You’ve seen Wayne Rooney’s recent wonder goal for Manchester United against West Ham, you’ve marvelled at David Beckham’s strike from the halfway line against Wimbledon and you’ve salivated over the never-ending supply of YouTube goal porn from Messrs Ronaldo, Messi and Ibrahimovic.
But you don’t have to be a legend of the game to score a screamer. In a game between the Men United Allstars and the UK Parliamentary Football Club at Millwall last week, the hitherto unheralded Michael O’Brien – Arsenal’s assistant club secretary – scored an audacious goal straight from the kick-off.
So we asked former Arsenal and Southend midfielder Adrian Clarke to come up with five more incredible goals you’ve probably never heard of – read on for Clarkey's closet classics, including one he was on the receiving end of...
And if you fancy trying to score a career-defining goal of your own, why not take part in one of our six-a-side tournaments at Exeter, Derby, Sheffield Wednesday, Doncaster, Leyton Orient or Accrington Stanley. Get in touch with our events team to find out more.
Roger Boli, Walsall v Southend, Second Division, 30
Unlike Rooney’s overhead kick in the Manchester derby, only 3,304 hardy souls witnessed this work of art from Walsall’s unheralded French frontman, sixteen-and-a-half years ago at the Bescot Stadium. Funnily enough, I was on the pitch at the time (wearing Southend colours) and it’s a moment that still leaves me speechless. Given the ordinariness of the fixture – and the indifferent quality on show – seeing the diminutive Roger Boli produce such a majestic backward leap, and ridiculously clean finish, takes the breath away. Even now I still can’t believe how good it was. The Saddlers star (pictured above in FA Cup action against Manchester United's Ronny Johnsen later that season) went on to score a hat-trick that day, but if I were him, I’d have retired from football the moment this unbelievable effort hit the back of the net.
Jamie Milligan, Fleetwood Town v Farsley Celtic, Blue
Square North, 19 January 2010
While David Beckham continues to dine out on his halfway-line goal at Selhurst Park (well, among other things), former Fleetwood midfielder Jamie Milligan must want to scream to the world: “Mine’s better!” and I happen to think it is. Picking the ball up just in front of his back four, a neat sideways pass looked the best option, but Milligan had other ideas, calmly whacking a sweet left-foot strike over the Farsley keeper and into the back of the net. If that wasn’t brilliant enough, the goal was greeted by a terrific rendition of the Captain Pugwash theme tune over the tannoy. Honestly, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Glen Little, Wealdstone v Dulwich Hamlet, Ryman Premier
League, 30 November 2013
Some players respond to confirmation that there will be one minute’s additional time by running the ball towards the corner flag. Not former Reading and Burnley star Glen Little. Instead of winding the clock down, Wealdstone’s veteran midfielder embarked on a stunningly direct run from deep inside his own half. He left a trail of defenders in his wake, displayed delicate twinkle toes inside the box then dumbfounded the keeper with a sand-wedge chip that Phil Mickelson would have tipped his cap to. It reminds me of Eric Cantona’s stunning run and chip against Sunderland in 1996, only it’s much, much better.
Rene Steer, St Neots Town v Canvey Island, FA Cup
2nd qualifying round, 1 October 2013
Rene Steer made it as far as the Arsenal first-team bench in 2008, but in the past few years, the full-back has been plying his trade in non-league football. Last season, during a spell with St Neots, he produced a moment of FA Cup magic that’s right up there with Ronnie Radford's legendary strike for Hereford against Newcastle in 1972. Racing on to a loose ball that had been cleared from a corner, the 24-year-old connected with the sweetest 40-yard left-foot strike I’ve ever seen. Before the keeper had time to realise someone had taken a pop at goal, the ball had crashed off the underside of the bar and into his net. If ever a goal deserved to be accompanied by the word ‘Boom’, it's this one.
Eric Wade, Bohemians U17s v Leixlip United U17s,
Irish Cup, 27 September 2009
We've saved the best till last. Forget Diego’s effort at the Azteca Stadium in 1986 – it’s not a patch on Eric 'The Irish Maradona' Wade’s quite frankly ludicrous goal in the Irish Under-17s Cup. Collecting the ball midway inside the opposition half, the striker cockily does four or five keepie-uppies en route towards the corner flag. Why head there? Turns out it was so he could brilliantly flick the ball past his marker, jink between two men with his Riverdance toes and nonchalantly curl the ball with outside of his foot into the far corner. You HAVE to watch this goal.
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