There are quite a few things that are coming about on the back of all this. NBC want to do an interview and have asked for me personally, I don’t know why.

“I’ve done a podcast for the States and I’ve done some stuff for the Norwegian press as well.

“We’ve got a group popping over from Italy and Paul Merson is coming down with Matt Le Tissier for Sky Sports News.

“The Times want to do a feature with me naked – everything covered up, of course – but they want to focus on the health side of things, what with a big bloke like myself playing at this level.”

Big Wayne, as he is also known, is certainly a man in demand.

There's even a steady line in Roly Poly Goalie merchandise. You can buy T-shirts, hoodies, mobile phone covers and hot chilli sauce, all proudly displaying his beaming smile.

There are memes from Arsenal fans calling for Sutton to pick him for the game with the Gunners, which is perhaps a little harsh on United’s number one goalkeeper, Ross Worner, who has had an outstanding season once again.

Shaw dusted off his gloves just two weeks ago to play for the U's in a practice match against Eastbourne Borough, a game arranged to give some of United's new signings and trialists some game time.

The match ended 2-2 and he made his mark by saving an early penalty low to his right.

I can appreciate, in some small way, the effort it must take for Sutton's trusty number two to keep going.

I was in goal during an after work five-a-side match with colleagues six years ago when my old editor scuffed a shot towards my net.

Shamefully, I let his tame effort slip through my fingers and roll between my legs. The ball trickled across the line, bearly touching the net. 

After that I made a hasty retreat to Tesco Express where I bought a four pack of Old Speckled Hen and a large bar of Galaxy Smooth. I've not played since.

Thankfully, Big Wayne is a much safer pair of hands and in more ways than one.

He is not just the goalkeeping coach at Sutton, he also helps look after the 3G pitch, raises funds for the club and represents it on the corporate side, highlighting its work in the community at business networking events.  

He’s even been known to pull pints for punters thirsty for more success at the club’s bar.

This is Shaw’s third spell at Gander Green Lane having arrived from Eastleigh for the 2009/10 season.

He briefly returned to the Hampshire side in 2012 and then, midway through the 2013/14 campaign, he joined Gosport Borough where he was the goalkeeping coach for their FA Trophy final appearance against Cambridge United at Wembley Stadium.

But the big man wasn't away from Gander Green Lane for long.

“I’ve been full-time at Sutton for 18 months now. I look after the 3G, do a bit in the community and do a bit of coaching, especially with the kids who have learning difficulties. I love doing that.”

While clearly enjoying his unexpected moment in the spotlight the popular shot-stopper, who expects to be on the bench for Sutton’s dream tie with Arsenal, is quick to heap praise on his team-mates who have brought so much success to the club over the last two or three years.

“The boys have been amazing, they’ve done all this. I am a small cog, just the reserve keeper who sits on the bench and is there, if needed.

“We haven’t really had a chance to sit down and take stock. We have to pinch ourselves to realise the position we’re in. What with Leeds on Sunday and the draw with Arsenal on the Monday, we were just in shock.

“There’s lots of good things happening here at Sutton, both on and off the pitch.”

Shaw started as an outfield player before fate put him between the sticks.

“I played out on pitch when I was at Reading and Southampton but we had a bit of a goalkeeping crisis while I was at Bashley.

“I trained as a goalkeeper on the Tuesday and Thursday then I went in goal on the Saturday. We won 1-0 and I’ve stayed in goal ever since. It was 1989/90, I think.”

Shaw has appeared for a number of other teams over the years including AFC Totton, Alresford, Bashley, Basingstoke and even United's tenants, Sutton Common Rovers.

His friendship with Sutton's manager Paul Doswell goes back a long way.

“Me and Dos have known each other for 30-35 years, back to when he got the county coaching job at Hampshire.

“I was working at a hotel at the time and Dos was there raising money for charity through his work. We knew each other from football and it took off from there.

“We played up front on a Sunday for a side he had from an estate agent business. He was in that before he moved into all the property stuff that he’s doing now and that’s how he’s managed to invest and improve in this ground.

“He went into the management side when he first took the Hampshire job, so I played for him at county level and then he went to Eastleigh in the Wessex League.

“Unfortunately I was under contract at Totton for his first year, but I went with him for the second year and the rest is history, as they say.

“He trusts me and obviously he’s been fantastic to me, not only throughout my football career, but also in life as well. So, we’re pretty close.”

Everyone clearly loves talking to Wayne. As I walk with him out through the players’ tunnel at Gander Green Lane, he is given a series of enthusiastic high-fives by some young supporters - all wearing Sutton United training tops - who all call out his name.

“It’s so friendly down here at Sutton. This club is fantastic.

“Once you’ve seen what goes on behind the scenes and what we’re trying to achieve on and off the pitch then it really tugs at the heartstrings. It’s a love affair.”