Israeli striker Tomer Hemed made a late second half appearance for QPR in its 2-0 win over Millwall on Wednesday night having spent the first 45 minutes of the match, breaking the Yom Kippur fast on the substitute bench.
The 31-year-old, who’s on loan at the west London club from Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion had this week posted a picture on social media of him donning his tefillin, and wishing all his followers “Gmar chatima tova!”.
Starting last night’s game on the bench, he was picked up by television cameras eating and drinking during the first half, before coming off the bench in the 72nd minute.
Gmar chatima tova! ????✍???? pic.twitter.com/Wv9qfA1STW
— Tomer Hemed (@tomerhemed10) September 18, 2018
Explaining to Sky prior to the match why he was on the substitute bench, QPR manager Steve Claren said: “As an Israeli he follows the Jewish religion meticulously and today is Yom Kippur, the day of Atonement. He’s been fasting from seven o’clock last night until eight o’clock tonight. we had a chat, he said it’s very difficult to start. It’s very unusual because Yom Kippur hardly falls on a match day, but it has this time, we’re hopefully get some food into him in the first half, keep him on the bench and if we need him in the second half, can bring him on.
Amazing. Steve McClaren says Israeli player Tomer Hemed was kept on the bench at the start of QPR vs Milwall because it was Yom Kippur and he was fasting. The fast ended during the game so he had a drink and came on pic.twitter.com/52MEQ6xfo1
— Raoul Wootliff (@RaoulWootliff) September 20, 2018
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