After Arsenal new boy Carl Jenkinson scored one of the more memorable own goals in recent times during a pre-season friendly at the weekend, First XI takes a look at some of the most significant to have graced the game.
Lord Arthur Kinnaird (1877)
One of the great early characters in football's founding years, Lord Kinnaird, with his giant red beard and white knickerbockers, was part of the first generation of public schoolboy players. He participated in nine FA Cup finals, winning five, and was president of the Football Association from 1890 until his death in 1923. He also scored the most significant own goal of the era, though he managed to have it scratched from the history books for the best part of a century.Kinnaird was capable of playing in many positions, and scored in the second ever cup final in 1873 while playing as a forward, but for his fourth cup final appearance, in 1877, he was named Wanderers' 'keeper.
Within 15 minutes of the kick-off, he had cost his side a goal. Oxford University half-back Evelyn Waddington, "by a long good shot", had forced the opener as Kinnaird caught the ball but apparently stepped back over his line. After consultation between the officials, the goal was awarded.
Wanderers then scored an equaliser and, after the teams agreed to play 30 minutes of extra-time, added a second to seal a 2-1 win. However, Kinnaird was not satisfied. He told the FA, in his position as a committeeman, that he believed he had not carried the ball over the line, and the score was officially amended to a 2-0 win.
Over half a century after Kinnaird's death, though, historians uncovered enough evidence from contemporary match reports to convince the FA to reinstate Kinnaird's own goal, and the original result now stands: Wanderers 2-1 Oxford University.
Gershom Cox (1888)The first ever goal in the English Football League was an own goal. Cox, a full-back with Aston Villa, kicked the ball past goalkeeper Jimmy Warner in a 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers on the opening day of the first ever league season. Preston's 'Invincibles' side were actually the quickest off the mark that day - it took them just three minutes to break the deadlock in their 5-2 win against Burnley - but Cox's goal, after half an hour, arrived first as Villa's game kicked off 50 minutes earlier.
Samuel Wynne (1923)In Oldham's 3-2 win at home to Manchester United, Wynne scored four of the five goals in what The Guardian described at the time as "surely the most amazing 90 minutes ever experienced by a league full-back". Wynne got off to a bad start when he headed a corner into his own net on seven minutes, but he levelled the scores with a penalty on the half hour before a team-mate, Billy Howson, made it 2-1 early in the second half. Wynne then doubled Oldham's advantage through a free-kick, but he set up a tense finish by kneeing a corner into his own net.
Gary Sprake (1967)It was a snowy day at Anfield in December 1967 as second-placed Liverpool led fourth-placed Leeds United 1-0. Just before half-time, Leeds goalkeeper Sprake gathered the ball and attempted to throw it to Terry Cooper but, when the full-back was closed down by Ian Callaghan, instead threw it directly into his own net. Referee Jim Finney said Leeds defender Jack Charlton, further up the field and unaware of the incident, asked him what had happened. When Finney explained, Charlton replied: "You're not going to give a goal for that?" At half-time, the speakers at Anfield blared out the Des O'Connor song Careless Hands and The Scaffold's Thank U Very Much and, though Sprake was inspirational in the second half, Leeds went down to a 2-0 defeat and 'Careless Hands' stuck as his nickname. "That day at Liverpool I actually had a good game," Sprake later said. "At half-time the lads told me: 'Come on, get yourself together. We can do better'. I never got much stick off the supporters, then or now. It has mainly been the ex-players' books."
Gary Mabbutt (1987)Coventry secured the only major trophy in their history when they beat Tottenham 3-2 courtesy of a deflection from Gary Mabbutt's knee in extra time.
Spurs had led twice in the first half, with Mabbutt having made it 2-1 five minutes before the break, but Coventry striker Keith Houchen ensured the game went to extra-time with a memorable diving header in the 63rd minute. In the 96th minute, when Lloyd McGrath put the ball into the centre, Mabbutt was on hand to divert the ball over goalkeeper Ray Clemence.Tottenham fans welcomed the team back afterwards with a 'We don't blame Mabbutt' placard, but the defender has felt the greatest warmth over the years from the Sky Blues fans. A famous Coventry fanzine was published entitled Gary Mabbutt's Knee, and the player later told Sport.co.uk: "It was obviously very disappointing, being the first cup final Tottenham had ever lost, but I'm an absolute legend in the Midlands. I've got free food and drink for life. Everywhere I go, I've got Coventry fans coming up wanting pictures with me of them kissing my left knee."
Tony Sealy (1994)The qualifying round of the 1994 Caribbean Cup served up one of the most extraordinary sights ever seen in football. In Group 1, Grenada were preparing to play their final game in Barbados knowing they would go through to the finals unless they lost by two or more goals. Their hopes of qualification looked to be hanging by a thread as they trailed 2-0 to Barbados going into the last few minutes, but they made it 2-1 in the 83rd minute and were on course to progress on goal difference. However, Barbados had a lifeline. Under the bizarre rules of the tournament, a drawn game would go into sudden death extra-time, and the winning team would be credited with a two-goal win. That meant that, rather than spend the final minutes desperately trying to score, Barbados would be able to give themselves extra time - literally - by conceding another goal. Barbados defender Sealy subsequently exchanged passes with his goalkeeper, Horace Stout, before tapping into his own net for 2-2. Grenada, though, could then score in either goal as both a one-goal victory or one-goal defeat were sufficient to secure qualification. Barbados were therefore forced to desperately defend both goals to prevent Grenada scoring. Barbados held on and, four minutes into extra-time, they scored through a left-footed blast from Trevor Thorne to seal what went down as a 4-2 win.
Grenada coach James Clarkson was understandably unhappy in the aftermath. "I feel cheated," he said. "The person who came up with these rules must be a candidate for the madhouse. Our players didn't know which direction to go. I've never seen a team trying to score [against] themselves to win a game."