12 of the funniest goalkeeping howlers of all time
Jack Ruddy (Ayr United vs Alloa Athletic)
The best way to follow up a major blunder is to pull off a fine save to make up for it. Unfortunately for Ayr United, goalkeeper Jack Ruddy tries to make up for his initial headless chicken impression with something that’s arguably even worse.
To be fair, the Alloa player still has a bit to do as Ruddy desperately retreats to his line after slicing a clearance, but the flailing goalkeeper slips and lets the tame shot dribble past him into the goal. Not a great advert for Scottish League One football.
Paul Robinson (England vs Croatia)
You could fill a whole list like this with England goalkeepers messing up – Joe Hart vs Iceland in 2016, Rob Green’s World Cup howler in 2010, Ronaldinho accidentally lobbing David Seaman in Japan – but there’s something quite special about this enthusiastic air shot from Paul Robinson. Particularly because it comes from a tame Gary Neville backpass.
The bobble is nowhere near as aggressive as the one that bamboozled Tim Flowers. In fact, it’s more of a delicate dink over the goalkeeper’s swinging foot than a full-on leap, which from a distance makes it look all the more calamitous. And that, kids, is why you should always aim a backpass outside of the post.
Chiel Kramer (Almere City vs RKC Waalwijk)
Nobody likes a diver, but Chiel Kramer found out the hard way that it’s best to wait until the ball’s out of play before chastising a player who’s tried to make a meal of a challenge.
With the ball at his feet, the Almere City goalkeeper takes the opportunity to fire a few choice words at the opposition striker, but RKC’s quick-thinking John Arne-Riise lookalike Pieter Langedijk nips in, takes the ball off Kramer’s toes and deposits it into the empty net. Ouch.
Hans-Jorg Butt (Bayer Leverkusen vs Schalke)
There are a couple of ways for goalkeepers to really make a name for themselves: scoring goals and letting in bad ones. In less than a minute, Leverkusen’s Hans-Jorg Butt manages both in this game against Schalke.
Having calmly slotted home a penalty at the right end, he and his Leverkusen team-mates are too quick to get back into their own half, giving Schalke the opportunity to shoot from kick-off. With Butt’s back turned as he makes his way back to his line, accepting congratulatory high-fives, hugs and pats on the back as he goes, the ball sails over his head and into the net. And just like that, his penalty taking heroics are forgotten.
James Pullen (Welling United vs Chelmsford)
It can be lonely being a goalkeeper, particularly when you’ve just dropped a clanger as bad as James Pullen does for Welling in this game against Chelmsford - but try telling that to the bloke audibly laughing his head off in the background.
With the scores level in the 93rd minute, one of the Welling defenders horribly slices a clearance that Pullen looks to be catching comfortably at his far post, but the ball squirms out of his hands and drops behind his head into the net. It’s probably fair to assume that the out-of-shot Mr. Chuckles is not a Welling fan.
Khalid Askri (FAR Rabat v MAS Fez)
Now “immortalised” by a dramatic reconstruction in a dreadful betting advert, Khalid Askri’s premature celebration in a penalty shootout saw him beaten by backspin.
After saving the ball low to his left, the Moroccan keeper is too busy showing the crowd who’s responsible to notice that the ball is rolling inexorably towards his goal line. What’s even worse is that Askri’s FAR Rabat side went on to lose the shootout and crashed out of the Moroccan cup.