Football

Goalscoring keepers – don’t you just love ‘em?

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A thrilling game at Gigg Lane on Tuesday night resulted in a 6-5 penalty shoot-out where the winning penalty was scored by Shakers keeper Cameron Belford. 

Not content with saving Shrewsbury’s sixth spot-kick, Belford then took a crucial and nerve-wracking penalty to win the tie and put Bury in the next round. Bedford joins a list of celebrated and famous goalkeeper goal kings. 

Despite being some 100-odd yards away from the action, goalkeepers have been known to pop-up from time-to-time to score vital goals for their sides. None more so than Paraguayan legend José Luis Chilavert.  

A dead ball specialist, he regularly scored from the penalty spot and free kicks for both club and country and held the record for the most career goals by a goalkeeper until Brazilian Rogério Ceni came along and toppled his figure of 62 career goals. 

This wasn't always the case, however. Prior to 1912, goalkeepers regularly appeared on the score sheet thanks to rules that allowed them to handle the ball up to the half way line. It was under these rules that two opposing goalkeepers both scored in the same match (Third Lanark v Motherwell, 1910) - the one and only time such a feat has ever occurred in a first class fixture. 

Goalies score in open play too. Arguably the most famous goal of all time by a keeper was Pat Jennings' effort in the 1967 Charity Shield while playing for Spurs against Manchester United. His goal clearance flew past opposite Number Alex Stepney after being caught by a gust of wind. Unfortunately for Stepney, the whole incident was caught on camera by Match of the Day. 

The first recorded instance of a goalkeeper scoring direct from a goal kick was on April 14, 1900 when Manchester City's Charlie Williams beat his opposite number, J.E. Doig, in the Sunderland goal. 

Probably the most dramatic goal ever scored by a goalkeeper was Jimmy Glass's effort for Carlisle United in May 1999 that saved the club from non-league football. 

With only ten seconds of the game remaining and with the scores level at 1-1, Glass netted from close range after his opposite number in the Plymouth Argyle goal had parried a header from a United corner. His goal secured Cumbria's last professional side's League status and sent Scarborough down instead. 

To add salt to the Yorkshire club's wounds, Glass was playing his last game for United having arrived on loan from Swindon Town only three weeks before. 

Also, only this week, Sheffield Wednesday keeper Nicky Weaver wrote his name into Owls’ folklore by, not only saving three penalties in their shoot-out victory over Chesterfield, but scoring the winning spot kick himself...in some style too. So let’s see which No.1 does an impression of a No.9. 

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.  

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