Our beautiful game bore witness to a piece of potentially record-breaking history in Gloucestershire on Tuesday evening, after Newport County goalkeeper Tom King scored an outrageous goal direct from a goal kick against Cheltenham Town.
The League Two clash ended in a 1-1 draw at Whaddon Road, but the real talking point occurred on 12 minutes, when Newport’s shot-stopper lined up to launch a long punt downfield for his teammates to chase.
King sent the ball flying deep into the Cheltenham half, but his kick proved too powerful for striker Padraig Amond, who couldn’t get near the ball. Instead, the punt got caught up in a strong wind, and after bouncing once just outside the opposition’s penalty area, it looped over the goalkeeper and into the net.
King didn’t try to pass it off as an intentional strike however, and refused to celebrate, despite his teammates going absolutely ballistic.
Speaking after the game, King admitted his first instinct was to hurl abuse at his striker for failing to control the ball, and then decided against celebrating his first ever league goal out of respect for the ‘goalkeeper’s union’, as cited by the South Wales Argus.
“I was too busy screaming at Podge [Amond] – I thought that he should have got hold of it! I was trying to put him in but it took a lucky bounce and went over the goalie with the help of the wind,” said King.
“The lads were asking why I didn’t celebrate, but it’s the goalkeepers’ union and I even apologised to him after the game. I said sorry and if it was the other way around I’d like to think that he’d say sorry to me!
“The wind was very swirly but the bounce was unbelievably lucky – I nearly had one against me when we played Morecambe at home last year, when I only just managed to dig it out. I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end.
“It felt weird, I didn’t know how to react. The boys were saying that I should have sprinted down to the other corner for a celebration.”
The plaudits and acclaim may not end there for the Newport goalkeeper, however. King could be entered into the Guinness World Records, after potentially breaking Asmir Begovic’s record of a 91.9 metre goal against Southampton back in 2013.
King hit the ball from a goal kick, while Begovic was stood outside his six-yard box when he broke the record, meaning the Newport man could be in luck, depending on the parameters of the Whaddon Road pitch.
Whatever happens, King’s goal will never be forgotten and will be seen on endless funny football blooper reels for years to come.