Darren Bent’s infamous ‘beach ball goal’ is the strangest to ever grace the Premier League.
While there have undoubtedly been some weird and wonderful strikes in England’s top-flight before and since the 1992 rebranding, it’s pretty tough to look past Bent’s effort from 2009.
In what proved to be a memorable victory for Sunderland over Liverpool, the deciding goal at the Stadium of Light remarkably took a deflection off an inflatable seaside item before rippling the back of the net.
Darren Bent’s ‘beach ball goal’
Amusingly, the Liverpool-branded beach ball had made its way on to the pitch courtesy of an away supporter with the wind eventually blowing it into the penalty area and causing havoc for their team.
With one scuffed swing of Bent’s right boot, the ball pinged off its inflatable counterpart and into the back of the net with Pepe Reina not knowing whether he was coming or going.
And while the goal should technically have been disallowed due to exterior interference, surely we’re all glad that it was never chalked off because it remains one of the Premier League‘s funniest ever moments?
Appearance on The Chase in 2015
Besides, if nothing else, the whole episode will forever make for the perfect pub quiz question with each passing year making the sheer premise of a ‘beach ball goal’ seem all the more hysterical.
However, arguably even more hilarious than the goal itself was its appearance on the popular ITV quiz show ‘The Chase’ in 2015 when it cropped up as a question – and in side-splitting style to boot.
During the head-to-head round against professional quizzer Shaun Wallace, contestant Emma was asked: “In 2009, Sunderland scored against Liverpool when the football deflected in off what object?”
Contestant’s iconic answer
Her options were A. Beach ball, B. Ice cream van and C. Sunbathing German, which – even if you’re not a follower of football – would surely leave you leaning towards the most feasible answer: the beach ball.
But alas, presenter Bradley Walsh looked on in shock as Emma actually plumped for the ice cream van in the presumed assumption that one of the refreshment kiosks was, well, on the actual pitch.
All in all, it made for one of the best television moments we’ve ever seen in the footballing sphere, so be sure to relive the answer that made Bent’s ‘beach ball goal’ even funnier down below:
You love to see it.
A brilliant TV moment
The moment that Walsh’s expression changes from unabashed laughter at the absurdity of two of the three options to sheer bewilderment at the contestant thinking that one of them was real is simply brilliant.
In fact, it was such good entertainment that even Reina – the very man who conceded said ‘beach ball goal’ – got involved by replying to a fan’s tweet superimposing an ice cream van onto the incident.
Now, of course, it goes without saying that Emma’s knowledge of late 2000s men’s football clearly wasn’t tip-top and the pressure of these TV quiz shows can be extremely high, so it could easily have happened to many a contestent.
But you still have to wonder that if she had been given the benefit of a few extra seconds to gather her thoughts on the question whether she would have decreed that an ice cream van was a tad unfeasible.
Then again, just picturing Bent scoring with a deflection off an ice cream van is making us smile and at least Emma didn’t plump for the sunbathing German. Now that would have been wild.