It took a while for the
penalty to be introduced into English football. The penalty kick was first
introduced by the Irish FA in the 1890/91 season with the Scottish FA
following in January 1891. The FA introduced it into the English game at
the start of the 1891/92 season.
Many in the English game had
rejected the idea of penalties as it implied that some players were
ungentlemanly. However, an incident at the Notts County v Stoke FA Cup
quarter-final on Saturday 14th February 1891 led to a change of opinion and the
introduction of the penalty kick. With just seconds of the game remaining
and with County 1-0 up their full-back Hendry denied Stoke an equaliser by
handling on the line. The resulting free-kick was on the goal-line but the
County 'keeper Toone easily smoothered it. Notts County went on to reach
"That was the perfect penalty -
apart from he missed it." Rob McCaffrey
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The first successful penalty in the
Football League was converted by John Heath of Wolves against Accrington
at Molineux on Monday 14th September 1891.
The following season Stoke were once
again the victims in a match that saw another step forward in the penalty
law. On Saturday November 21st 1891 Stoke were losing 2-1 to Aston Villa
when they were awarded a penalty with seconds of the match remaining.
However a Villa player kicked the ball out of the ground and by the time
it had been returned the referee had blown for full-time. Later in that
season the law was changed to allow time to be added to allow penalty
kicks to be taken.
It was not until the
1901/02 season that the 18-yard penalty box was introduced into the
English game. Previously the penalty area ran across the entire width of
the pitch. In the 1937/38 season the 'D' on the edge of the penalty area
was introduced to ensure that all players are 10 yards from the penalty
spot when the kick is taken.
********* Matches between Crystal Palace and
Brighton are always passionate affairs and perhaps none more so that when
they played each other at Selhurst Park on Easter Monday (March 27th) in
1989. At the time Palace were fighting for promotion from the old Division
2 while Brighton were battling to remain in the division but it was
referee Kelvin Morton whose performance was best remembered by sending off
one player, booking five more and awarding a record five penalties in just
27 minutes of play.
Mark Bright scored the
first to give Palace a 2-0 lead against 10-man Brighton, but missed the
second when Brighton 'keeper John Keeley saved. Just five minutes after
being awarded their first penalty they are awarded their third, this time
Ian Wright hit the post with his effort.
Shortly after the second
half kicked off Brighton were awarded a penalty - Alan Curbishley scored -
followed shortly after by another one for Palace - John Pemberton sending
his effort into row Z.
Palace eventually won 2-1 -
and were promoted to the top flight via the play-offs - and Brighton were
to keep their place in Division 2.
The newspapers love a story that runs and
runs and the story that ran and ran at the start of the 2013/14 season was
about...a penalty. In his two spells as manager at Stamford Bridge José
Mourinho had an unbeaten record in 65 home Premier League matches. But in
his 66th - against WBA on Saturday November 9th - that record looked set
to be ended. Deep into Fergie time West Brom held an unlikely 2-1 lead but
in the closing seconds a Steven Reid challenge on Ramires saw ref Andre
Marriner award a penalty from which Eden Hazard hit the equaliser. Even
the most die-hard of Chelsea fans left in the ground found that decision
hard to believe and although José thought the decision correct even he
couldn't give the ref total support. "The referee made many
mistakes during the game but that was not a mistake"
the 'Special One' said. Then came something
which shook the footballing world, well that's what the newspapers said.
Mike Reilly, in charge of the Professional Game Match Officials Board,
apologized to West Brom for the poor refereeing decision. José's reply to
that was "At least now the referees know, they know one thing.
If, in a controversial - I'm not saying a mistake - decision that
hypothetically - and, I repeat, hypothetically - favours Chelsea, they
know they are going to be publicly exposed by their boss. That they know."
WBA manager Steve Clarke then pitched in. Still upset
that José had called Jonas Olsson a 'Mickey
Mouse player' in the tunnel after the match
he suggested that 'The Special One' was perhaps losing some of his sparkle
'Maybe he's trying to deflect away
from the fact that his team hasn't been as good in recent weeks as they
should be for the amount of players and talent they have got at the club.'
I bet that reporters made up half
the crowd when the returned fixture was staged in February!
The record for penalties scored by
a player in a season is held by Francis Lee who scored 13 League goals for
Manchester City in the 1971/72 season (plus one in the FA Cup and one more
in the League Cup). It earned him the nickname of Lee One Pen but
as many penalties were awarded for fouls on Lee the not so favourable
nickname of Lee Won Pen was also used as he had a reputation for
diving. Ref Keith Hackett described him as a player who 'had a reputation
of falling down easily'.
As far as facing penalties go
Ipswich goalkeeper Paul Cooper has the best record for saving them in a
League season. In the 1979/80 season he saved 8 out of the 10 penalties he
faced in Division 1 matches.
Charlie Mitten scored a
hat-trick of penalties in Manchester United's 7-0 defeat of Aston
Villa on Wednesday March 8th 1950. Before taking the third penalty
Villa's goalkeeper asked him where he was going to put it - "Same place as the other two"
was the reply, and that's exactly what he did!
At the halfway stage of
the 1973/74 League season (21 matches) goalkeeper Alex Stepney was equal top of
Manchester United's goalscorers with 2 goals - both from the penalty spot.
In a 48-hour period in March 1969
Geoff Hurst scored four times from the penalty spot. On Wednesday 12th
March 1969 Hurst scored two penalties in a hat-trick for England against
France at Wembley - the first England hat-trick since 'that one' in 1966.
Two days later he scored another two penalties at Upton Park when West Ham
beat Coventry in a Division 1 match. Both his sides finished up winning
In a Division 2 encounter at Fratton
Park on Saturday September 22nd 1973 three different Notts County players
- Kevin Randall, Don Masson and Brian Stubbs - all missed with the same
penalty. The first miss was retaken because the goalkeeper moved, the
second because the ref hadn't given the signal to take it and the third
was a straightforward miss!
On Boxing Day 1924 Nottingham Forest
were losing 0-1 at home to Bolton Wanderers in a First Division fixture
when they were awarded a penalty. Forest's regular penalty-taker Harry
Martin had been carried off injured and no other player would take the
kick. Forest captain Bob Wallace went to the dressing room and insisted
that the injured player return to the pitch and take the penalty. Harry
Martin was carried back to the pitch, took the penalty from a standing
position, scored, collapsed and was carried off again.
can the study of statistics help someone become a better penalty taker? In
his book Twelve Yards: The Art and Psychology of the Perfect Penalty
Ben Lyttleton gave a few thoughts as what to do in a penalty shoot-out
based on statistics. It is better for a team to kick first - a 60% success
rate. It is best for a player to kick to win the match (92% success rate)
rather than kick to save it (62% success rate). The best angle for a
run-up to take a penalty is 30 degrees while a goalkeeper is at his best
distracting the penalty taker if he wastes time for between 1.7 and 4.5
seconds before getting ready to face the pen. I wonder!
More complex still was the advice
given by Professor Stephen Hawking to England shortly before the 2014
World Cup finals. He produced a formula for the perfect penalty - one
which I guess Wayne Rooney immediately committed to memory! It has to be
said though that Paddy Power helped with the project so perhaps a tad
tongue-in-cheek rather than something that will be studied in
The most expensive penalty miss?
There are many candidates. One miss was by me in a cup final at school and
another was on Saturday May 3rd 1924, the last day of the season, when
Cardiff City needed a win to become Football League champions. At 0-0
against Birmingham, Cardiff were awarded a penalty but Len Davies missed
it. As a result Huddersfield Town pipped them for the title on goal
Well it seems that there is an art in winning a penalty - not the
crude dive but the more subtle ways of fooling the ref. In 2012 Michael
Owen admitted that he went down a little too easily when winning penalties
for England against Argentina in the World Cup finals in both 1998 and
2002. He said that 75% of players winning a penalty could have stayed on
their feet but its OK to go down in the penalty area even the slightest of
contact. He added "It's a very difficult subject to talk about,
especially to people who have not played the game. There is a major skill
in trying to outwit an opponent. No one is for blatantly diving, of course
they are not, but there is a part of a striker that actually tries to
entice the leg to come out to try to win a penalty. It is a skill and it
has been done for years and years and I don't think it will ever leave the
game." After that admission I don't suppose any Englishmen can be
critical of the 'Hand of God' goal scored in another England-Argentina
World Cup match!
"The most nerve-racking moment of my life came when I was
filming the football movie When Saturday Comes. My character had to
take a penalty in front of thousands of fans at Sheffield United's
home end. It's the same end from where I've cheered United on all my
life, and I've never been so terrified.
Thankfully I scored."
Sean Bean, actor and genuine Sheffield United fan.
When you get a penalty you just aim
to hit it hard into the back of the net don't you? Well, not if your name
is Johan Cruyff who did this for Ajax in 1982 with the help of Jesper
Fast forward to Highbury on Saturday
22nd October 2005 when Arsenal entertained Manchester City in the Premier
League and Robert Pires and Thierry Henry proved that they were not in the
OK, I know. As every referee and
anorak will be saying they are not penalty shoot-outs - penalties are only
awarded for foul play in the penalty area. They are kicks from the penalty
spot. But hey, life is too short!
"I still say these penalties to decide a match are like a
circus, but I can't think of a better answer apart from a third
Everton manager Harry Catterick after his side had become the
first to win a European Cup match on penalties, in November 1970
There was a time when drawn cup-ties
were decided by perhaps endless amounts of replays or even the toss of a
coin. The problems of fitting replays into ever more congested fixture
lists - and television scheduling - was causing problems while the tossing
of a coin just wasn't a footballing way of deciding ties - and wasn't good
on television! So in the summer of 1970 FIFA and UEFA changed the rules to
allow the shoot-out to be introduced.
weeks of the rule-change the first penalty shoot-out in a professional
match in England took place in the first sponsored competition played in
the country, The Watney Cup. It was a perfect competition to
introduce the shoot-out with three rounds in just a week in pre-season
there was no room for replays. So on Wednesday 5th August 1970 before
34,007 faithful at Boothferry Park Hull City entertained a full-strength
Manchester United in the semi-final of the competition. At the end of 90
minutes it was 1-1, at the end of extra time it remained 1-1 and so
penalties it was, five apiece as a start. None other than George Best took
the first penalty in a shoot-out and scored. Player manager Terry Neill
scored for Hull - 1-1. Brian Kidd scored for United, Ian Butler for City -
2-2. It became 3-3 when Bobby Charlton and Chris Simpkin scored for their
respective clubs. Then Denis Law entered history by becoming the first
player who failed to score, Hull 'keeper Ian McKechnie making a save.
Hull's Ken Wagstaff missed his so still 3-3. Willie Morgan made it 4-3 for
United and it became sudden death for Hull - they needed to score to be
able to continue with the shoot-out while a miss would see them lose. Up
stepped Hull goalkeeper Ian McKechnie and the world - and McKechnie in
particular - was soon to learn how quickly a penalty-saving hero can turn
into a penalty-missing villain. His attempt hit the bar and went over,
Hull were out, and the name McKechnie became the first to be engraved on a
long list whose enduring fame is largely reliant on a penalty miss!
the Watney Cup led European competitions were soon to follow, although the
shoot-outs were initially limited to the early rounds. Everton provided
the first English involvement in a European shoot-out and on Wednesday 4th
November 1970 Joe Royle became the first person to take a penalty in a
shoot-out in the European Cup and his shot....was saved! However Alan
Ball, Johnny Morrisey, Howard Kendall and Sandy Brown all converted theirs
and Everton defeated German champions Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-3 on penalties. Sadly that
record of success was not continued in future England-Germany shoot-outs!
The introduction of penalty shoot-outs in the two major
domestic cup competitions - the FA and League Cups - took a little longer
and as with the European competitions initially shoot-outs didn't cover
all the rounds in either competition.
first FA Cup match to be decided on penalties was between Birmingham City
and Stoke City at St Andrews on August 5th 1972. An unusual date for an FA
Cup match I hear you say but it was one of only five fixtures held to
decide who would finish third and fourth in the FA Cup. The match was
goalless but Birmingham won 4-3 on penalties -
match details. It wasn't until 1991 that the rules were changed
to allow the shoot-outs in the main competition itself with the first
penalty decider being between Rotherham and Scunthorpe on Tuesday November
26th 1991. After drawing the First Round match 1-1 at Scunthorpe the
shoot-out followed on from the 3-3 draw in the replay at Millmoor,
Rotherham winning 7-6.
League Cup had introduced the penalty decider in 1975/76 but only for
First Round ties. Even then the clubs had to finish the two-legged ties
all square and draw a replay before penalties were used. The first penalty
shoot-out in the League Cup followed such a First Round replay when
Darlington beat Sheffield Wednesday 5-3 on pens at Hillsborough on
Wednesday September 3rd 1975. But progress of penalties through the other
rounds was gradual and although the 1977 League Cup final needed two
replays it wasn't until the 1997 final was replayed that the rules were
finally changed to allow penalties for a final drawn in its first match.
Despite many believing penalties aren't the best way to
decide drawn matches they are now used in every major cup competition,
although it did take 35 years to reach the FA Cup final. The progress in
penalties deciding cup competitions for the first time over the years -
20th June 1976 -
first European Championship Final
Czechoslovakia won 5-3 on
penalties at the Red Star Stadium in Belgrade. It was memorable for
the winning goal - Antonin Panenka chipped the ball into the middle
of the net as German 'keeper Sepp Maier dived to his left. It was
then the Germans decided not to lose any more penalty shoot-outs!
14th May 1980 -
first European club Final (ECWC)
Valencia won 5-4 on penalties at
the Heysel Stadium, Brussels. The only European Cup-Winner's Cup
final to be decided on penalties went Valencia's way when Liam Brady
and Graham Rix failed to score from the six Arsenal pens.
30th May 1984 -
first European Cup/Champions League final
Liverpool won 4-2 on penalties at
the Olympic Stadium in Rome. One of the few shoot-outs to be
remembered more for a goalkeeper than those taking the kicks.
Liverpool's 'keeper Bruce Grobbelaar's 'rubber-legs' routine
providing the distraction to give Liverpool a European Cup victory
on Roma's home ground.
17th July 1994 -
first World Cup final
Brazil won 3-2 on penalties at the
Rose Bowl in Pasadena. It is perhaps fitting that the first time the
ultimate prize in football - the World Cup - was decided on
penalties it was in the United States, the country where sporting
draws are just not allowed to happen!
25th February 2001
- first League Cup final
Liverpool won 5-4 at the
Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. First Division Birmingham kept
themselves in the match with a 90th minute penalty equaliser but
failed to score from two of their six efforts in the shoot-out to
give Liverpool the Worthington Cup.
21st May 2005 -
first FA Cup final
Arsenal won 5-4 at the Millennium
Stadium in Cardiff. Thirty-five years after the first penalty
shoot-out in the Watney Cup at Hull the destination of the FA Cup is
decided for the first time in a shoot-out. A save by Jens Lehmann
from the normally 'Mr Reliable' Paul Scholes being the difference
between the two sides.
The 2012 League 1 Play Off Final at
Wembley between Huddersfield and Sheffield United saw a goalless and
disappointing 120 minutes of play. Then to penalties to put everyone out
of their misery. Things didn't get much better with only two goals coming
from the first 8 kicks. The outcome wasn't decided until all 22 players
had taken penalties. After 20 penalties it was 7-7 with only the
goalkeepers to go. Huddersfield's Alex Smithies scored his, Sheffield
United's Steve Simonsen missed his - 8-7 to Huddersfield and they were
promoted to the Championship.
"Football is a simple game - you play for 120 minutes and
then the Germans
win on penalties."
Well, Gary Lineker's comments about
losing penalty shoot-outs seems to apply to every country England play,
not just Germany. Of the eight shoot-outs in World Cup/European
Championship tournaments England have managed just two victories. The list
of (mainly) disappointment -
England v West Germany
Wednesday 4th July 1990
at the Stadio Delle Alpi, Turin, Italy
World Cup semi-final England 1 West Germany 1 after extra time Goalkeepers - Shilton (England), Illgner
West Germany won 4-3 on
penalties - they went on to win the competition.
England v Spain
Saturday 22nd June 1996
European Championship Quarter-Final England 0 Spain 0 after extra time Goalkeepers - Seaman (England), Zubizarreta(Spain)
England won 4-2 on
penalties to enter the semi-finals. There they met Germany and
lost - on penalties (see below).
England v Germany
Wednesday 26th June June 1996
European Championship Semi-Final England 1 Spain 1 after extra time Goalkeepers - Seaman (England), Kopke
Germany won 6-5 on
penalties and went on to win the competition.
England v Argentina
Tuesday 30th June 1998
at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, St
World Cup Second Round England 2 Argentina 2 after extra time Goalkeepers - Seaman (England), Roa
Argentina won 4-3 on
but were defeated in the next round, the
quarter-finals, 2-1 against the Netherlands.
England v Portugal
Thursday 24th June 2004
at Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal.
European Championship Quarter-Final England 2 Argentina 2 after extra time Goalkeepers - James
(England), Ricardo (Portugal)
Hosts Portugal won 6-5 on
and went on to reach the final where they
were surprising beaten 1-0 by Greece.
6. England v Portugal
Saturday 1st July 2006
at the Veltins
World Cup Quarter-Final England 0 Portugal 0 after extra
time Goalkeepers - Robinson
(England), Ricardo (Portugal)
Portugal won 3-1 on
penalties to reach the semis where they were beaten 1-0 by
England v Italy
Sunday 24th June 2012
at the Olympic
Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine
European Championship Quarter-Final England 0 Italy 0 after extra time Goalkeepers - Hart
Italy won 4-2 on penalties
and went on to reach the final where they lost 4-0 to Spain.
England v Colombia
Tuesday 3rd July 2018
at the Spartak
World Cup - Round of the Last 16 England 1 Colombia 1 after extra time Goalkeepers -
Pickford (England), Ospina(Colombia)
England won 4-3 on penalties
to win their first World Cup penalty shoot-out, at the fourth
attempt. England went on to reach the semis were they lost to
Croatia and they then lost the 3rd/4th place match against
You would think that players who
miss penalties - particularly vital penalties - would want to quickly
forget the experience. Well not if a
quick buck can be made! After Gareth Southgate missed the penalty that saw
England lose their Euro 96 semi against Germany he teamed up with Chris
Waddle and Stuart Pearce - who missed penalties against the same
opposition in the 1990 World Cup semis - to appear in TV adverts for Pizza
Hut. I'm not sure how many England fans found it humorous or what it did
for Pizza Hut's sales!
Its not just the England senior side
who suffer from the shoot-out blues. In June 2007 England Under 21s were
up against hosts Netherlands in the semi-final of the European Under 21
championships and the match went to penalties. With Chris Waddle and
Stuart Pearce watching (how's that for a bad omen!) the shoot-out
consisted of 32 penalties of which 25 were scored. But 13 of them were
against England who lost 13-12.
A crowd of a little over a hundred
saw a new FA Cup record set on 31st August 2005 after a Preliminary Round
replay between Tunbridge Wells and Littlehampton Town ended in a draw. Two
penalties were scored in the match itself and in the subsequent penalty
decider another 40 penalties were taken with Tunbridge Wells winning
16-15. The match kicked off at 7.45pm and finished at 10.55.
The record for the FA Cup proper was
set on Wednesday December 17th 2014 when Scunthorpe United won 14-13 at
non-leaguers Worcester City in a Second Round replay. The 27 successful
attempts were scored from a total of 32 penalties taken.
The previous record in the FA Cup
proper was set on 28th November 2001 in the First Round replay between
Forest Green Rovers of the Conference and Third Division Macclesfield
Town. A total of 24 spot-kicks were taken with Macclesfield winning 11-10.
Macclesfield's Rickie Lambert missed one of the penalties in that match
and amazingly 13 years later was in the Liverpool team which set a record League Cup penalty shoot-out scoreline (see below) although was
substituted before the penalties were taken.
The highest in the League Cup was
set in the Derby County v Carlisle 2nd Round tie on Tuesday August 23rd
2016 when at the end of 32 penalties Derby were the 14-13 victors. The
previous League Cup record was set at Anfield on Tuesday September 23rd 2014 in the Capital One Cup Third
Round tie between Liverpool and Middlesbrough. A penalty in the closing
seconds of extra time gave Middlesbrough a 2-2 draw on the night and then
followed 30 penalties with Liverpool finishing victorious 14-13 with 20 of
the penalties being converted on the trot.
A Southern Section First Round match in the
Johnstone's Paint Trophy between Leyton Orient and Dagenham & Redbridge on
7th September 2011 saw Dagenham win 14-13 on penalties. Amazingly in that match the first 27 penalties were
all converted before Dagenham 'keeper James Shea saved Ben Chorley's
effort to give Dagenham their victory.
Those 27 penalties scored by Leyton
Orient and Dagenham was a record for most penalties taken without a miss
in England at the time but was bettered in a Hampshire Senior Cup match
between Brockenhurst and Andover Town on 9th October 2013. The first 29
penalties were all scored but the 30th was saved to give Brockenhurst a
The 32 penalty shoot-outs witnessed
at the Worcester v Scunthorpe FA Cup tie in 2014 and the Derby v Carlisle
League Cup tie two years later remained as senior records in English
football until the Checkatrade match between the Chelsea Academy side and
Oxford United on Tuesday November 8th 2016. A 5200 Stamford Bridge crowd
saw the sides level 1-1 at the final whistle and then after a total of 34
penalty kicks Chelsea were the 13-12 winners. Well that's considered the
record but does an a match played by an Academy side in the Checkatrade
Trophy count as a senior match I wonder?
6 foot 7 Peter Crouch isn't as tall as he looks." Gabby Logan
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