Top 10 memorable goals in football | Dave Thomas

I once wrote a piece for a magazine about 10 memorable Burnley goals.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 12:30 pm
This week Dave Thomas, pictured here with Clarets' manager Sean Dyche, has written about memorable goals

It was the McNeil goal at Everton that had me digging out that old piece.

The memorable goals are the ones you can still remember 10 years afterwards and the McNeil goal, for sure, falls into that category.

Lineker and Shearer raved over it on MOTD. I guess we all did.

It helped that the first-half performance was more Barcelona than Burnley with play that was slick, clever, intricate and much of it at pace. The goal would have graced any stadium in the world.

Whatever club we support, wherever we are, we all have our best remembered goals and all for different reasons.

It might be a stunning 30-yard piledriver, a bullet header, it might come from a 22-pass move, or it might be a run from the halfway line or even beyond. It might be a scruffy goal but one that changes a club’s fortunes.

Ten people would surely come up with different favourites. There is no magic formula or tick list that you can measure them by. Making a list is subjective and emotive, but whatever the criteria these are goals that stay in the memory for years to come.

A John Connelly goal in a European Cup game in France has stayed in my head for 60 years. Likewise, a bullet header by Ray Pointer in a key game against Spurs in the title season.

My father always remembered a goal by centre-half Tommy Cummings against Newcastle, when he went the length of the field and beat man after man before unleashing a shot. In the days when the blokes all wore flat caps, 20,000 were flung into the air.

I’ve always wondered how many landed back on the right head.

Context counts for a lot. Paterson scored that beauty of a goal in the play-offs against Reading when

he ran from inside his own half and just kept on going before shooting from 30 yards. If I see a replay, I still think the keeper will save it. Elliot’s in the Final at Wembley was just magnificent, made even more so by where it was, and the rewards that it brought.

And then the Blake volley against Manchester United in the first home game of that first ever season in the Premier League. Robbie Blake goals were always special, 30-yard free kicks his speciality.

If you were there at the Orient game in 1987, then the Grewcock goal when he cut in and scored from 20 yards was a gem. Ian Britton, the smallest man on the pitch, scored with a header. Two never to be forgotten goals that saved the club on the very last day of the season.

Paul Fletcher’s overhead goal at Leeds in the 70s, Defour’s free kick at Old Trafford, Arfield at Blackburn, Lowton at Crystal Palace, the Barnes goal that ended a 15-second, end to end move that clinched promotion in 2014.

And now the McNeil goal at Everton. He joins an illustrious group.