Injuries are, of course, part and parcel of the game of football and the risk of serious injury is an ever-present threat. But for some strange reason goalkeepers have a habit of picking up bizarre knocks. Most of the following were self-inflicted. Some are simply downright stupid. A surprisingly large number involve goalies who played at international level
In 1975 Manchester United keeper Alex Stepney managed to dislocate his jaw while shouting at his defenders during a game against Birmingham City. Former England midfielder Brian Greenhoff replaced Stepney between the sticks and kept a clean sheet!
In 1998 goalkeeper Andy Dibble managed to pick up probably the most bizarre football injury of all time while playing for Barry Town against Carmarthen Town. The former Wales international was hospitalised after suffering chemical burns as a result of diving on the Richmond Park turf.
Did you know that David Seaman won his third England cap as a result of an injury sustained by Chris Woods? First choice goalie Woods cut his finger open after wrestling with the string on his tracksuit bottoms with a penknife and was unable to take part in the match.
Speaking of Chris Woods, he once missed half a season with Glasgow Rangers after contracting a nasty ear infection that affected his balance.
Spain's Santiago Canizares was ruled out of the 2002 World Cup in Japan & Korea after dropping a bottle of aftershave on his foot...
Gordon Banks missed England's World Cup Quarter Final against West Germany in 1970 after drinking a dodgy bottle of lager.
Another England goalie to fall foul of a bottle was former Wimbledon and Notts Forest keeper Dave Beasant. He was put out of action after dropping a salad cream bottle on his foot while making a sandwich...
Spare a thought for former Brentford goalie Chic Brodie, whose professional career was brought to an untimely end by a dog. The incident in question happened in a game against Colchester United in November 1970. The dog, a black-and-white terrier, had invaded the field of play a couple of minutes beforehand and was tearing around up-ending players and linesmen alike but the referee refused to bring a halt to proceedings. Just as Brentford's centre-half Peter Gelson played a back pass to his goalie, the mutt decided to chase the ball. Not expecting to see a dog on the pitch running towards him, Brodie kept his eye on the ball and as he bent down to scoop the ball up the energetic pooch leapt towards the keeper and sent him crashing to the ground. The ball span out for a corner, leaving Brodie writhing in agony on the floor with a shattered kneecap.
American goalkeeper Kasey Keller needed an unscheduled trip to the dentist in 1998 after knocking out his front teeth while pulling his golf bag from the boot of his car.
Another goalie to fall foul to injury in 1998 was former Manchester United star Peter Schmeichel. He managed to pull a hamstring while attempting to tackle Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp. Nothing wrong in that, you may think, but the tackle took place on the edge of Arsenal's 18-yard box
Former Liverpool reserve 'Keeper Michael Stensgaard's Anfield career was brought to an untimely end after he managed to dislocate his shoulder while erecting an ironing board.
During England's opening game of the 1980 European Championships goalkeeper Ray Clemence had to leave the field of play after succumbing to the effects of tear gas. Italian police released the gas after trouble broke out on the terraces behind Clemence's goal.
Andy Goram withdrew from the Scotland squad that went to the 1998 World Cup Finals because he was not "mentally attuned".
Wales and Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Crossley was forced to spend seven weeks in bed after landing on his backside whilst taking a goal kick during a pre-season friendly in Finland in 1997.
England and Arsenal 'keeper David Seaman missed the first half of the 1996/97 season after damaging his knee ligaments bending down to pick up his television remote control...He then went and almost ended his career by injuring his shoulder whilst trying to catch a fish. Must have been some cross.
Bending down to pick up a remote is obviously more dangerous than one would think. Fellow England international David James also managed to injure himself in a futile quest to change the channel.
Sunderland's Estonian keeper Mart Poom almost missed pre-season training during his time at Derby County after injuring his genitals in a charity match against an Iron Maiden XI of all teams.
Grimsby keeper Aiden Davison was felled by a hard-boiled egg during a Second Division play-off game against Fulham in 1998.
Almost as daft was the injury sustained by non-league Stalybridge Celtic's keeper, Mark Statham. He missed a game in 1999 after getting his head trapped in a car door.
Hungarian international keeper Karoly Zsak continued playing for his country until 1925 - winning 30 caps - despite having a finger amputated in the early 1920s.
In September 1999, Portsmouth goalkeeper Aaron Flauavan suffered the ignominy of fainting as he went to take a goal kick. The incident occurred ten minutes into the second half of the South Coast club's Worthington Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers and although he regained consciousness seconds later, the 23-year-old goalkeeper was substituted almost immediately. Funny thing was, it was the second time it had happened to the poor bloke. High blood pressure was apparently to blame. Flauavan later died in a car crash, thought to be the result of another blackout.
Jim Leighton has always been unlucky with injury, being forced off after just three minutes of his last ever game in the Scottish Cup final having sustained a nasty knock to the head. But the former Scottish international has also been forced off the field for some quite bizarre reasons. During a vital World Cup qualifying game, Leighton had to be substituted after dropping a contact lens on the pitch (He forgot to pack any replacements). He also nearly missed a Cup Final after sticking his hand into a revolving lawnmower...
German international Norbert Nigbur's football career was all but finished when he managed to tear the meniscus cartilage in his knee, locking it in the process, while standing up to leave the table at the end of a meal in a German restaurant in 1980.
In the summer of 2001, Chelsea keeper Carlo Cudicini suffered an injury whilst walking his dog. He somehow managed to tweak his knee and had to undergo a minor operation days later.
In 1911, a Dunfermline Athletic goalkeeper by the name of Slavin was stretchered off, apparently drunk.
In January 1902, Stoke City's Welsh international goalkeeper, Leigh Richmond Roose was laid low by food poisoning and lasted just ten minutes of a league game against Liverpool. A dodgy pre-match meal of plaice was to blame, leaving Stoke with only seven fit players to resume the game after half-time.
Everton and part-time England keeper Richard Wright missed the start of the 2003/04 season after falling out of his loft and injuring his shoulder!
Gillingham's Vince Bartram broke his wrist in a League game against Millwall at the start of the 2003/04 season. Nothing odd in that, you might think, but the injury was inflicted by his opposite number, Lions keeper Tony Warner, who collided with Bartram after coming up for a last-minute corner.
Just as he was on the verge of establishing himself as Barnsley's first-choice goalkeeper during their stint in the Premiership, German Lars Leese was laid low by a dodgy chicken and was out for two weeks with food poisoning, losing his place to David Watson in the process.
Millwall legend Bryan King was once felled by a practical joke that went wrong. Team "mate" Billy Neil was meant to pull his punch in a pre-match prank but ended up whacking his goalkeeper in the eye with his sovereign ring, leaving King with a wound that required six stitches. Manager Benny Fenton was not best pleased...
Manchester City's Frank Swift fainted at the end of the 1934 FA Cup Final, apparently overcome by the emotion of the occasion.
Wycombe Wanderers' Frank Talia missed the start of the 2004/05 season after slicing off one of his toes in a freak gardening accident. The Australian keeper injured himself after falling over while mowing his lawn.
Spare a thought for Vietnamese keeper Do Ngoc The, who was stabbed after keeping a clean sheet in a V-League game. The, who played for Danang, was attacked outside of a nightclub after his side caused something of an upset by beating Song Lam Nghe 1-0.
Newcastle United and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given was ruled out of the start of the 2004/05 season after an outbreak of conjunctivitis at the Newcastle training ground, which put five first team players out of action.
Norwegian goalkeeper Thomas Myhre's run as first choice keeper at Everton came to an abrupt halt in 1999 when he broke his ankle in training while on duty with Norway's national side. Then, just when he looked set to return to full fitness and regain his place in The Toffees' first team, he slipped and fell in the bath, breaking his other ankle in the process!
In February 2004, Fenerbahçe's Volkan Demirel dislocated his shoulder when he fell over whilst throwing his shirt to fans after a 2-1 win against rivals Galatasaray. The injury put him out of action for three weeks.
In 1894, Queen's Park goalkeeper Andrew Baird found himself in an embarrassing situation during a Scottish Cup tie after getting his hand caught in the net. He could only watch as Rangers centre forward David Boyd scored for The Gers.
When Charlton Athletic played Newcastle United inthe semi-final of the FA Cup in 1947, goalkeeper Sam Bartram played with a hot poultice on his stomach to counter the affects of food poisoning. Charlton won and went on to win the Cup.
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar had to have a brain scan in 1993 after being hit on the head with a rock during a World Cup qualifying match between Zimbabwe and Egypt.
Another goalkeeper to be put out of action by a flying object was Celtic's Ronnie Simpson. While warming up for the second leg of their World Club Cup Final against Racing Club of Argentina in 1967, Simpson was struck on the head by a brick and was unable to play. Reserve John Fallon replaced him between the posts.
In April 2005, Brazilian goalkeeper Dida was injured after being hit by a flare thrown from the crowd during the Milan derby. The AC Milan keeper needed treatment for minor injuries and the game was later abandoned by referee Markus Merk.
Whilst touring Africa with Racing Club, Argentinian goalkeeper Carlos Roa contracted malaria, which saw his career with the club come to a premature end. He eventually moved to Club Atlético Lanús after he recovered.
In October 1987, Cyprus goalkeeper Andreas Charitou suffered a heart attack after he was struck by a firework thrown from the ground during a European Championship qualifier against Holland. The Dutch won the game 8-0 but UEFA ordered the game to be replayed while the fan who threw the missle was arrested and charged with attempted murder.
Northern Ireland goalkeeper Pat Jennings was once struck by a dart thrown from the crowd whilst playing in a League game for Arsenal at Nottingham Forest. The offending item was plucked from his arm by The Gunners' physio.
Romanian Helmuth Duckadam's career was brought to a premature end by a rare blood disorder. The former Steaua Bucharest goalkeeper, who save four consecutive penalties during the 1986 European Cup Final penalty shoot-out, was forced to retire just months after Steaua beat Barcelona.
In 1985, Argentine goalkeeper Nery Pumpido almost lost a finger in a freak training ground accident when he caught his wedding ring on a rogue nail on the crossbar
In April 2006 Bayern Munich reserve goalkeeper Michael Rensing somehow managed to injure first choice keeper Oliver Kahn during the German international's warm-up routine. While casually firing shots at Kahn before Bayern's game against Arminia Bielefeld, Rensing accidentally struck one too well, bruising Kahn's eye in the process. The injury was so bad that Rensing had to replace the veteran in the starting line-up.
Newcastle United's Shay Given had to be rushed to hospital following a collision with West Ham's Marlon Harewood in 2006 which perforated his bowel. Medical experts believed it was the first time that the injury, which is more common in car crashes, had occurred in a game of football.
In November 2006, Sheffield United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny required twelve stitches after he had his eyebrow bitten off in a drunken brawl in a curry house in Halifax.
Tommy Lawrence's international career with Scotland ended in ignomy in 1969 when a collision with the crossbar during a Home International game against Wales brought a premature end to his involvement in the game.
Kaiser Chiefs and South Africa goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez once had to be hospitalized after being bitten by one of his pet spiders.
Austrain goalkeeper Otto Konrad has been in the wars on more than one occasion during his career. Two years after being hit on the head by a bottle while playing AC Milan at the San Siro for Casino Salzburg, Konrad again required treatment for first degree burns after being hit in the face with a flare. The hapless keeper was playing for Real Zaragoza at the time in a game against Bilbao.
With his side flirting with relegation, Guarani goalkeeper Adriano Pitarelli had obviously upset one or two spectators with his performances and needed urgent medical attention after fans stoned his car whilst driving home from a match in 1996.
When Brazil played Tunisia during their African Tour of 1973, the Tunisian goalkeeper feel and broke his shoulder after being bamboozled by a shot from Rivelino.
Antigua goalkeeper Janiel Simon, a landscape gardener by trade, was forced to miss his side's World Cup qualifier against Cuba in the summer of 2008 after damaging his right eye with a "weed-whacker", which left him needing surgery with a "50/50" chance of regaining his sight.
French international Gregory Coupet tore a medial knee ligament in 2007 after getting his foot stuck in a net during traing. If that wasn't enough, he required seven stitches in his hand in 1996 after droping a plank on it while building a shelf to display hi trophies!
Polish keeper Wojciech Szczensy's Arsenal career suffered a setback during the 2008/09 season when the youngster contrived to break both of his arms after slipping in the gym. The freak accident was blamed on the keeper's choice of footwear!
In April 2004, a game between Rochdale and Scunthorpe United was held up due to Rochdale keeper Neil Edwards needing medical attention after being nipped on the arm while trying to remove a goose from the field of play.
The first known transfer between the two Old Firm clubs in Glasgow came about as result of a wayward nail in a goalpost. At the start of the 1906-07 season, Celtic's Davey Adams was sidelined after cutting his hand on the nail, which had been inserted for a five-a-side tournament, during a benefit match at Ibrox. Short of goalkeeper, Ranger's reserve custodian Tom Sinclair was loaned to Celtic and went on to pick up a Glasgow Cup winner's medal in the process.
During the 1954 World Cup Quarter Final between Austria and Switzerland, the host's goalkeeper Eugene Parlier, along with two of his defenders, succumbed to sun stroker and complained that he couldn't see the ball - which may go some way to explain the 7-5 scoreline...
Glasgow Rangers' German goalkeeper Stefan Klos missed the start of the 2006/07 season after he fell of his bike during a cycling holiday in Switzerland.
Burton Albion's Paul Evans was struck by a piece of wood thrown from the crowd during an FA Cup tie in 1985. The keeper was knocked out but was forced to continue between the sticks after the referee refused to abandon the game. Leicester went on to win 6-1 but the Football Association ordered a replay after examining the evidence, which the Foxes won by the more respectable scoreline of 1-0.
Died in Action
In 1931, Celtic's John Thompson died from a fractured skull after colliding with Rangers striker Sam English during an Auld Firm game at Ibrox. The young keeper, who was only 23 at the time and had four Scotland caps to his name, was rushed to hospital but never recovered consciousness. It was later discovered that his skull was thinner than normal. His death produced such an out-pouring of grief in Glasgow that 20,000 mourners gathered at the city's railway station when Thompson's coffin returned home.
Another Scottish goalkeeper to lose his life between the sticks was Dumbarton's Joshua Wilkinson, who died from peritonitis two days after a particularly rough clash against Glasgow Rangers in 1921.
Malaga's Jose Gallardo died from a brain haemorrhage in January 1987, a month after receiving a blow to the head in a collision during a Second Division game against Vigo.
In 1934 Charlton Athletic's keeper Alex Wright lost his life after demonstrating his match winning saves from the game the day before off Torre Abbey Sands in Torquay. Standing on top of a raft, he dived into the shallow waters and broke his neck on the rocks below.
In 1977 Libardo Zuniga, a winger with Columbian Second Division side Santa Rose de Cabal, took over in goal after his keeper was injured and played a blinder. Unfortunately for Zuniga, his performance was so good that it upset the opposition's striker, who vented his frustration by kicking the stand-in goalie in the groin with such force that he subsequently died from the injuries sustained in the attack.
Wolves goalkeeper James Utterson died at the age of 21 from a kick to the heart he received during a reserve game in 1935.
Guatemala international keeper Danny Ortiz died after colliding with an opponent during a league match. The 27-year-old Municipal custodian collided with Comunicaciones forward Mario Rodriguez and suffered a blow to the chest, which briefly left him unconscious. Ortiz, who once played for Comunicaciones, died later in hospital.
In August 2001, CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Serhiy Perkhun died after falling into a coma following an accidental clash of heads with an opposing player during a Russian premier league match.
In 1936, Sunderland goalkeeper James Thorpe died from a diabetic condition three days after turning out for the Rokerites against Chelsea in what has been described as a "physically demanding game". Thorpe was injured during the game but refused treatment and many at the time believed that his injuries triggered a relapse of his condition that had laid dormant for two years.
In February 2005, Nedzad Botonjic, goalkeeper for Slovenian side NK Ljubljana, collapsed and died during a training session with the First Division side.
Benin's Under-20 goalkeeper Yessouffo 'Campos' Samiou died from neck and arm injuries after being attacked by disgruntled fans following his side's 3-0 defeat at the hands of Nigeria in their opening game at the African Youth Championship in January 2005.
Ron Brebner, who kept goal for the English team that won gold at the 1912 Olympic Games, died as a result of head injuries sustained while keeping goal for Leicester Fosse.