The first League own-goal
was scored just 20 minutes after the first Football League matches
kicked off on Saturday September 8th 1888. Aston Villa defender Cox put
past his own goalkeeper at Wolverhampton Wanderers' Dudley Road
ground before Wolves gained a share of the points with an equaliser
shortly before half time.
********* A player scoring
for both sides is rare but on Saturday September 25th 1976 it happened
twice in the Second Division. Colin Franks of Sheffield United scored both
goals in the 1-1 draw between Sheffield United and Blackburn and
Plymouth's Paul Mariner did the same in the 1-1 draw between Plymouth
Argyle and Bolton.
********* Two players have gone better (or is
that worse) than Franks and Mariner by scoring twice for both sides in the
same Football League match.
On Saturday 6th October
1923 in the Division 2 fixture between Oldham Athletic and Manchester
United Oldham's Samuel Wynne became the first to score two for each side
in Manchester United's 3-2 victory. His goals for Oldham were from a free
kick and a penalty.
On Saturday March 20th 1976
Aston Villa's Chris Nicholl equalled that record. He scored all four goals
in the First Division match between Leicester City and Aston Villa.
Sadly Sam Wynne has another
entry in the history books. Having moved from Oldham to Bury for a club
record fee of £2,500 in December 1926 he was playing for his new club at
Sheffield United in a First Division fixture on Saturday April 30th 1927
when he collapsed when about to take a free kick and died of pneumonia in
the dressing rooms. The match was abandoned and when replayed the
following Thursday (May 5th) the £680 gate receipts from the 15,000 crowd
was donated to Sam Wynne's family.
********* A remarkable First Division match at White
Hart Lane on Saturday 5th October1974. Mike England and John Pratt of
Spurs each scored own goals to give Burnley a 2-0 half-time lead. The same
two players scored a goal apiece in the second half - this time for their
own side. Burnley got a winner from Leighton James but even that one took
a deflection off Mike England on its way past Jennings - almost another
own goal and what would have been a unique hat-trick for the Welshman. ********* The quickest own-goal in Football League
history was recorded on Monday January 3rd 1977. Visiting Cambridge United
kicked off at Torquay United in a Fourth Division fixture, Ian Seddon hit a high ball into the Torquay
penalty area which was headed in past his own 'keeper by Gulls defender
Pat Kruse - after just six seconds! Amazingly Torquay scored another
own-goal later in the match so in fact scored all four goals in the 2-2
Steve Bould scored the
quickest-ever own goal in the top flight in the Sheffield Wednesday v
Arsenal fixture on Saturday February 17th 1990. The Arsenal defender put
one past his own goalkeeper John Lukic after just 15 seconds.
"I was scorer of
great goals. Great own goals".
Steve Bould, acknowledging that not all his goals were at the right
********* Chelsea had a unique own-goal in
their favour on their way to their first ever Football League title in
1954/55. Against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday December
18th 1954 City defenders Jack Froggatt and Stan Milburn each struck the
ball at exactly the same time to send it past the Leicester 'keeper to
record a 'shared own goal' in Chelsea's 3-1 victory.
********* Middlesbrough defender Robert
Stuart holds the League record for most own-goals in a season with 5 in
the 1934/35 First Division campaign. Ironically he made a total of 247
League appearances for Teesside club but only managed 2 goals at the right
you think of Liverpool in an amazing European final the mind immediately
goes back to Istanbul in 2005 and that match against AC Milan. But four
years before that they had been involved in another memorable final when
winning the UEFA Cup in Dortmund. If their opponents had been Barcelona or
Real Madrid rather than unknown Spaniards Alaves perhaps their victory
would have been given greater credit but at 90 minutes the score was 4-4
in a pulsating match. That meant extra time and a possible 'golden goal'
finish when the match would end immediately if either side scored a goal.
Liverpool did just that which saw the only European final decided with a
golden goal but sadly for Alaves it came from a headed own-goal from
defender Delfi Geli.
********* Three og's
have been conceded by a club in League match on four occasions.
Vince Kenny, Noman Curtis and Eddie Gannon of Sheffield Wednesday each
scored own-goals in Wednesday's 5-4 First Division defeat against WBA at
Hillsborough on Friday December 26th 1952.
Another Christmas present
was given by Rochdale's Danny Murphy, Kenny Boyle and George Underwood who
each scored in their own net in a 7-2 defeat at Carlisle United in a
Division 3 North match on Saturday December 25th 1954. To cap a disastrous
Christmas Underwood broke his leg in the return fixture played at Spotland
two days later.
Sunderland players scored
three own goals in just seven minutes when losing 3-1 at home to Charlton
Athletic in the Premiership on Saturday 1st February 2003. The Sunderland
villains were Stephen Wright and Michael Proctor who scored twice in just
On Saturday 6th February 2010 at Old
Trafford Portsmouth's Anthony Vanden Borre, Richard Hughes and Marc Wilson
each scored own goals in their 5-0 Premier League defeat by Manchester
Well, all own goals are
embarrassing but which have been the most embarrassing?
I'm sure we all remember 'that' goal
in England's 2-0 defeat in Croatia on Wednesday 11th October 2006. In the
69th minute of the Euro 2008 qualifier a harmless enough back-pass from
Gary Neville hit a divot, bounced up, goalkeeper Paul Robinson kicked air
and the ball just continued its progress uninterrupted into the back of
the net. The incident just summed up all our frustrations with England at
the time (sounds familiar!) with the 2-0 defeat keeping England out of the
top two in the group and giving them the summer off when the finals were
'We have seen one of the craziest goals ever'
was what the commentator correctly said about Aston Villa's Finish
goalkeeper Peter Enckelman's own-goal in the Premier League on Monday
September 16th 2002. Villa defender Olof Mellberg took a straightforward
throw-in which was directed to his keeper. Gathering it up would have been
the simple solution by Enckelman. If he was feeling particularly
mischievous he could have watched the ball roll into the net for a corner
- you can't score a goal, even an own goal, direct from a throw-in.
Instead he made a slight contact with the ball and then watched it enter
the net as an own goal. And what made it worse still - if that was
possible - was that Villa were playing away in a local derby at Birmingham
Bury central defender Chris Brass had his 'Shouldn't
happen to a footballer' moment on Saturday April 22nd 2006. In a League 2
fixture at Darlington an attempted overhead clearance hit him full in his
face and went into his own net to record the only goal he scored while at
Bury. And he ended up with a badly bruised nose to accompany his
Let's move on from embarrassment to style. Aussie Tony
Popovic scored a brilliant Premier League goal for Portsmouth against
Crystal Palace at Fratton Park on Saturday September 11th 2004. And if he
hadn't been playing for Crystal Palace at the time we would be talking
about 'Goal of the Season' potential!
The more you look at this
clip the more you wonder if it was a brilliant goal scored by a forward at
the right end. In fact it was an goal scored at the wrong end by
Manchester City's Jamie Pollock at Loftus Road on Saturday April 25th
1998. And the First Division goal was an important one. The match was
drawn 2-2 and a week later City were relegated to the third tier of the
League for the first time and QPR stayed up - had that own goal not been
scored City would have stayed up and QPR would have been relegated. But it
was a goal worthy of the importance of the occasion!
Not many players could score against David Seaman with
an inch-perfect lob from well outside of the penalty box - but his Arsenal
team-mate Lee Dixon was one of them. His goal helped Coventry City to a
2-1 victory at Highbury on Saturday September 7th 1991 - Arsenal's first
home League defeat in nearly 18 months.
Fast forward 20 years and and a new breed of Arsenal
players show that they can do just the same, if not better. Witness an
amazing own goal from Carl Jenkinson against Wojciech Szczesny in
Arsenal's 2-1 pre-season victory in Cologne on Saturday 23rd July 2011.
Now just sit back and watch some of these amazing own
Please don't think that
spectacular own-goals only came along after YouTube was invented. On
Saturday December 9th 1967 Leeds goalkeeper Gary Sprake was about to throw
the ball to team-mate Willie Bell but changed his mind and ended up
throwing the ball into his own net. Sadly for the Welshman even without
YouTube the embarrassment factor was high - his mistake was at Anfield in
front of the Kop! Des O'Connor's song Careless Hands was played
over the Liverpool PA system at half-time with the song being adopted by
the Kop faithful every time Sprake appeared in front of them.
goes without saying that some own-goals are more crucial than others.
In Nottingham Forest's last match of the 1976/77 season Millwall's Jon
Moore scored an own goal which proved to be the only goal of the match. It
didn't really matter to Millwall - they were destined for a mid-table
position whatever the result. But it did matter to Forest - had they lost
the match they would have finished 5th in the Second Division but the
victory saw them finish third and with it promotion to the top flight.
Grateful Forest fans voted the Millwall player as the Nottingham Forest
'Player of the Year' for the 1976/77 season - surely a unique achievement.
But it didn't end there. The following season Forest won the League
championship, the season after that the European Cup and the one after
that they retained the European Cup. Now if it hadn't been for Jon Moore's
********* Perhaps the bravest own-goal was scored by Liverpool's Jamie Carragher - a goal for rivals Everton
against Liverpool at Anfield....from the penalty spot! No not an Everton
fans' dream it really happened - in Carragher's Testimonial
match in September 2010. He had supported Everton as a child and it was a
lifetime ambition to score a goal for the Blues. But scoring own goals was
nothing new for Carragher, at the time he had scored more competitive own
goals at the expense of Liverpool than he had scored goals for the club at
the correct end. Included in those own goals were two for Manchester
United in United's 3-2 Premier League win at Anfield in 1999/2000 and one
for West Ham in the 2006 FA Cup Final.
Brothers playing together for their national side is
not that unusual, we have the Charltons and Nevilles in England. In San
Marino they have the Simoncini brothers, Aldo and Davide, who against
Sweden in a World Cup qualifier played on Tuesday 7th September 2010
combined to record a unique international first. In the 12th minute a
cross from Sebastian Larsson was put into his own net - past his
goalkeeper brother Aldo - by defender Davide Simoncini. A quarter of an
hour later 'keeper Aldo Simoncini scored an own-goal himself, steering the
ball into his net from a Kim Källström cross. Sweden won 6-0 in Malmo.
scorer of an own goal will usually get some stick from his own
supporters after doing the deed. Arsenal's Sammy Nelson certainly did when
scoring an own goal in the First Division match against Coventry at
Highbury on Tuesday April 3rd 1979. But then the full-back scored a rare
goal at the right end and to get his own back on the barracking Gunners'
fans he dropped his shorts and pointed his Y-fronts at the home
supporters. Had the 'mooning' incident happened two days earlier on April
Fools Day perhaps everyone would have seen the joke but not the FA - who
banned him for two weeks - or Arsenal who fined him two weeks wages.
Newcastle's Demba Ba scored an own goal in the
Sunderland v Newcastle Premier League match in October 2012. Nothing too
spectacular about that except that no other goal was scored by Sunderland
in October so embarrassingly for them it left a Newcastle player as
Sunderland's top goalscorer for the month!
Three players have scored for each
side in an FA Cup Final. Charlton Athletic's Bert Turner was the first in
1946 with an own goal and one at the right end against Derby County.
Manchester City's Tommy Hutchison did the same against Spurs in 1981 as
did Tottenham's Gary Mabbutt against Coventry City in 1987. All three
finished up with runners-up medals.
********* The most tragic own-goal was scored
by Colombia's Andreas Escobar in a 1994 World Cup finals group match
against hosts USA at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena. His own-goal helped USA to a
2-1 victory and condemned Colombia to bottom place in the group and
elimination from the competition. A few days later, on his return to
Colombia he was shot dead, the reason is uncertain but possibly on the
orders of someone who had lost heavily on betting at USA '94.
...Forest spelt Forrest, Halifax spelt Hailfax, Millwall became Millwall
Gillingham became Gillingham United, wrong dates......
just some of the mistakes on the front of programmes
Read more about this and other programme facts and figures...