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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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".

John O'Shea dons the glovesBorussia 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 stopage 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.

Another outfield player to save a penalty was Galatasaray midfielder Felipe Melo, who kept out Goksu Turkdogan's injury-time spot kick at the end of a Süper Lig match against Elaz─▒ğspor 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.

Arguably 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 tailend 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 beated 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 reflext 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.

Another Anfield player forced to don the goalkeeper jersey was Spanish defender José Enrique, who 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 headbutted 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" midfieler 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.

Another Wolves player to don the goalkeeper jersey was midfield Dave Wagstaffe, who replaced 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.

Honourable Mentions

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.

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.

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.