DID YOU KNOW..... 28



Football has a million and one stories and just as many facts and figures. Here are a few of them - the record-breaking, unusual and bizarre.

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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 Sam 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. Sadly he hit the headlines three years later when, having moved from Oldham to Bury for a club record transfer fee of £2500 in December 1926, he died of pneumonia during a First Division match between Sheffield United and Bury - abandoned matches.

On Saturday March 20th 1976 Aston Villa's Chris Nicholl equalled that record. He scored all four goals in the 2-2 First Division draw between Leicester City and Aston Villa at Filbert Street. 

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 draw.

Fulham legend Alan Mullery was another who scored a pretty rapid own goal. Somehow Mullery got the ball past his own 'keeper, Tony Macedo, after just 30 seconds of the First Division match against Sheffield Wednesday at Craven Cottage in January 1961. And it didn't get much better for the Londoners - not only did Wednesday score first without touching the ball they went on to win 6-1!

But it was Steve Bould who 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 end.

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 end!

If 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 three minutes.

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 United.


If Brighton had won any of their last three Championship matches in the 2016/17 season they would have pipped Newcastle for the title but sadly for them they managed just one point in those matches. The poor run started in a 2-0 defeat at Norwich and after that match you just knew things weren't going to go their way - both goals were identical own goals. Twice a shot from Norwich's Alex Pritchard hit the Brighton woodwork from which it rebounded to hit the back of Brighton 'keeper David Stockdale before bouncing into the net. Previously two own goals by the same player in a League match had been recorded 39 times but Stockdale had the honour of becoming the first goalkeeper to score the double og!


Some own goals are farcical and some are tragic and one of the tragic ones came on 1st July 2015 at the Women's World Cup Finals played in Canada. In the 92nd minute of the semi-final between England and Japan England's Laura Bassett scored an own-goal which gave holders Japan a place in the final. To be fair though she had the courage (and skill) to make the interception and that ball could have gone anywhere - but sadly it went into the net.....


A few more of the facial and tragic....

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.

'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 City!

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 embarrassment!

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 goals....

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.


It 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 own goal.....?

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.


The 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.


Seconds before the end of the Arsenal v Blackpool Division 1 clash at Highbury on Saturday December 17th 1955 the home side had an impressive 4-0 lead. On hearing the whistle Arsenal's Dennis Evans smashed the ball past his own goalkeeper to celebrate the victory. Sadly the whistle had been blown by a spectator not the ref and Evans had scored one of the more spectacular own goals!


An own goal scored by Reading's Stewart Henderson in the opening day Division 3 fixture against Brentford in August 1980 ended a record run of Reading 'keeper Steve Death. He had gone 1103 minutes without conceding a League goal, a record that lasted until 2009 when bettered by Manchester United's Edwin van der Sar.


Wycombe Wanderers played their first match in the Football League on Saturday August 14th 1993 when they drew 2-2 at Carlisle United. The honour of scoring Wycombe's first Football League goal went to Chris Curran.....of Carlisle, an own goal!


Seven goals in the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool and Brighton in February 2012 and only 3 of them were scored by Liverpool players - but Liverpool won 6-1. The Merseysiders goal tally was helped by three Brighton own-goals, two from Liam Bridcutt and one from Lewis Dunk.


Saturday March 4th 1972 saw Everton's Tommy Wright hit the headlines with a goal in the Merseyside derby against Liverpool at Anfield after just 35 seconds. The following Saturday against Manchester City at Goodison he found the net a few seconds quicker than that. Yes, you've guessed it, they were both own goals!


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.




Did You Know.....
...Forest spelt Forrest, Halifax spelt Hailfax, Millwall became Millwall Athletic,
Gillingham became Gillingham United, wrong dates......
just some of the mistakes on the front of programmes

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