The mere possession of alcohol is a severe offence in Saudi Arabia, so for the terrible crime of actually being caught consuming the booze, they were sentenced to death! However, after many months and with the help of very good lawyers, they were able to successfully appeal their sentence down to life imprisonment.
By a stroke of luck, it was a Saudi national holiday the day their trial finished, and the extremely benevolent Sheikh decided they could be released after receiving just 20 lashes each of the whip.
As they were preparing for their punishment, the Sheikh suddenly said:
"It's my first wife's birthday today, and she has asked me to allow each of you one wish before your whipping."
The West Ham fan was first in line (he had drunk the least), so he thought about this for a while and then said: "Please tie a pillow to my back."
This was done, but the pillow only lasted 10 lashes before the whip wentthrough.
The West Ham fan had to be carried away bleeding and crying with pain when the punishment was done.
The Canvey fan was next up (he almost finished a half-can), and after watching the scene, said: "Choice! Please fix two pillows on my back."
But even two pillows could only take 15 lashes before the whip went through again.
The Orient fan was the last one up (he had finished off the crate), but before the Orient fan could say anything, the Sheikh turned to him and said: "You are from a most beautiful part of the world, your city has some of the best and most loyal football fans in the world. For this, you may have two wishes!"
"Cheers mate, your Most Royal and Merciful highness", The Orient fan replies.
"In recognition of your kindness, my first wish is that you give me not 20, but 100 lashes."
"Not only are you an honourable, handsome and powerful man, you are also very brave." The Sheik says with an admiring look on his face. "If 100 lashes is what you desire, then so be it. And your second wish? What is it to be?" the Sheik asks.
"Please tie the Canvey fan to my back."