Friendly Fire: 3 of the Funniest Own Goal Records in the Premier League
Many Premier League pros are known for their skill. Others yet are famed for excellence on the wrong end of the pitch, and here are the most amusing of the lot.
Sometimes, it just isn’t your day. Or your week. Or even your year.
But, you know, think positive. Because for all those times where you feel like Murphy’s Law on legs, there’s probably someone out there who’s having it worse, like a pro football player who’s just scored a goal for the wrong side.
To be honest, it’s quite amusing how the nature of the sport even allows you to score against your own team in the first place. But for lack of a better phrase, it is what it is, so let’s move on to check out who holds some of the funniest own goal records in the Premier League.
1. Richard Dunne
Award: The Most Own Goals in the Premier League
It’s said that folks usually remember you by the things you did. But whether you did them correctly is a separate conversation.
The fact that you even scored an own goal says as much.
Well, that’s why we’ve chosen former Man City defender Richard Dunne to start us off today, and it’s quite apt that he’s at the very top of this list. After all, he’s the current Premier League record holder for the number of own goals scored, accruing a whopping (and still unsurpassed) tally of 10 during his stint.
Coincidentally, he’s also a joint record holder with Duncan Ferguson and Patrick Vieira, having been sent off the Premier League pitch 8 times, though we certainly wouldn’t blame him for getting a red after scoring on the wrong side as often as he did. Fortunately, the now-television pundit for BT Sports did (somewhat) dig himself out of that hole in the end, scoring a total of 13 goals (on the correct side of the pitch) over the course of his career.
2. Shay Given
Award: (Arguably) The Most Hilarious Own Goal
The concept of an own goal is already funny in itself. But every so often, there is the occasional gem that’s so unbelievable you can’t help but laugh outright, and for us, Shay Given’s comedic masterpiece from August 2016 takes the cake.
Held at the Goodison Park stadium, Everton was facing off against Stoke City with Given as goalie for the latter. Both sides played to a standstill until just after half-time, when the Potters conceded a penalty.
Now, if that wasn’t bad enough, the powers-that-be also chose to have the planets align for everyone but Given (and Stoke City fans) that day. To his credit, he managed to tip Leighton Barnes’ kick into the goalpost…only for the ball to rebound and score off the ONE thing in the immediate vicinity – his head.
To add insult to injury, that also happened to be the ONLY goal scored that game, all because Given's noggin was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
3. Tony Popovic
Award: The Most Gorgeous Own Goal Ever
In life, there are those who succeed. There are those who fail.
And then there’s former Crystal Palace player Tony Popovic, who we’re not quite sure where to place within the Venn diagram.
In September 2004, Popovic was running defender as part of the Eagles’ line-up against Portsmouth. His “big break” came when he backheeled the ball in an attempt to clear it, only to realise moments later that he had instead sent it flying into the far post, where it rebounded, and well, you know the rest.
Now, what sets this apart from every other own goal on this list is that if Popovic had been playing for Portsmouth, that play would have been in ripe contention for the Mona Lisa of football goals.
In fact, it’s so beautifully placed that nobody, not even his own team could realistically give him shade over it skill-wise, and who wouldn't want to be as close to the action as possible for moments like these?
Honorable Mention: Jamie Carragher, Michael Proctor, Jonathan Walters, and Wout Faes
Award: Scoring More Than One Own Goal in the Same Match
Hey, it’s fine. Everyone definitely has days when they’re not at their 100%. Sometimes you’re so off your game that you even feel like you’ve descended into the negatives.
But if you’ve ever wondered whether anyone can hit -200%, well wonder no longer, because four different Premier League players have apparently proved that whatever can go wrong…can also go doubly wrong.
Apparently, it seems life decided to have some real fun at their expense at the worst possible time, letting them net not one, but TWO own goals in the same Premier League match. For clarity, Carragher originally set the bar in September 1999 when Manchester United played Liverpool. Proctor, Walters and Faes then joined him on the podium over the next few decades in that order, though Faes’ double achievement for friendly fire within SEVEN minutes is particularly impressive.
Own goal or not, we still love Premier League football
All in all, the moral of the proverbial story is that no matter where we are, or even who we are, we’ve all got bad days. Some of us just happen to have more of them, and as funny as these own goal records might be in hindsight, football is still a great game and that’s all the reason we need to enjoy it.
Needless to say, football matches, especially the Premier League are an experience best shared with your buddies. So, if you need some help setting up a watch party, let’s just say we might be able to help you out with that.
Check out the links for more information on StarHub’s Premier+ offerings and our upcoming FREE access weekend on 1-2 April 2023!