Football

Jimmy Dunne's record of scoring in 12 consecutive league games the real target for Jamie Vardy

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Whenever we hear the name Jamie Vardy nowadays, that of Ruud van Nistelrooy inevitably follows after the former equaled the Dutchman's Premier League record of scoring in ten successive games during Leicester City's 3-0 win over Newcastle United.

Inserting 'Premier League' into sentences related to records has long been an annoyance to many people. The football landscape has changed irrevocably over the past 23 years in terms of exposure and finances, but it is still the same game with most of the same precedents still applying.

The reference pops up every week, but sometimes you get one that really bugs you, like when journalists say that Swansea City's eighth-placed finish last season was the Swans' best ever position at the end of a top-flight campaign.

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Some mentioned the Premier League, some didn't. Perhaps these people knew the Welsh club had been in the top division before, but just got it wrong by assuming they didn't do very well.

But the impression I get is Swansea's past exploits in the old First Division were disregarded by the commentators because they needed something to emphasise the club's fine season. Over 40 years of age or not, those journalists should know better considering Swansea's best finish in the top division was sixth in 1982.

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Leading up to every game Leicester have played in the past month or so, talk has centred on whether Vardy can continue putting the ball in the back of the net in order to keep up and equal the so-called 'record' held by Van Nistelrooy, when he scored in ten consecutive games spanning from March to August 2003.

This 'record' has been bettered in the years prior to 2003, but in case Vardy doesn't surpass the real record of scoring in successive matches, commentators seem to feel it is best to fill up the papers with more exciting and dramatic headlines because ten is more likely.

If he was to end on ten and we remembered that football was around before 1992, then it wouldn't be such big news. 

Stan Mortensen: you may know him as the man who scored a hat-trick for Blackpool in a 4-3 win against Bolton Wanderers in the 1953 FA Cup Final, but he also scored in 15 consecutive matches in England's top-flight during the 1950-51 season, even if it was spread out due to injuries.

Despite his three goals in that win over Bolton, the final was nicknamed 'The Matthews Final' after Mortensen's much loved team-mate, Stanley, whom the pre-match build-up centred around because it could well have been the last chance for England's national treasure to win the famous old trophy.

But what of the other great man, his fellow Stan? How irked would he feel at not only being overshadowed in arguably the biggest game in his career, in which he ploughed in three of the four goals, but also barely garnering a mention over 62 years later when it has come to Vardy and his accomplishments.

However, the player whose record Vardy should really be chasing is Jimmy Dunne, who scored 18 goals in 12 consecutive games for Sheffield United.

It seems that just because it happened over 84 years ago between October 1931 and January 1932 it doesn't matter. Well, it does. We need to get out of this habit of just referring to the Premier League whenever someone does something of significance.

As previously mentioned, the landscape has changed since then, but it is still virtually the same game it was in 1931. In 60 years time, will we pretend that football was invented in 2052? No, so why do it now?

So for the sake of clarity, Vardy will not break the record if he scores in his next game for Leicester.

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Topics:
Premier League
Leicester City
Football

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