Goalkeepers Are Different

"Everything you've ever wanted to know about
goalkeepers and a little bit more"

Emergency Goalkeepers

The history of football is full of colourful anecdotes where outfield players were forced to pull on a pair of gloves and take their place between the sticks in an emergency. Before the days of substitute keepers, it was a common site to see a defender, midfielder or striker don the green goalkeeper jersey and step into the breach following an injury to the goalie. These days it is becoming more of a rare occurrence thanks to the ever-growing subs bench but every now and then fans are treated to the spectacle of their star player flapping for the ball as the opposition look to take advantage of the situation. However, there have been many incidents where the other team has been left frustrated by the performances of the emergency keeper as the following examples demonstrate...

Arguably the most famous example of poacher turning gamekeeper - or should that be goalkeeper - was none other than Pele, who first went in goal for Santos back in 1957. However, his most famous turn between the sticks came six years later in 1963 when he took over from Gilmar for the final five minutes in a match against Gremio after the Brazil international had been shown a red card. Having already scored a hattrick, Pele kept a clean sheet in a 4-3. Teammate Pepe remarked that he was "a great goalkeeper - lithe, as if he could fly."

The Mighty Quinn

In 1999, Sunderland Centre Forward Niall Quinn was forced to don the gloves with 13 minutes of the game left after regular keeper Thomas Sorensen was stretchered off. Quinn kept a clean sheet as Sunderland beat Bradford City 1-0 having scored the match winner only minutes before going in goal… Quinn had previously saved a penalty from Welsh International Dean Saunders while playing for Manchester City and such was his prowess in goal, that Republic of Ireland manager Jack Charlton listed Quinn has the team's third goalkeeper when naming his squad for the 1990 World Cup Finals.

Niall Quinn isn't the only emergency goalkeeper to save a penalty. Forty years or so before he stopped Dean Saunders' effort, the legendary Nat Lofthouse did exactly the same thing for Bolton Wanderers in a game against Wolves. The 'Lion of Vienna' went between the sticks following an injury to the Trotter's keeper and, to the delight of the crowd, saved a penalty. Lofthouse later described it as one of his proudest moments in football.

England legend Bobby Moore also saved a penalty when he went in goal for West Ham during a League Cup semi-final against Stoke City in 1972. Unfortunatley for more, his efforts were in vain as the rebound fall straight to the feet of his opponent, Mike Bernard, who made no mistake with the follow up. "It flashed across my mind I was another Gordon Banks", said Moore after the game. "I don't think I've ever felt so sick in my life when the ball came back over my head."

David Webb became an emergency goalkeeper for Chelsea after Peter Bonetti was injured in a game against Coventry City on December 18th, 1971. He then played the entire game the following week because both of Chelsea's goalkeepers were unfit and kept a clean sheet as The Blues beat Ipswich 2-0.

Morton 'Monty' Betts played in goal when he made his only International appearance way back in the late 19th Century but played up front for Wanderers in the first ever FA Cup Final. Naturally he scored the game's only goal…

Eric Viscaal, a Belgian outfield player, was forced to take over in goal during a clash between AA Ghent and Lokeren in 1994 after Ghent's regular keeper was sent off. His first act was to save a penalty, and then, with seconds to go, Ghent were awarded a penalty and duly went up the other end and scored.

Rochdale striker Lee McEvilly had an eventful game when his side took on York City in April 2003 in the Third Division. When his team mate Matthew Gilks contrived to knock himself unconscious by hitting his head against one of his posts The Dale were left in something of a quandry as they didn't have a back-up goalkeeper on the bench so McEvilly replaced Gilks between the sticks. The striker equipped himself well, almost saving a penalty in the process, but later in the game Rochdale were awarded a penalty. Despite being the club's regular penalty taker McEvilly wasn't allowed to take the spot kick and he had to stand helpless by as Paul Connor's effort was saved. Minutes later Rochdale were awarded a second penalty and McEvilly stepped up to take it. His initial effort was saved but he scored from the rebound. The game ended 2-2.

Striker Paul Moody, once of Southampton, Fulham, Oxford United and Millwall, played a whole season in goal for a Hampshire non-league side before finding his feet up front.

One of football's founding fathers, Lord Alfred Kinnaird, has the unique distinction of being the only man ever to play in the FA Cup Final in goal and out and appear on the score sheet on both occasions. He appeared in nine Cup Finals in total, scoring in three of them. Unfortunately, his appearance between the sticks was marred by a bizarre own goal after he managed to carry the ball across his goal line when trying to deal with an awkward back pass.

Baven Penton was a prolific minor-league striker before the start of the First World War, scoring sixty alone in one season, persuading Southampton to take a punt on him. He scored three times in thirteen appearances for The Saints before going between the sticks when he joined Eastleigh Athletic in 1914.

Former Coventry City striker Steve Whitton started his career with the Sky Blues as their reserve team goalkeeper.

Southampton legend Ted Bates played in every position for The Saints, including stand-in goalkeeper.

Dutch striker Berry Powel, who joined Millwall from FC Den Bosch in January 2006, started life as a keeper before going upfront at the age of 19.

Former Welsh international Robbie Savage was forced to don the goalkeeper's jersey for Derby County after first choice keeper Stephen Bywater went off injured and substitute Saul Deeney was sent off during a game against Reading at the Madejski Stadium in March, 2010.

Former Republic of Ireland boss and current Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy kept a clean sheet for Millwall against Hull City in 1991 at Boothferry Park, prompting then Lions manager Bruch Rioch to call for a change in the rules to allow a reserve goalkeeper to sit on the bench.

Until injury curtailed his career at the age of 26, former Inverness Caledonian Thistle legend Jim Calder was something of mean striker. Rather than give up the game, he went in goal and was part of the side that took the Scottish League by storm.

Northern Ireland and Aberdeen striker Josh Magennis started life in goal and was even capped at Under-17 level by the Irish FA before finding his feet up front.

Canadian George Jenkins was another player who started his career up front. Having enjoyed a successful spell in both the Canadian and American Leagues, including a spree of five goals in nine games for the wonderfully-named Indiana Flooring, a serious knee injury saw him move between the posts and eventually play for Glasgow Rangers and Hamilton Academical either side of the Second World War.

Tony Richards, who played for Walsall for nine seasons between 1954 and 1963, once scored and saved a penalty in the same match during a game against Bournemouth, having gone in goal after the Saddlers' regular goalkeeper was injured.

Striker Alan Shearer was released by Newcastle United after failing to impress the club's coaches during a youth match. Not that surprising when you consider that he played in goal...

In 1980 Glenn Hoddle was called upon to go in goal for Tottenham Hotspur during a midweek FA Cup replay at Old Trafford against Manchester United after Milija Aleksic was unable to carry on after a facial injury. Hoddle kept a clean sheet as Spurs won in extra-time thanks to a sublime goal from Ossie Ardiles. Hoddle's performances were good enough for England to consider naming him as substitute goalkeeper after an injury crisis hit the squad during the 1982 World Cup Finals.

28-years later and the shoe was on the other foot when United were forced to find a volunteer to go in goal following Tomasz Kuszczak's sending off after conceding a penalty during their FA Cup quarter-final tie against Portsmouth in March, 2008. Defender Rio Ferdinand duly took the gloves but couldn't prevent Pompey's Sulley Muntari from scoring to put the away side into the next round.

Hollywood hardman Vinny Jones twice volunteered to goal in goal for Wimbledon during his spell with the Crazy Gang. However, he didn't fare too well as first Sheffield Wednesday romped home to a 3-0 victory before Newcastle netted six after Paul Heald was sent off.

Phil Jagielka has always been pretty handy between the sticks and was used on more than one occasion as a stand-in keeper during his days with Sheffield United against the likes of Millwall and Arsenal. His performance against the Gunners earned rave reviews when they secured a victory in the Cup against expectations.

Henri Lansbury has the odd distinction of going in goal for club and country, despite being a midfielder. In 2010 he went in goal for England's Under-21 side during a 2-0 defeat against Germany but he was more successful when he took over from the dismissed Rob Green while on loan for West Ham United in February 2012 in a win over Blackpool.

In May, 1982, French side FC Girondins de Bordeaux played not one but two outfield players in goal in game against Nantes. In a rather bizarre move, Bordeux president decided to flex his muscles and make a stand after regular keeper Dragan Pantelic was banned for a year for an off-the-pitch incident. He decided to play French international Alain Giresse in goal, despite the midfielder being one of the smallest players in the squad. Giresse lasted almost an hour before being replaced by fellow international Marius Trésor, who standing at 6ft was a lot taller and could at least touch the crossbar. Unsurprisingly, Bordeaux lost 6-0.

One-time Manchester Ciity full-back Bobby McDonald donned the goalkeeper's jersey during a league game against Watford at the start of the 1982/83 season after Joe Corrigan dislocated his shoulder in the third minute of the game. Remarkably, despite having to play the remaining 87 minutes, McDonald pulled off a string of outstanding saves and kept a clean sheet with City winning 1-0.

The late, great mecurial talent Robin Friday, who scored a hatful of goals with both Reading and Cardiff City, played for his local district side in goal during the 1960s.

Former England centre half Russell Osman replaced Ipswich Town's Paul Cooper in goal when the latter was forced to leave the field of play following an injury against West Bromwich Albion in 1980.

In November 2014, Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane went in goal for the final three minutes of Spurs' Europa League tie against Asteras Tripoli after Hugo Lloris had been sent off. Kane had earlier scored his first career hattrick as Tottenham ran out 5-1 winners.

In March 1982 Leicester City beat Shrewsbury Town 5-2 in an FA Cup quarter-final, despite changing their goalkeeper three times. The Foxes were 2-1 down when keeper Mark Wallington, who had not missed a game in seven years, was forced out the game through injury. Striker Alan Young went in goal but also had to go off after being knocked out and was replaced by winger Steve Lynex. Young, who came too in the physio's room and questioned why he was wearing a goalkeeper top, went back in goal after returning to the field of play. Both stand-in keepers kept a cleansheet.

Millwall's Nicky Chatterton was forced to go in goal in a game against Fulham in April 1982 after Peter Gleasure was carried off injured in the 75th minute. Chatterton was on course to keep a clean sheet until youngster Keith Stevens scored an own-goal in injury time. The match ended 4-3 to the Lions.

Another Lions player to don the green jersey was defender Dave Donaldson, who went in goal three times in the 1970s, against Bolton, Cardiff City and Chelsea.

Kilmarnock and Northern Ireland striker Josh Magennis began his professional career as a goalkeeper, making the bench for Cardiff City when they played Liverpool in a Carling Cup tie back in 2007.

Southampton wing-half Cliff Huxford was forced to go in goal on two occasions when Saints keeper Ron Reynolds was unable to continue between the sticks due to injury.

George Waller offered to play in goal for Sheffield United against Newton Heath in March, 1934 when an injury crisis robbed United of their first choice keepers. The Steelers won 2-0 and Waller impressed so much that he retained his place for the next two games, despite at least one keeper making a full recovery.

Arguably the most dramatic case of an outfield player taking over the gloves came in a promotion six-pointer in São Paolo's third division in May 2010, when victory for either Juventus or Palmeiras would see them go up. With the game delicately poised at 2-2, Palmeiras goalkeeper Rafael Borges was sent off in injury time for throwing a punch just as his side were about to defend a corner. Striker Diogo Acosta, who had scored both of his team's goals, took over in goal as Juventus threw everyone, includding their goalkeeper, up front in search of the decisive goal. However, they failed to trouble Acosta who caught the ball and then, seeing his opposite number running back to his box, launched a clearance that ended up in the empty Juventus net at the other end of the pitch. Palmeiras won 3-2 with Acosta scoring a remarkable hattrick.

Fred Nidd enjoyed a career both between the sticks and outfield as a defender at the turn of the 20th Century. Although primarily a fullback, he went in goal while with Grimsby Town, where he scored his only senior goal, and four consecutive games for Watford during a two-season spell at Vicarage Road.

Liverpool legend Phil Neal once went in goal for Northampton Town following an injury to goalkeeper Alan Starling back in 1974.

Reading's Trevor Senior donned the goalkeeper shirt four times during his career with the Royals, keeping a clean sheet on each occasion.

In a similar fashion, Tranmere Rovers defender Dave Higgins took over from Danny Coyne on two occasions, the first when Coyne was sent off against Peterborough United and then when the goalkeeper suffered concussion after colliding with a goalpost on New Year's Day, 1997 against West Brom. Rovers never lost either game with Higgins between the sticks.

John O'Shea dons the gloves

Former West Ham United and England centre half Alvin Martin scored a hattrick against three different keepers during a game against Newcastle United in April, 1986. He netted his first passed Martin Thomas, who was subsequently injured and replaced by defender Chris Hedworth, who Martin also beat. Hedworth was finally replaced by ex-England striker Peter Beardsley, allowing Martin to complete his hattrick in an 8-1 rout.

Aston Villa's David Platt was donned the goalkeeper gloves and went between the sticks during a match against Arsenal at Highbury following an injury to Nigel Spink. With Spink unable to remove his shirt, Platt was forced to wear the Gunners' spare goalkeeper jersey, prompting the Arsenal faithful to serenade Platt with the chant of "You'll never play for Arsenal".

Borussia Dortmund's 6ft 7in striker Jan Koller proved to be an insurmountable obstacle for Bayern Munich during a Bundesliga game in 2002 after Jens Lehmann was sent off with twenty minutes remaining. Such was Koller's performance that German sports magazine Kicker named the Czech striker in their team of the day - in goal.

Republic of Ireland was forced to take over from Edwin van der Sar after the Manchester United goalkeeper broke his nose in the dying stages of a game against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in February 2007. With United 4-0 up, O'Shea kept a clean sheet as the away side comfortably saw out the match.