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Rooney's goal - a shinner, not a shiner

Last week celebrated chav/granny baiter Wayne Rooney scored a wonder goal for Manchester United and as such, prompted a debate (at least in my head) about the greatest ever goal.

We all know Rooney’s strike was a straightforward shinner so his effort is out of the picture, but if you are particularly bothered about this there’s still a number of others to choose from – Maradona’s World Cup goal against England, Ryan Giggs’ goal against Arsenal in the FA Cup, Trevor Sinclair’s bicycle kick for QPR, David Beckham’s long-range shot against Wimbledon, Dennis Bergkamp’s lucked-in goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, Eddie Gray’s superlative individual goal against Burnley etc, etc, etc.

Now, I am sorry America and a large part of the female population who, quite frankly, couldn’t care less, but as an Englishman (we invented the ruddy game, Brazil) I feel it quite appropriate to set the record straight and deliver nothing more than fact when one considers this particularly taxing issue.

Although you can see from the video footage that Eddie Gray’s goal is pretty close I am happy (and proud) to tell you that the prize for the greatest ever goal goes to me.

Yes, there is no video evidence to back this fact up, and yes, I have chosen an unlikely candidate, but I can offer an extremely impartial description that should help you along with your decision to wholeheartedly agree with me.

It was in the early 80s and I was captain for Bushey Hall School’s B-team for a spell – a hallowed period that prompted the most attractive girls in the fourth year to sew a football-based tapesty, where admittedly I feature very heavily, as the school sought to remember the glory days of that particularly season. I don’t like to admit it but it is a great tribute, largely to me, and it still resides in pride of place in the school’s store cupboard. It gets dusted down every now and then, I understand.

Anyway, that’s not the point (hello Ruth Gordon/Cathy Southern, I hope you’re both doing well), the magic occurred in a key local derby with Bushey Meads’ second-stringers where I secured victory with a piece of individual brilliance that is still being talked about today.

Ok, so I’m the only one talking about it but let’s not get picky.

It was midway through the second half when I picked up the ball from the halfway line. I looked up and viewed a potential passage through the packed Meads’ defence. With a fleet of foot I dodged and weaved past five defenders with a series of leg-blurring stepovers before side-footing into the right-hand corner just inches past the outstretched arm of the desperate Meads’ goalkeeper.

On completion of the goal I ran to the byline, pumped my fist in face of the Meads’ coach telling him, in no uncertain terms that he could, if he so wished, suck my fat one.

The celebration was empassioned and I have few regrets about it even though it resulted in a series of detentions, a rather surprisingly blunt end to my school playing career and much line-writing that went something like: ‘I must not behave like a twat when representing my school’ but I am still pleased with my actions and I should point out that the very draconian sanctions taken against me were borne totally out of jealousy.

So that’s it. You can have your Rooney bicycle kicks and your Giggs’ wonder goals, but we all know that the greatest ever goal came from my fair boot.

I hope that clears that up.

N.B. Other suggestions surrounding this very important issue are welcome but they will, of course, be wrong unless they concur with the above.

N.B.B . Mr Reynolds – I know where you live.