Five Of The Strangest Goalkeeper Injuries Of All Time

By Robert McHugh

News • May 21, 2024

Five Of The Strangest Goalkeeper Injuries Of All Time

Only the bold and the brave put themselves in the line of fire - or the line of a boot in the face - on the regular…

Header Image - via Sky Sports.

Injuries can strike at any point in a player’s career. Today, top clubs spend millions on the best medical teams in an attempt to reduce the likelihood and duration of injuries hitting their star talents. However, injuries are not always preventable. 

And in the case of the injuries described below, they are not always caused on the pitch. In this article, we take a look at five of the strangest injuries suffered by goalkeepers.

Alex Stepney 

Strength, conditioning, and training methods have changed so much for goalkeepers over the years. No stone has been left unturned in ensuring the person with the number one shirt is in the best condition possible before heading out onto the pitch. 

It makes you wonder to what extent they train for barking orders at defenders. Did Gary Neville have to stand in the goalmouth at the end of training while Peter Schmeichel bellowed in his face like an American drill sergeant?

Former Manchester United goalkeeper, Alex Stepney could have done with strengthening his jaw in 1975. Stepney was giving his back four a dressing down against Birmingham City when he felt his jaw click. The severity of the hairdryer treatment he was dishing out had dislocated the shot-stopper’s jaw. 

Stepney later explained that the damage was done in a collision with Birmingham man, Bob Hatton. This had left Stepney’s jaw hanging from a thread. All it took was a few choice words and Stepney’s game was over. 

David Seaman

David Seaman is living proof that, no matter how good you are, it isn’t always your exploits on the field that you are remembered for. Seaman should be remembered for many Premier League titles in an incredible Arsenal side. Or even his penalty- saving exploits at Euro ‘96. However, for some he is the man with the moustache and ponytail. 

Seaman is also unfortunate to be the victim of, not one, but two serious yet comedic injuries. The first came following the glorious summer of 1996, when England came so close to breaking their international hoodoo.

However, Seaman missed the start of the 1996/97 season after suffering a muscular injury bending over to pick up the TV remote. Was he trying to turn off the famous Gareth Southgate Pizza Hut advert? We just don’t know.

His second bizarre injury was not suffered in the comfort of his own home; it happened on the fishing lake. When trying to haul in a monster carp, Seaman damaged his shoulder, which kept him out for five months in 2002. A recurring shoulder problem would later bring his career to an end in 2004. Perhaps Seaman would have been better staying on dry land.

Dave Beasant

Somewhere in the UK today, there is a local radio station running a text topic on the subject “What do you have on your chips?” And while ketchup may be the nation’s favourite, ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Dave Beasant was once left ruing the day he opted for another sauce.

When you look at Beasant’s career history, there aren’t many clubs that he hasn’t played for. However, it was during his four-year spell with Chelsea that his condiment catastrophe occurred. 

Reaching in the cupboard for something to liven up his dinner, Beasant chose the two-kilogram tub of salad cream, which he proceeded to drop. Unusually for a goalkeeper, he trusted his touch more than his hands, and tried to control the jar as it fell. 

Unfortunately for Beasant, the jar smashed and severed a tendon in his big toe in the process. Beasant missed two months of football in the process. Thankfully for Beasant, he returned and had a long, successful career.

Unconfirmed reports suggest he now exclusively uses the sauce packets you can pick up in service stations. To paraphrase Peep Show – two kilos of Salad Cream, Dave, that’s insane.

Chic Brodie

A recent viral video showed footage of a racoon invading the pitch in an MLS game, before being unceremoniously trapped under a bin. Thankfully, in that incident, no players or animals were harmed. However, Chic Brodie’s career was effectively ended by a furry pitch invader in 1970.

Brodie was playing for Brentford at the time, where he played 199 games in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. During a Fourth Division match away at Colchester United, a dog entered the field of play. The dog chased the ball, as it was passed backwards to Brodie, who picked the ball up. The dog then leapt at Brodie and, in the process, damaged his knee ligaments. 

The resulting damage meant Brodie was never able to reach his former level, and he ended his career as a semi-professional. In an incident packed career, he was also hit in the knee by a stone thrown from the crowd, and once found a replica hand grenade in his goalmouth. 

After passing away in 2000, he was posthumously inducted into the Brentford hall of fame in 2015.

Lionel Letizi

The name Lionel Letizi may ring a bell of recognition with Rangers fans of a certain vintage. He played eight times for the Glasgow side during Paul Le Guen’s short tenure at Ibrox. Le Guen lasted less than a year, as did Letizi. Before moving to Rangers, Letizi had a good career in the French first division, representing the French national side four times. 

However, he will be forever associated with Scrabble, and not just because the “Z” in his name would get you 10 points. During his time at Paris Saint Germain, Letizi was settling in for a night of linguistic leisure when he dropped one of his tiles. Bending down to pick it up, he threw his back out and had to miss PSG’s 1-0 loss to Stade Rennais.

Letizi never revealed the letter on the tile he dropped. Although, he was surely left asking himself “Y” he hadn’t chosen to play Boggle that night. Thank goodness he didn’t choose Twister.

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