10 forgotten Premier League hat-tricks you really need to re-live
5. Dean Windass (Bradford 4-4 Derby, Apr 2000)
Windass was at the centre of this ludicrously entertaining eight-goal thriller between two sides who threw caution to the wind despite their perilous positions at the bottom of the league.
Paul Jewell’s men were desperate for a win to aid their survival battle, but when the Rams went ahead after just 23 seconds, the prognosis was decidedly bleak. After six minutes it was two, thanks to Branko Strupar’s free-kick.
Some Bradford fans feared the worst, but Windass wasn’t prepared to wallow in self-pity. The striker showed how skipping a summer holiday in favour of an intense training regime could work wonders, scoring all three of his goals before half-time – the second a wonderful effort from all of 30 yards – for the Bantams to go into the break 4-3 up.
But while Craig Burley netted his second penalty on 52 minutes to equalise and end Bradford’s ecstasy, it was something of a red-letter day for Windass. While Bradford’s great escape on the final day may be the only episode remembered, they did it with three wins from their final four games and Windass’s pivotal role in keeping their top-flight dreams alive on this thrilling afternoon.
6. Steve Watson (Everton 4-0 Leeds, Sep 2003)
Yes, it happened. Arguably the most unlikely Premier League hat-trick hero, Watson’s dead-eye aim piled the misery on a doomed Leeds side and exhilarated Goodison Park. David Moyes’s bold decision to bench an impressive teenager by the name of Wayne Rooney was vindicated by the interval, with Watson bagging a (quite brilliant) brace alongside Duncan Ferguson’s strike.
Watson was used primarily as a right-back during his Toffees career, but was deployed to devastating effect on the right of midfield against Leeds. Goals were in Watson’s DNA, though: he started his career as a striker for Newcastle and the Geordie-born lad humiliated Peter Reid’s side in a manner that would have had Alan Shearer rubbing his hands with glee, showing particular panache when a neat one-two with Ferguson ended with an unstoppable rocket into the roof of the net for his first goal.
The third wasn't half bad either: the deft lob over a stranded Paul Robinson to put the seal on a super treble.
7. David Bentley (Blackburn 4-3 Man United, Feb 2006)
There was a time when likening Bentley to Beckham wasn’t laughable, and performances like this certainly reinforced his claim to be England’s next Golden Balls. A day after joining Rovers on a permanent basis from Arsenal, Bentley stunned Fergie’s men in an unforgettable clash at Ewood Park.
Bentley’s first two rubbished the old adage of making your own luck. He reacted quickest to Morten Gamst Pedersen’s ferocious free-kick crashing off the post for the opener, before capitalising on a comically inept communication breakdown between Rio Ferdinand and Edwin van der Sar which allowed him to tap home a second.
Bentley’s request to complete his hat-trick from the spot was politely declined by Lucas Neill, but the precocious winger managed it in much more clinical style, driving a sweetly struck right-footed effort with Beckham-esque poise and technique.
It never quite panned out for post-Blackburn Bentley, though, who retired at the age of 29 citing a loss of passion for the sport. It’s a shame but, on the bright side, he belongs in an exclusive club: scoring a hat-trick against Ferguson’s United.