Jonathan Walters and the 5 Best Own-Goal Performances Ever
It's pretty unfortunate to score an own goal. Of course, crosses will always get deflected, headers will always go awry and kicks will always be mistimed, but you have to be very unlucky to hit the back of your own net.
Everybody remembers Peter Enckelman and Olof Mellberg's impression of the Chuckle Brothers for Aston Villa. Jonathon Woodgate's infamous debut for Real Madrid earned him both an own goal and a red card for his troubles. And Tony Popovic retired in the knowledge that he managed to score one of the most beautiful own goals of all time.
But scoring in your own net once isn't always enough for some players. Jonathan Walters proved that against Chelsea with his name on the score sheet twice for the Blues, and to cap it off, he completely missed the opportunity to score in the right net when his penalty hit row X of the stand behind the goal (via BBC).
But surprisingly, there have actually been performances worse than the one showcased by Mr. Walters. So Jon, when you cower behind the sofa watching the match highlights tonight, at least you can think to yourself, "At least I'm not one of these guys."
5. Michael Proctor, Sunderland, 2003
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Charlton vs. Sunderland saw an own-goal frenzy in 2003, when the Black Cats fell to the Addicks in remarkable fashion.
The score was 3-1, and all three Charlton goals came within the space of eight minutes (via Daily Telegraph). Mark Fish controversially claimed the opener, even though some report Sunderland player Stephen Wright should have had O.G. next to his name (via BBC).
Unfortunately for Michael Proctor, the next two goals were definitely his, and he led his opposition to a victory with a brace of unluckiness.
4. Richard Dunne, Manchester City and Aston Villa, 2004-Present
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Richard Dunne leads the Premier League line for most own goals scored with eight.
His teammates at Manchester City and Aston Villa must shudder every time a corner is swung in, and Dunne jumps up for the header away. He has been netting at the wrong end since 2004 and scored six own goals in four years for City (via Eurosport).
All that practice has led him to nail the "hands-on-hips" look, though. So perhaps a career on the catwalk could be somewhere in his future—so long as he doesn't walk the wrong way, that is.
3. Michael Duberry, Oxford United, 2012
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Another "hands-on-hips" veteran, Michael Duberry scored the imperfect hat-trick for Oxford United against Hereford in January 2012.
The traveled defender—who is still playing, by the way, despite turning 70 this year—managed to notch two own goals and one in the right end. But he says it best in his own words:
Wow!! Didn't expect an afternoon like that!! Scoring the #Imperfect Hatrick Left Foot (OG) Header (OG) and Right Foot (OG)— Michael Duberry (@Original_Dubes) January 21, 2012
2. Chris Nicholl, Aston Villa, 1976
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Chris Nicholl is a very talented man.
Not many people can claim four goals in one game—unless you are a baby-faced assassin like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or Jermain Defoe on an incredibly lucky day. But unfortunately for Villa, the defender struck twice at the wrong end.
In a match which ended 2-2, Nicholl is currently the only man to have scored all four goals in one game (via AVFC Official). An impressive, if unwanted feat.
Manager Ron Saunders didn't know whether to laugh, cry or point at the ground.
1. Stan Van Den Buys, Germinal Ekeren, 1995
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And No. 1 is a Belgian who would be referred to as SVDB in today's modern world of acronyms.
Stan Van Den Buys not only has a memorable name, but he also had a memorable game. The only player to ever score a hat-trick of own goals in one match.
When Germinal Ekeren faced RSC Anderlecht in the Belgian League, Van Den Buys managed to score not one, not two but three goals in the opposition's net.
The final score was 3-2 and the blame landed squarely on the shoulders of Stan, which is unfair really, as not many people could mess up so spectacularly. He should really be applauded.
So as it turns out, Jon Walters didn't really have that bad a day after all. Well, if you speak to SVDB that is.