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...
Undoubtedly 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 victory. Teammate Pepe remarked that he was "a great goalkeeper - lithe, as if he could fly."
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. Unfortunately for Moore, 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.
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.
Southampton legend Ted Bates played in every position for The Saints, including stand-in goalkeeper.
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, Wolverhampton Wanderers and 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.
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.
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.
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 clean sheet.
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.
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, including 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.
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.
Back in 2013, Borussia Dortmund fullback Kevin Großkreutz was forced to go in goa1 during a game against Hoffenheim after Romain Weidenfeller was sent off with ten minutes left. His first job was to pick the ball out of the net after failing to stop Sejad Salihovic's penalty kick. Dortmund lost 2-1.
Leeds United's Lucas Radebe found himself in goal at Old Trafford in April, 1996 when Mark Beeney was sent off in the opening stages of the match. With no substitute keeper available, Radebe volunteered to take over, having started out as a keeper in his native South Africa. The central defender put in a worthy display and was only beaten by a Roy Keane effort that gave Manchester United a 1-0 win.
Sutton United ended up counting the cost for reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw's pie-eating antics against Arsenal in a Cup game when the club was left without a back-up for their league game against Torquay United in February, 2017. First choice keeper Ross Worner was injured just 15 minutes into the game and had to be replaced by defender Simon Downer. Despite the handicap, United won 3-2.
Chelsea had a problem with both their goalkeepers during a Premier League clash against Reading in October, 2006. With Petr Cech having been stretchered off in the opening minute with a nasty head injury, substitute keeper Carlo Cudicini was also forced to leave the pitch in stoppage time, leaving Blues captain John Terry to see out the game and secure a 1-0 victory.
MK Dons striker Alex Revell ended up between the sticks in April, 2016 during an away game against Preston North End after goalkeeper Cody Cropper was sent off in the 81st minute for a foul on Eoin Doyle. Revell's first task was save Joe Garner's penalty and went on to keep a clean sheet as the Dons held on to claim a point in a 1-1 draw.
Galatasaray midfielder Felipe Melo also saved a penalty, keeping out Goksu Turkdogan's injury-time spot kick at the end of a Süper Lig match against Elazığspor in November, 2012, after Fernando Muslera had been sent off. Galatasary won 1-0.
Inter Milan's Rodrigo Palacio was also forced to don the goalkeeper's jersey a month later in December, 2012 after Luca Castellazzi was injured during a Coppa Italia tie against Hellas Verona with fifteen minutes remaining. Palacio did a grand job keeping out the opposition, including a fine save from Verona's Alessandro Carrozza deep into injury time, to preserve Inter's 2-0 lead.
Linfield midfielder Mark Haughey saved Glenavon striker Kevin Braniff's poorly struck penalty during a Danske Bank Premiership match in February, 2016, at Windsor Park after Ross Glendinning was dismissed on 55 minutes after hauling down Declan O'Brien inside the penalty area. However, he was unable to keep out a second penalty, ironically conceded by Glendinning's brother Reece, which was slotted home by Andy McGrory.
Possibly one of the greatest performances by an emergency goalkeeper was that of Romanian defender Cosmin Moţi, who had to take over from Vladislav Stoyanov after he was sent off for a foul in the closing stages of extra time in a Champions League play-off game against Steaua Bucharest in Auguster, 2014. The game went to penalties, where Moţi scored his side's first spot kick before saving two of Steaua's efforts to send Ludogorets through to the group stages for the first time in their history. Moţi's heroics earned him cult status among the home fans and he even had one of the stadium stands named after him.
When Everton's Gordon West was sent off during a game against Newcastle United for striking an opponent, he was replaced in goal by defender Sandy Brown who was unable to keep out the resulting penalty. The Toffees lost 1-0 and legend had it that West jokingly berated his replacement for failing to save the spot kick after the game!
Manchester United's Jackie Blanchflower had the rare of honour of keeping goal during an FA Cup Final, the 1957 final to be precise. With substitutes not permitted, Blanchflower had to replace the unfortunate Ray Wood in the United goal after the keeper broke a cheekbone following a collision with Aston Villa winger Peter McParland in the sixth minute of the match. McParland would go on to score a brace in a 2-1 victory for Villa.
Fans who attended the Division Two match between Blackpool and Preston at the tail-end of the 1972-73 season were entertained by the antics of Hugh McIlmoyle, who had to replace Preston's Alan Kelly after the keeper was forced off after being hit in the face while conceding the opening goal of the game. Something of a specialist when it came to heading the ball, McIlmoyle adopted a novel approach to goalkeeping by frequently heading the ball clear rather than opting to catch it. The ploy worked, although he was beaten once by a long shot as he frustrated Blackpool with his efforts.
Brazilian international Dani Alves ended the game in goal during Paris Saint-Germain's Coupe de France clash with Sochaux in February 2018, after Kevin Trapp was sent off in the 90th minute. Alves, though, did not have a save to make as PSG saw out a 4-1 victory.
Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson ended up in goal during a loan spell with West Ham United when the Hammers goalkeeper Adrián was sent off in the final moments of a game against Leicester City at the start of the 2015/16 season. Having used all their substitutes, Jenkinson donned the gloves for the remainder of the game.
Bayern Munich almost come unstuck against Eintracht Frankfurt in September, 1999 when they lost both goalkeepers in the space of seven minutes in the second half of the Bundesliga clash. Having already lost Oliver Kahn to concussion, reserve keeper Bernd Dreher tore his ligaments and couldn't continue. German international defender Michael Tarnat took over in goal and remarkably kept Frankfurt at bay, including a late reflex stop, as Bayern fought back from a goal down to win 2-1.
Rangers captain George Young had to don the goalkeeper's jersey during the 1953 Scottish Cup Final against Aberdeen. Regular keeper George Niven suffered a bad ear injury and had to leave the field, head covered in bloody, just before the half hour mark in order to receive medical attention. Young took over in goal, leaving Rangers to play with ten men until half-time when a patched-up Niven resumed his place between the sticks.
Liverpool's Steve Staunton played the last 15 minutes of a Merseyside derby in goal back in 1999 after Sander Westerveld was sent off for fighting with Everton's Franny Jeffers, with the Reds having used all their substitutes.
Staunton isn't the only Anfield player forced to don the goalkeeper jersey for the Reds. Spanish defender José Enrique must have thought his teammates were playing an April Fools joke on him when he was selected to replace compatriot Pepe Reina after the keeper was sent off during a game against Newcastle United in 2012 after he head-butted James Perch. Enrique kept a clean sheet during his 13-minute spell in goal.
The United States's Mia Hamm had to go in goal for the national team during the 1995 Women's World Cup in a game against Denmark after Briana Scurry was sent off for handling the ball outside of her area while punting the ball upfield. Hamm saw out the remaining six minutes and kept a clean sheet.
Huddersfield Town's Kieran O'Regan had an eventful evening at Leeds Road back in December 1990 after the Terriers goalkeeper Lee Martin was sent off. The 5'7" midfielder took over in goal with his side trailing to Bury 1-0 but when Huddersfield won a penalty, O'Regan had to run the length of the pitch to take it. He successfully converted his spot kick that led to a revival in fortunes for the Yorkshire side and despite their disadvantage they came from behind to win 2-1.
Lille tried out two different outfield players when goalkeeper Mike Maignan was sent off during a game against Strasbourg in August, 2017. With game still level 0-0, striker Striker Nicolas de Preville was the first to takeover in goal but lasted just ten minutes when Jonas Martin poked the ball past him to open the scoring. Defender Ibrahim Amadou then tried his luck but conceded a Dimitri Lienard penalty and an excellent Jeremy Grimm strike as Strasbourg won 3-0.
Former Scottish international David Speedie became a makeshift goalkeeper on a couple of occasions during his career, pulling on the goalie shirt for both Chelsea and Coventry City. He replaced the injured Eddie Niedzwiecki during a London Derby against QPR when playing for Chelsea in 1986 and then later went in goal for Coventry City against Millwall at The Den in 1989 when Steve Ogrizovic was unable to carry on. However, on this occasion the Lions ran riot in a 4-1 victory.
Scunthorpe United defender Andy Boyce found himself in goal in January 2015 when the Irons had the misfortune to lose both their goalkeepers before half time through injury. Boyce was unable to keep Bristol City at bay as the Robins enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 victory.
Italian centre forward Francesco Graziani kept goal for Torino during a European Cup game against Borussia Mönchengladbach in November 1976 after Luciano Castellini was sent off in the 70th minute. The game ended 0-0.
Raith Rovers were forced to field midfielder Ryan Stevenson in goal for their game against Ayr United in March, 2017 because the club didn't have any fit goalkeepers. Stevenson, who had previously gone in goal for Partick Thistle for the last five minutes of a game against Hibs, revealed he borrowed a pair of goalkeeper gloves from Dundee United's Cammy Bell but was unable to keep out Ayr, who went on to win 1-0.
Preston North End striker Paul Gallagher had an eventful twenty minutes at Ipswich Town in November, 2018. Having come on as substitute in the 72nd minute, he scored North End's equaliser in the 73rd minute then had to go in goal in the 75th minute after goalkeeper Chris Maxwell was sent off after receiving a second yellow card. Gallagher kept a clean sheet as 10-man Preston held out on for the draw.
Partick Thistle defender Jackie Campbell had to take over from Jags goalkeeper John Arrol after he was injured in a collision with Motherwell's Willie Pettigrew after just 23 minutes during a Scottish Cup tie back in January, 1975. Campbell also kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw.
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Bobby Gould had to take over from Gary Pierce for the closing stages of a Second Division game against Bolton Wanderers at the end of the 1976/77 season.
Speaking of Wolves, midfielder Dave Wagstaffe also donned the goalkeeper jersey, replacing Phil Parkes after he was sent off during a game against West Bromwich Albion in 1967.
Back in 1948, Millwall striker Jimmy Constantine had to go in goal after keeper Malcolm Finlayson was injured in a game against Walsall at Fellows Park with the Lions 1-0 up. By the time Finlayson returned after a trip to the local hospital - and the efforts of a Millwall director had to climb over the wall to get a gate open to let him in, the Saddlers were comfortably 3-1 up, with Constantine having softly pushed a weak shot into the back of the net for the opposition's third. However, Millwall recovered with Finalyson back in goal and went on to triumph 6-5.
When Newton Heath goalkeeper Jimmy Warner missed his train to Stoke and failed to show for their game against the Potters in 1893, defender Willie Stewart went in goal but was powerless to prevent Stoke City running out 7-1 winners. Newton Heath's directors didn't believe Warner's excuses and suspended him for a month.
Arsenal's Eddie Hapgood had to go in goal for the Gunners back in 1935 after goalkeeper Frank Moss was injured during a First Division clash against Everton in 1935. Not only did Hapgood keep a clean-sheet in a 2-0 victory, but Moss scored the decisive goal with a header.
Manchester United centre forward David Herd replaced Harry Gregg in a game against Blackburn Rovers in November 1965 after the Northern Ireland international goalkeeper was sent off. Gregg watched some of the game, crouched down on the touchline next to the fans as his side held on for a 2-2 draw.
Great Britain Rugby League player Albert Brough combined his rugger career with a spell with Barrow football club. Although he normally played in defence, he went in goal for the final game of the 1922/23 Third Division North season against Durham City. The reasons for this move are not known but his performance between the sticks was not one to write home about as Barrow lost 4-1.
When Arsenal met Stoke City in the Semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1972, striker John Radford had to go in goal when Bob Wilson went off injured. Radford kept Stoke at bay and earned his side a reply in a 1-1 draw.
Liverpool's David Burrows had to replace Bruce Grobbelaar in goal during at European Cup Winners Cup tie against Spartak Moscow in 1992 after Grobbelaar was sent off for conceding a penalty. Burrows unable to keep the spot kick out, despite going the right way, and the Reds ending up crashing out of the competition 6-2 on aggregate.
Rangers' Bobby Shearer had to takeover from keeper Billy Ritchie in a game against Hearts during the early 1960s after the goalie had to go off injured in the first half. Despite having to play most of the game between the sticks, Shearer managed to fend off Hearts as the Glasgow club won 3-1.
Partick Thistle's Jimmy McGowan and Willie Hewitt both went in goal during a game against Hearts in November, 1950 following an eye injury to keeper Tom Ledgerwood. McGowan kept a clean sheet during his 15-minute spell during the first half while Hewitt had slightly more to do, having to keep goal for the rest of the game. However Hewitt only conceded what turned out to be a late consolation goal as Thistle held on to triumph 5-4.
Another club to field three goalkeepers in the same match were Luton Town, when they visited Anfield to face Liverpool in September 1982. Keeper Jake Findlay had to leave the field of play after 38 minutes and was replaced by defender Kirk Stephens. Stephens was late replaced by Northern Ireland international Mal Donaghy and all three keepers conceded one goal as Luton came away with a point in a 3-3 draw.
We have often poked fun at former Birmingham City and Everton striker Bob Latchford for not following in the footsteps of his brothers Dave and Peter but he was once forded to don the goalkeeper shirt during his time with the Blues, replacing Gary Sprake in the Birmingham goal during a game against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the start of the 1973/74 season.
Walsall striker Tony Richards once scored a penalty and then saved one in the same match. Richards, who played for the club for nine years from 1954 to 1963, found the back of the net from 12-yards against Bournemouth then went in goal after the Saddlers' keeper was injured and then saved a Cherries spot kick.
When West Ham United's Bobby Ferguson was seriously injured during a game against Leeds United back in 1973, striker Clyde Best took over in goal. The match ended 1-1.
Middlesbrough defender Colin Cooper enjoyed a spell in goal after Boro goalkeeper Stephen Pears had to leave the field for stitches against Aston Villa 87/88 season.
Former Scotland international defender Steve Nicol was called into action after a hip injury to Sheffield Wednesday's Chris Woods prevented him from continuing during a Premier League game against Nottingham Forest in 1996. He let in a goal before he'd even had a chance to touch the ball as Forest triumphed 3-1.
Back in March 1968, Millwall's Lawrie Leslie was seriously injured during a match against Aston Villa at Villa Park. Midfielder Ken Jones took over in goal but the injury brought an end to the goalkeeper's career at The Den and he never played for the Lions again. Millwall lost 3-1.
Claude Ashton took over from Benjamin Howard Baker in goal for the Corinthians when the latter was unable to make a game against Oxford University in November, 1924.
When Freddie Fox was injured on his England debut against France in May 1925, captain Billy Walker took over in goal for the final fifteen minutes of the match. England finished the game with nine men but held on to win 3-2.
Rangers defender Ross McCrorie went in goal for the remainder of his side's 1-0 win over Hibernian in May 2019 after goalkeeper Allan McGregor was sent off for an attempted karate kick on Hibs' Marc McNulty.
When Burton Albion's Darren Knight was sent off after bringing down an opponent, just ten minutes after coming on as a substitute, utility player Darren Stride took over in goal and immediately saved a penalty. However he couldn't prevent Burton from losing 2-0 in the game against Salisbury City back in 1994.
Leeds United defender Pontus Jansson had an interesting afternoon in a promotion clash against Sheffield United at the tail-end of the 2018/19 season. With Leeds losing 1-0 in a must-win game the Swedish defender was deployed as a makeshift striker as his side tried to force an equaliser at Elland Road. However, after missing a sitter, he ended up going in goal after goalkeeper Kiko Castilla took down Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp outside of the box. He kept a clean sheet for the remainder of the game but Leeds were unable to rescue a point.
Millwall were forced to take desperate measures during a League game against Reading in 2005 after Andy Marshall was sent off early in the first half with the Lions already a goal behind. With no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, defender Mark Phillips went in goal and conceded three more before the break. When the teams ran out for the second half, Canada international Adrian Serioux had replaced Phillips and was only beaten late on by a Steve Sidwell header.
Serioux wasn't the only Lions midfielder to find themselves between the sticks. Lee Luscombe took over from Carl Emberson after the keeper was sent off in what proved to be his only appearance for Millwall during an Anglo-Italian Cup tie against Crystal Palace at The Den in the 1993/94 season.
When Wales goalkeeper Jack Kelsey was injured during a game against England in 1956, defender Alf Sherwood went in goal and was beaten three times as England won 3-1. Kelsey, incidentally, returned to the field of play and played on the left wing.
Northern Ireland wing half Billy Dickson had to go in goal for the last ten minutes of an international against England in 1953 after goalkeeper Billy Smyth's nose was broken in a challenge with Jimmy Mullen.
Manchester City's Kyle Walker became an internet sensation when he took over from Claudio Bravo in a Champions League game against Atalanta in November 2019. The defender, who claimed he half volunteered and half pushed into going in goal, kept a clean sheet for the last nine minutes of the match which finished in a 1-1 draw, much to the amusement of his teammates, having made more saves in the second half than Bravo.
John MacPhail of Hartlepool United replaced Martin Hodge in goal during a game against Brighton after the keeper was sent off in October, 1992. MacPhail's performance between the sticks was so heroic that he was selected as the goalkeeper in Shoot magazine's divisional team of the week!
Tough tackling defender Graham Robers has the distinction of keeping goal for two different clubs. In 1984 he took over from Ray Clemence while playing for Tottenham Hotspur in a League Cup game against Fulham, keeping a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw after going in goal in the 63rd minute of the match. Three years later, while playing for Glasgow Rangers, Roberts replaced Chris Woods in goal after the keeper was sent off during a bad-tempered Old Firm Derby against Celtic.
West Ham United's Martin Peters had to go in goal for the Hammers just three games into his professional career in April 1962 after keeper Brian Rhodes was forced off through injury during a match against Cardiff City.
Manchester United's Alex Dawson deputised for the injured Harry Gregg in a game against Tottenham Hotspur in January 1961 and become one of two goalkeepers to keep a clean sheet against Spurs that season. At the other end, Gregg nabbed himself an assist with a back-heeled pass which led to Mark Pearson scoring at the other end of the pitch.
Sandy Jardine found himself in goal for Hearts during a game against St. Mirren at the end of the 1984/85 season after Henry Smith was forced to retire through injury in the 59th minute. With no substitute keeper available, Jardine volunteered to go in goal but was unable to stop the Saints from winning 5-2.
Millwall's Scott Fitzgerald took over in goal for the Lions in a game against Bristol Rovers in April 1999 after Ben Roberts was sent off in the 22nd minute with the scores level. Rovers took advantage of their man advantage and recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory.
With Irish side Ballymena robbed of all three of their first choice goalkeepers, midfielder Declan Carville volunteered to go in goal for a game against Glentoran in December 2019. The stand-in keeper held out until the 86th minute when a mistake lead to a goal for Glentoran, who broke the deadlock to go 1-0 up. Carville conceded a second shortly afterwards when he went upfield for a corner in injury time.
East Stirlingshire ended up fielding four different goalkeepers during a game against Albion Rovers. Having started the game with Chris Todd in goal, substitute keeper Scott Findlay was called into action after Todd had to the leave the field of play through injury but was sent off shortly afterwards. Striker Graham McLaren took over in goal but he too found himself taking an early bath after also seeing red so defender Kevin McCann was forced to see out the game instead, but did save a penalty in the 3-1 defeat to Rovers.
Sheffield Wednesday's Lee Bullen took over from David Lucas after the goalkeeper was injured during a relegation six-pointer against rivals Millwall at The Den in 2006. Bullen kept a clean sheet as Wednesday ran out 1-0 winners and ended up playing in every position that season as a result.
Ron Saunders kept goal for Portsmouth for ten minutes back in 1961 when Pompey keeper Dick Beattie was left concussed after diving at the feet of QPR's Mark Lazarus at Loftus Road. Beattie was able to retuen in goal after being passed fit for action and Saunders went on to score the winning goal in a 1-0 victory.
Staying on the South coast, Portsmouth defenders Keith Viney and Lee Sandford both had to go in goal following two separate injuries to Pompey legend Alan Knight. Viney took over in May 1982 during a game against Exeter after Knight was unable to continue following a leg while Sanford had to go in goal after just two minutes during a gamme against Wimbledon in April, 1988 after Knight was forced off following a clash with Eric Young.
West Ham's Julian Dicks took over in goal after Hammers keeper Luděk Mikloško was red carded for a foul on Everton's Daniel Amokachi at Goodison Park in December, 1995. He let in two goals as Everton won 3-0.
After Preston North End's Simon Farnwoth was knocked unconscious during a game against Port Vale, Gareth Ainsworth went in goal for the last 13 minutes and helped his side to a point as they held on for a 2-2 draw.
Aberdeen's Brian Irvine had a baptism of fire when he replaced Theo Snelders in goal after the keeper was dismissed for violent conduct, conceding a penalty in the process, during a fixture against Hibernian. Irvine saved the kick from Pat McGinlay but Hibs scored in the last minute to win 1-0.
Aston Villa's Peter Withe found himself in an unfamiliar role as goalkeeper after Nigel Spink had been injured during their First Division match against Coventry City at Highfield Road back in March 1984. The game ended 3-3.
Charlton Athletic's Steve Gritt volunteered to replace Bob Bolder after the keeper was unable to continue during a topflight match at Highfield Road against Coventry City. Despite the 3-0 scoreline for the Sky Blues, Gritt produced a stunning save to tip over Cyril Regis's flying header.
Portsmouth's Ron Tindall had to go in goal in controversial circumstances in February, 1967 during a game against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Ernie Hunt had just netted what proved to be the winner as Pompey keeper John Milkins lay injured with a broken arm and with Milkins unable to continue, Tindall went in goal and kept Wolves at bay for the remainder of the game.
Back in November 1976, Peter Mellor suffered a first half injury while keeping goal for Fulham againt Notts County at Craven Cottage but bravely carried on into the second half but was unable to continue following an awkward fall while conceding his fifth goal of the afternoon. Striker John Mitchell took over in goal and kept a clean sheet but Fulham still lost 5-1. Just to rub salt into the wounds, it happened to be Mellor's birthday that day.
Celtic forward Willie Buchan was partly responsible for the club's record defeat after he volunteered to go in goal in a game against Motherwell at Fir Park in April 1937. With the team already 4-0 down when keeper Joe Kennaway was forced to leave the field of play, Buchan was beaten a further four times as the Steelmen recored an 8-0 victory.
Dean Windass played nearly a whole half in goal for Oldham Athletic after keeper Greg Fleming was sent off during a match against Leicester City in February 2009. He kept a clean sheet as the game ended 0-0.
Bromley defender Chris Bush found himself in goal after just eight minutes of a National League game against Yeovil Town in September, 2019. With no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, Bush had to take over from Mark Cousins who was forced off the field through injury.
Crawley Town's Matt Harrold replaced Brian Jensen during a game against MK Dons in January 2015 after the keeper dislocated a finger. The striker won the Man of the Match award despite conceding a last minute goal that ultimately cost his side victory.
Irish defender Mark McChrystal replaced Steve Mildenhall after the goalkeeper was injured while playing for Bristol Rovers in December, 2014.
Hearts striker Willie Wallace was called into action after just twelve minutes of a league against St. Mirren in April 1963 when teammate Gordon Marshall was carried off with a serious injury. St. Mirren made the most of their good fortune against the stand-in keeper and romped to a 7-3 victory.
Chaos reigned during a World Cup qualifier between Ghana and Nigeria in 2001 after the Super Eagles raced into a 3-0 lead with after 34 minutes. It was enough for the Ghanaian manager to substitute goalkeeper James Nanor for reserve keeper Osei Boateng but Boateng only lasted two minutes before being sent off. Captain Emmanuel Kuffour took over in goal and kept a clean sheet.
Manchester United's Les Olive was forced to go in goal for a game against Newcastle United in April 1953 after regular keepers Jack Crompton, Ray Wood and Reg Allen were ruled out through injury and illness. He held his own despite being a defender as United ran out 2-1 winners.
Midfielder Kenny Hibbitt took over in goal from keeper Paul Bradshaw when Wolverhampton Wanderers visited White Hart Lane to play a First Division game in November 1978. Hibbert held his own and restricted Tottenham to a 1-0 win.
When England goalkeeper William Carr missed the start of a match against Scotland due to a train delay in March, 1875, centre forward Alexander Bonsor went in goal for the first fifteen minutes of the game, leaving England a man short. Scotland were unable to make the most of their numerical advantage and Carr was able to assume his position in goal. The match ended 2-2, which proved to be Carr's only cap.
Queen's Park forward James McAlpine took over from William Gould in goal during a match against Hibernian at Hampden Park in December 1920 after Gould was unable to continue. McAlpine had already scored twice in the game and went on to keep a clean sheet.
Stuart Pearce was allegedly a useful goalkeeper when called upon and once kept goal for Weadlstone as an 18-year-old during his non-League days when his side was reduced to eight man during a game against Scarborough. Unsurprisingly, the Stones lost 4-0, although Pearce was not at fault for any of the goals.
During the 1942-43 Wartime Summer Cup in Scotland, St. Mirren managed to overcome a Morton side that included Stanley Matthews and Tommy Lawton despite losing their guest goalkeeper Jack Weare to injury. Weare moved to the left wing while centre-half Willie Kelly went in goal. St. Mirren won the match and went on to beat Rangers in the final 1-0.
Back in April 1983, Dundee United goalkeeper Hamish McAlpine suffered a hip injury during a match against Morton but carried on playing until his team built a comfortable lead. Once United had gone 3-0 up, McAlpine finally left the field and was replaced in goal by defender Paul Hegarty, who kept a clean sheet as that season's eventual champions ran out 4-0 winners.
Sheffield Wednesday's David Hirst had an eventful New Year's Day in 1990 during a match against Manchester City at Hillsborough. Having put his side 1-0 up, Hirst volunteered to go in goal after keeper Kevin Pressman was stretchered off with a knee injury. He kept a clean sheet as the Owls won 2-0 but Hirst sustained a broken finger during his cameo between the sticks.
Kenny McDowall replaced Campbell Money after the St Mirren goalkeeper was injured during an away game against Dundee United in October 1987. Despite having to keep goal for over an hour, McDowall managed to keep the opposition at bay to help his side to a 3-2 win.
When Spartak Moscow's Ruslan Nigmatullin was sent off for deliberate handball in the dying minutes of a UEFA Cup tie against Silkeborg in September 1996, midfielder Andrey Tikhonov went in goal for the final few minutes.
Despite living in Wrexham at the time, Wales international Sam Gillam managed to turn up late for an international against Scotland at the Racecourse Ground in 1889. Teammate Alf Pugh held the fort until Gillam was able to take his place between the sticks and went on to keep a clean sheet.
Glasgow Rangers striker John McPherson replaced goalkeeper Matthew Dickie in a fixture against St. Mirren at the end of the 1901/02 season. Rangers had to win to claim the Division One title and McPherson managed to keep the opposition at bay as his side triumphed 3-2.
Colchester United's Tony English stood in for teammate Trevor Lake after the goalkeeper was injured in the first half of a League Cup tie against Fulham at Craven Cottage in August, 1987. Despite putting up a valiant effort, he was unable to prevent his side slipping to a 3-1 defeat.
Striker Gerd Müller once replaced the injured Sepp Maier during a game for Bayern Munich against SV Hamburg in 1965. He kept a clean sheet as his side ran out 4-0 winners.
On the opening day of the 1972/73 season, Leeds United's Peter Lorimer found himself between the sticks at Stamford Bridge after David Harvey was carried off on a stretcher suffering from concussion following a collision with teammate Roy Ellam. Having already used their substitute, the Yorkshire side were reduced to ten men and unsurprisingly overwhelmd by Chelsea, who romped home to a 4-0 victory.
Another Leeds outfield player to don the gloves was Carl Shutt, who went in goal for the last five minutes of clash against Leicester City in November 1989 after Mervyn Day was stretchered off having conceded what proved to be the winner for the Foxes, who won 4-3.
Belgian striker Roger Proot often served as a back-up goalkeeper for Cercle Brugge between the wars.
England forward Jack Ball had to go in goal during the 1927/28 British Home Championship against Ireland after Ted Hufton broke his arm in the first half, playing on until the break when he was taken to hospital.
Kilmarnock Ladies striker Amy MacDonald had to go in goal for the second half of her team's Premier League Cup final against Glasgow City back in 2006 after goalkeeper Emma Mills sustained an injury and was unable to continue after the restart. MacDonald kept a clean sheer as Kilmarnock won 3-2.
With no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, Notts County midfielder Michael Doyle had to keep goal for the best part of 70 minutes after Sam Slocombe was sent off during a National League match against Dagenham & Redbridge in February, 2021. County won 3-1 and Doyle attributed his performance to his experiences playing Gaelic Football in Dublin.
Comoros left-back Chaker Alhadhur made headlines around the world when he was forced to start his team's round-of-16 African Cup of Nations tie against hosts Cameroon in January 2022 after a combination of injury and coronavirus robbed the African side of all three of their goalkeepers. As per the rules of the competition, the team had little choice but find an outfield player willing to go in goal and Alhadhur duly volunteered. He held his own, despite a 2-1 loss that saw his side knocked out of the competition, making a notable double save to deny Vincent Aboubakar then Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui.
Birmingham City defender George Friend took over from Matija Sarkic in the dying minutes of injury time after the goalkeeper was forced off injured during a League game against Queens Park Rangers at St. Andrews in January 2022.
Another another defender forced to take over from their goalkeeper was São Paulo's Maicon Roque, who took over from teammate Denis in a 2016 Copa Libertadores tie against The Strongest after the keeper was sent off for time-wasting four minutes from time.
Brighton & Hove Albion centre-half Lewis Dunk was a late replacement for Robert Sánchez after the goalkeeper was sent of in the 92nd minute of a game against Newcastle United in November 2021.
Back in April 1982, Everton's Mick Lyons had to don the goalkeeper shirt when Neville Southall was unable to carry on after Manchester United's Kevin Moran clattered into him late on in the game. With the scores level at 3-3, Lyons managed to see out the remainder of the game without being called into action.
Seattle Sounders' Alex Roldan took over from goalkeeper Stefan Frei during an MLS game against San Jose Earthquakes in May, 2021. Having used all three substitutes, Seattle had little choice but to ask for a volunteer after Frei was injured in the closing stages of the match and Roldan managed to keep San Jose at bay for the last five minutes of the game to secure a 1-0 victory.
Bromley were left short of a goalkeeper during their match against York City in March 2023 after Reice Charles-Cook was sent off for bringing down an opponent in his penalty box. With no recognised stopper on the bench, defender Besart Topalloj went on goal but was unable to stop the subsequent penalty with Bromley going on to lose 3-0.
Back in October 2022, Warrington Rylands of the Northern Premier League were forced to field midfielder Steven Irwin between the sticks after the club missed the deadline to sign an emergency goalkeeper onloan by two minutes!
Following all three of their goalkeepers testing positive for COVID-19, midfielder Enzo Pérez was selected to play in goal against Independiente Santa Fe. River Plate won 2–1 with an inspired Pérez named 'Man of the Match'
Watford's Ryan Porteous had to take over from Daniel Bachmann in the Hornets' net in April 2023 after the goalkeeper was sent off deep into stoppage time against Huddersfield after picking up two yellow cards in the space of a minute.
Fullback Gustavo Nery saw out the remainder of São Paulo's match against Ponte Preta in July 2003, after the goalkeeper Rogério Ceni saw red, conceding the winning goal in the dying minutes of the game.
After Sheffield Wednesday's Paul Gallacher was dismissed for denying a goalscoring opportunity against Bristol City, striker Lee Peacock went in goal against his former club to face the resulting penalty but was unable to stop Lee Wilkshire's effort, which proved to be the winning goal in a 3-2 win for the visitors.
PAOK centre half Achilleas Zafiriou stepped up and went in goal after Nikos Argyriou was sent off during a game against Panathinaikos during the 1998/9 Greek Superleague season. Zafiriou kept a clean sheet as the homeside won 2-0.
Portuguese striker Hugo Almeida took over from AEK keeper Giannis Anesti in goal after Anesti was sent off in injury time during their side's Greek Cup semi-final against Olympiacos in 2017. Almeida saw the game out as AEK booked their place in the final on aggregate.
Fellow centre forward Giorgos Papandreou had to play an entire Greek Superleague game for Panikiakos against Aris in May 1999 after none of the club's three first-team keepers were available. Although he performed admirably, his side lost 3-1.
Perth Glory's Jamie Harnwell saw out the final minutes of his side's 2-2 A-League draw against Gold Coast United in September 2009 after goalkeeper Tando Velaphi was knocked out trying to prevent Gold Coast's equaliser. Having used all their substitutions, Perth had little option but to ask for a volunteer to step up!
LA Galaxy's Mike Magee had to play the majority of his side's MLS game agaisnt San Jose Earthquakes in June 2011 after Josh Saunders was sent off in the 43rd minute. Saunders had only been on the pitch for less than twenty minutes, having replaced the injury Donovan Ricketts, and despite being a man down, Magee kept a clean sheet in a goalless draw.
Swiss defender Fabian Lustenberger went in goal for the final minutes of Hertha BSC's 2.Bundesliga match against 1860 Munich in December 2010 after keeper Marco Sejna was sent off.
Paris Andralas saw out the remaining eight minutes of Levadiakos's match against Olympiacos in December 2008. With his side already 4-0 down, he couldn't really do much to change the result but he did save a Tasos Pantos penalty.
During the 1982/83 season, Fourth Division Hereford used eight different players in goal. When regular keeper Kevin Rose was sent-off in a game against Blackpool, defender Chris Price took over to become the eighth custodian used by The Bulls that campaign.
Back in March 1983, Dundee's Bobby Geddes had to be replaced by midfielder Brian Scrimgeour after just five minutes due to injury in a Tayside derby against neighbours Dundee United at Tannadice. With eight minutes left and Dundee winning 3-2, Scrimgeour look set to be the hero of the hour only for United to score three times in the closing stages to win the match 5-3.
At the beginning of 1984, Wrexham manager Bobby Roberts was forced to play himself in goal after both his first choice goalkeepers were ruled out of the club's Welsh Cup Third Round tie against Worcester City. Having made more than 300 League appearances in midfield for Leicester City and Mansfield Town, the 44-year-old manager performed heroics between the sticks as his side held on for a 1-1 draw.
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.
Former Coventry City striker Steve Whitton started his career with the Sky Blues as their reserve team 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.
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...
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, making the bench for Cardiff City when they played Liverpool in a Carling Cup tie back in 2007, and was even capped at Under-17 level by the Irish FA before finding his feet up front.
Gordon Nisbet made his West Bromwich Albion debut as a goalkeeper against Coventry City back in August, 1969. He went on to play over 400 professional games as an outfield player being converted to a right back.
The late, great mercurial 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 Barnet and Bournemouth goalkeeper, Peter Guthrie, who enjoyed a very successful spell in Hong Kong, started his career as a striker with Whickham and Blyth Spartans, where he first went between the sticks.
One-time Brentford goalkeeper Gary Towse also played in midfield and defence for Folkestone, where he also once served as a ballboy in 1958.
Netherlands international Hans Venneker had a varied football career that ably demonstrated his versatility, regularly turning out not only in goal but also in defence and up front, once scoring five goals for Feyenoord against Ajax.
Finland's Pauliina Miettinen was something of a versatile player, comfortable in defence and leading the attack as well as in goal. Such was her versatility that she was capped both in goal (9 caps) and outfield (17 caps) at international level.
Roy John, who won twelve caps for Wales between the wars, started his career outfield, playing as a fullback and halfback before a goalkeeping crisis at Walsall saw him called into action between the sticks. Within months of his first game as a goalkeeper he got an international call-up and never looked back.