Goater’s Greatest Goal Celebrated

October 15, 2011

goater_ManCityBermudian football legend Shaun Goater’s winning goal for Manchester City against rivals Machester United in 2002 was not only the hundredth he scored in British professional soccer — it was also “the greatest goal” ever witnessed by a leading UK sports commentator.

Mr. Goater, who played as a striker for a number of English clubs in the 1990s and 2000s. His first professional club was Manchester United, but he did not reach the first team, making his UK debut in 1989 after moving to Rotherham United. He played for Rotherham for seven years before moving to Bristol City in 1996. Two years later he moved to Manchester City for a fee of £400,000.

He is most well known for his time at Manchester City, where he scored more than a hundred goals between 1998 and 2003, finishing as the club’s top scorer for four consecutive seasons.

“Years before billionaire sheiks and impudent Argentines, Manchester City had a more down to earth hero -– the Bermudian Shaun Goater,” said British soccer writer Rob Clyne this week at the popular “Sabotage Times” website, an online UK magazine specialising in entertainment, sport and lifestyle stories. “His 100th goal for City, the winner against Manchester United, was the sweetest of them all.

“On 9th November 2002, I knew Manchester City would beat Manchester United for the first time in 13 years. I just knew it. It was the final derby at Maine Road. With an exciting if flawed Kevin Keegan team still buzzing from an exceptional promotion season the year before, the City fans and players were chomping at the bit to make this their day. And United, despite their illustrious personnel, didn’t fancy it much.

“But to put this 3-1 City victory into its true context you have to go further back to March 1998, when then boss Joe Royle signed a certain Shaun.Goater from Bristol City. Goater, an ex- Manchester United trialist, came along too late in the season to prevent the club from plummeting to the third tier. And besides, he was useless. With Inspector Gadget legs and an awkward, clumsy lack of composure, he was the least likely candidate to spearhead a revival. But sometimes football works in mysterious ways. Division 2 was the best thing that could have happened to Goater, and in turn City.

“Any striker will tell you that scoring goals gives you the confidence to improve, believe in yourself and ultimately score more goals. As City fought for Premier League stability between 1998 and 2002, Goater did just that, but in a most unconventional manner. His ‘couldn’t score in a brothel’ appearance was his strongest weapon. Defenders underestimated him time and time again, and The Goat became a connoisseur of weird goals and a cult hero. He had a natural instinct to be in the right place at the right time, and while in his early City days, goals flew in off his shin, his shoulder, his ear and in one case his nipple – he developed against all the odds and against all laws of common sense to be a superb goal machine of a striker, with a knack of slipping unnoticed into goal scoring positions and slotting home, if modestly, from extremely tight angles and unlikely distances. Under Keegan’s gung-ho, all attacking super Blues of 2001/2, Goater notched up 32 goals. He was scoring every week!”

Mr. Clyne said scoring regularly in the Premier League was always going to a more difficult proposition for Mr. Goater, and with the arrival of French striker Nicolas Anelka there was a sad, unspoken admission amongst the City fans that Mr. Goater’s days may be numbered.

By the time City and United met in 2002, Mr. Goater had scored 98 league goals for Manchester City. He was already a legend, but he would prove everybody wrong one more time.

“I knew we would win this derby match, but nobody would have dared to predict that Goater would score twice against Manchester United,” said Mr. Clyne. “His first of the two was a delightful cock up by the least popular Red in history, Gary Neville, who clearly hadn’t paid heed to the countless defenders who had underestimated Goater and paid the price. Goater dispossessed Neville with ease on the United by-line, and slotted a sharp finish past Barthez into the United goal without flinching.

Shaun Goater’s November, 2002 Goals Against Manchester United

“But if the United fans and the football world thought Goater could only score in this unusual fashion – they would get a huge surprise in the second half. Having conceded possession in no man’s land, United found themselves scampering back to defend a swift City move. Berkovic fed The Goat with a lovely chip into the box. Goater held off the challenge of Laurent Blanc to control and steer the ball into the back of the net for his 100th Manchester City goal. Cue euphoria at Maine Road. It couldn’t have happened to more deserving chap.

“What a beauty, what a great victory to finally bring bragging rights back to City and what a moment for Goater – a player who made a career out of silencing his doubters.”

After leaving Manchester City, Goater had spells with Reading, Coventry City and Southend United, before retiring from British football in May, 2006. He represented Bermuda 36 times, scoring 32 goals.

Now associated with the Bermuda Hogges, Mr. Goater Goater is married to Anita, his childhood sweetheart. The couple has two daughters, Amaya and Anais.

He was named a Member of the British Empire by the Queen in 2003 for services to sport and young people in Bermuda [he is pictured below with his wife and mother Lynette at Buckingham Palace after receiving his decoration].

Mr. Goater’s autobiography, “Feed the Goat: The Shaun Goater Story” was published in September, 2006 and became a bestseller in the United Kingdom as well as Bermuda.


Read More About

Category: All, Sports

Comments (3)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Articles that link to this one:

  1. Nahki Wells Happy To Be Role Model | Bernews.com | October 8, 2012
  2. UK Club Set To Sign Bermuda Striker Russell | Bernews.com | March 31, 2013
  1. andre says:

    Shaun many many proud moments you have given Bermuda!