‘Top bins’ has officially been added to the Oxford English Dictionary


There are few sweeter sights in football than a shot arrowing into the top corner of the goal.

They’re the kind of strikes that leave the goalkeeper helpless as they dive through the air with an arm fully extended in a futile attempt to get a glove on the ball.

As you’ve probably heard, such types of goals have become widely associated with the term ‘top bins’.

That’s largely due to a competition on Soccer AM which pits teams of rival fans against each other in a test of their ability to score on the volley.

In case you’ve never seen it, this is how it works.

A ball is bounced off a raised net and participants must try to beat the goalkeeper with a first-time shot.

Points are awarded for hitting the back of the net and the final tally is doubled if the ball nestles into the bins affixed to the top corners of the goal.

It’s not a feat that’s regularly pulled off, but when it is, the audience in attendance is sent into raptures.


The segment makes for hugely popular viewing among fans of all clubs, which is perhaps why the notion of a shot being ‘top bins’ has been made its way into the professional game.

Football is stacked with idiomatic language, though you won’t find many relevant entires in the average dictionary.

But that’s no longer the case for ‘top bin’, which has officially been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Published by Oxford University Press and regarded as the principal historical dictionary of the English language, the noun is defined as:

“Either of the top corners of the goal; (also) a goal scored by kicking the ball into either of the top corners.”

The adjective form - ‘top bins’ - is also described as “in the top corner of the goal”.

It’s great to see the cultural subtleties of football being recognised and appreciated outside of the sport itself.

Perhaps it won’t be long before we hear the words used by a professional football commentator.

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