Joe Payne proved that anything is
possible in football. A Luton Town player he had been loaned out to
non-leaguers Biggleswade Town, made a couple of League appearances for The
Hatters in 1934/35 and four more at the start of the 1935/36 season, all
at wing-half. Seven months after his last Football League appearance
injury problems saw him selected as centre-forward when Bristol Rovers
visited Luton in a Football League Division 3 South fixture on Easter
Monday 1936 - April 13th. He scored his first League goal, it was a
hat-trick by half time and by the time the final whistle had blown he had
scored 10 - the only person ever to score 10 in a Football League match.
'Ten Goal Payne' as he was then known,
couldn't stop scoring after that. In all he scored 83 times in 72
appearances for Luton and played once for England (scoring twice) before
moving to Chelsea for just £2000 in 1938. A short spell with West Ham
followed but sadly a promising career was interrupted by the war and ended
prematurely due to injury problems. But surely no-one will take that
record from him.
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 played.
The first goal scored in the Premier
League was by Sheffield United's Brian Deane against Manchester United
five minutes after the new competition had kicked-off on Saturday August
The 10,000th Premier League goal was
scored by Tottenham's Les Ferdinand against Fulham on Saturday 15th
December 2001. To celebrate that landmark Ferdinand received a £10,000 cheque
to donate to a charity of his choice and ten years later Marc Albrighton
received a £20,000 charity cheque when scoring the 20,000th Premier League
goal. His goal was for Aston Villa against Arsenal on Wednesday 21st
The first club to score 1,000
Premier League goals were perhaps not unsurprisingly Manchester United.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored their 1,000th in the 4-1 defeat at Middlesbrough
on Saturday 29th October 2005. The first club to conceded 1,000 Premier
League goals were Spurs. It was scored at White Hart Lane on Saturday 14th
January 2012 by Wolves' Steven Fletcher in a 1-1 draw.
The only club to score a century of
goals in a Premier League season has been Chelsea who scored 103 goals in
their 2009/10 title-winning campaign. The only time a club has conceded
three figures was in 1993/94 when Swindon Town let in 100 goals in their
one and only Premier League season.
********* William Ralph Dean - Dixie Dean -
scored an amazing 349 goals in his 399 League appearances for Everton. 60
of those goals came in the 1927/28 season which is a League goalscoring
record which surely will never be beaten. But he left it late needing to
score seven goals in the last two matches.
Dixie's League goals in1927/28.
The League goalscoring record
immediately prior to Dean setting the record -
Since then only
3 players have scored 50 Football League goals in a season -
The goal that David Beckham scored
on the opening day of the 1996/97 Premier League season - against
Wimbledon at Selhurst Park - showed that their was more to Manchester
United than just Eric Cantona. A very youthful 'Golden Balls' scores from
his own half....
********* The most dramatic increase in goals scored
in the Football League took place in the 1925/26 season due to a change in
the offside law. Prior to that season defending players had almost
perfected the offside trap - Bill McCracken and Frank Hudspeth of
Newcastle being the masters - leading to many stoppages for offside and
play being compressed into a narrow space either side of the halfway line.
Goals and attendances were down and football had started to become boring.
The FA had two possible solutions to the problem - to reduced from three
to two the number of defending players needed to be in advance of the
attacking player for him to be offside or to add a line in each half 40
yards from the goal behind which a player could not be offside. Trial
exhibition matches were played and the FA decided on the first option
which was recommended to the International Board and adopted for the start
of the 1925/26 season.
The changed was dramatic with 6373
League goals being scored in the 1925/26 season compared with 4700 in the
previous season - an increase of over a third. And there were some amazing
In Division 1 (goals up from 1192 in
1924/25 to 1703) Aston Villa beat Burnley 10-0 on the opening day of the
season. Sheffield United had home victories of 11-2 over Cardiff and 8-3
against Manchester City but lost 4-7 at Bury and 1-6 at Sunderland. In
addition to that defeat Manchester City also lost 5-6 at Bury but won 6-1
at Manchester United and at home had their own 8-3 victory against
Burnley, beat Leicester 5-1 but lost 1-5 to Huddersfield!
In Division 2 (goals up from 1068 to
1487) Darlington at home beat Portsmouth 7-1, Clapton Orient 6-0 and
Sheffield Wednesday 5-1 but away from home lost 2-5 at Chelsea and 1-6 at
both Port Vale and Stoke. Apart from that victory over Darlington, Stoke
also beat Fulham 5-0 at home but away lost 1-5 at both South Shields and
Wolves, 2-7 at Oldham and 3-7 at Derby.
In Division 3 (North) goals were up
from 1320 to 1628. At home Hartlepools beat Walsall
9-3, New Brighton 6-1, Accrington 5-1 and both Southport and Wrexham 5-0 but
away lost 0-6 at Rochdale and 2-5 at Chesterfield, Coventry and Nelson!
Doncaster beat Accrington 6-2, Coventry 8-1 and Southport 6-1 at home but
away lost 1-6 at Ashington and 3-5 at Nelson.
In Division 3 (South) goals
increased from 1120 to 1555. In home matches Plymouth beat Aberdare 7-2,
Bournemouth 7-2, Crystal Palace 6-2, Norwich 6-3 and Southend 6-2 while
away they beat Charlton 5-0, drew with Crystal Palace 5-5 and lost 1-6 at
a terrible 2009/10
campaign. Their worst League finish for years saw them lose their manager
and a place in the Champions League. And when you're down, nothing goes
On Saturday 17th October 2009 in a Premier League match at the Stadium of
Light Liverpool 'keeper Pepe Reina appeared
to have a shot from Sunderland's Darren Bent covered. It then hit a beach
ball, deflecting the match ball to the right of Reina into the net with
the beach ball just missing the post on his left. It was the only goal of
the match - and it was a Liverpool beach ball thrown onto the pitch by a
Liverpool fan! Still every cloud has a silver lining. The £10 beach ball
set (with beach bag and towel) then proved to be a top-seller in the
Liverpool club shop with seemingly every opposing fan wanted to buy one to
rub salt into Liverpool's wounds! As one rival fan joked 'This is
one of the most flexible products I have ever purchased. Great for not
only the beach, but can also play up front.'
Manchester City suffered the same sort of problem when being knocked
the FA Cup by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday January 27th
2008. This time the culprits were blue and white balloons released into
the Manchester City penalty area by City fans. An early cross into the
City penalty area saw the ball hit a couple of balloons before nutmegging
Michael Ball and leaving a straightforward goal for Luton Shelton. If
being knocked out of the cup by a balloon was bad enough when the City
players got back to the dressing room they found that thieves had made off
with £2000 of their cash!
for most Football League goals in a career belongs to Arthur Rowley.
In a career that spanned 1946 to 1965 he scored 434 League goals in 619
matches for West Bromwich Albion, Fulham, Leicester City and Shrewsbury
Town. His 44 Division 2 goals for Leicester in 1956/57 and 38 Division 4
goals for Shrewsbury in 1958/59 still stand as club record highs in a
Matches between certain clubs
just seem to be a reason for scoring goals. Less than two months after
Arsenal had won 7-5 at Reading in a Capital One cup-tie in October 2012
the Gunners returned to the Madejski
Stadium to beat Reading 5-2 in a Premier League fixture. But over a longer
period nothing can match the scoring in matches between Charlton Athletic
and Plymouth Argyle in the 60's. In the four seasons from the 1959/60
season the eight Second Division fixtures between the two clubs produced
60 goals and they were evenly matched with all the matches ending in home
victories and 30 goals being scored at The Valley and 30 at Home Park. The
So what it is with Manchester United
v Tottenham Premier League matches refereed by Mark Clattenburg - two
matches and two memorable goal incidents. The first was on Tuesday January
4th 2005 with the score 0-0 after 89 minutes. Tottenham's Pedro Mendes
hits a long hopeful lob which United keeper Roy Carroll looks to have
covered but fumbles it with the ball going over the line - and I mean well
over the line. No goal given
Fast forward to Old Trafford on
Saturday October 30th 2010 when Manchester United, Spurs and Clattenburg
re-assemble to provide us this time with a goal that stood that shouldn't
have done. In fact the goal scored by Nani of Manchester United is
probably the most bizarre goal scored in the Premier League. Nani went
down in the Tottenham penalty area and claimed a penalty and presumably
believing one would be awarded grabbed hold of the ball. But referee Mark
Clattenburg hadn't awarded a penalty. Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes
presumably believed a free kick had been awarded for the hand ball and put
the ball down ready to take the kick. But the ref hadn't awarded a free
kick either. So the ball was still live and Nani just hit the ball into an
empty net. A goal and all hell is let loose......
The title of 'cheekiest goal'
probably goes to Ernie Hunt who scored for Coventry against Everton in the
First Division on 3rd October 1970. Willie Carr took a free kick by
gripping the ball between his ankles flicking it into the air with a
backward donkey-style flip and as the ball came down Hunt volleyed home.
It was the 1970/71 Match of the Day 'Goal of the Season' and became part
of the MOTD opening credits but sadly the move was soon banned. In later
years Willie Carr looked back on his most famous 'assist' -
'I will always be associated with the
donkey-kick goal which Ernie Hunt scorded for Coventry against
Everton in 1970. We had a free kick and I gribbed the ball between
my legs before flicking it up for Ernie to volley into the corner of
the goal. We had tried it a few times in training but it never
worked and then against Tottenham Ernie nearly hit the clock behind
the goal. When we did it against Everton everything worked perfectly
although I flicked it up too high. Fortunately the Everton players
didn't know what was happening so the wall didn't move.'
When Ahn Jung-Hwan scored a golden
goal for South Korea which took his country to the quarter-finals of the
2002 World Cup and eliminated Italy from the competition he became an
overnight hero. But not in Italy. Sadly for Ahn he was at the time
employed by Perugia in Italy's Serie A - but not for long. He was sacked
by Perugia president Luciano Gaucci who said "I
have no intention of paying a salary to someone who has ruined Italian
Did You Know.....
that there was a
diplomatic incident when Bobby Moore was arrested in South America in 1970
on a theft charge just before England defended the World Cup.
Read more about this and other 'Crime & Punishment' stories...