Strange moments in sports II

Updated: November 20, 2017

Strikers in soccer are by all right lauded when they score more than once in a game and scoring three has its own name, hat trick. A perfect hat trick is even more impressive, where a player scores one with his left foot, one with his right and one with his head, in the first half. There are, however, moments when a side wants to forget an own hat trick.

It is early February 2003 in the English Premier League and Sunderland are finding themselves bottom of the table trying to avoid relegation. With four wins and seven draws Harry Wilkinson needs to turn things around or he will inevitably find himself sacked, probably ahead of the final game, and a good place to start is getting some wins at home against the other clubs struggling on the bottom third of the table. Odds of Sunderland clinching a new contract are rising with each round, gamblers are making money on their soccer picks placing their bets n anyone playing Sunderland and top bookmakers are already paying out on early season bets that the club will be relegated.

It is desperate times with less than half the season remaining.

Having avoided relegation with a mere four points the previous season, this is unfortunately not unfamiliar territory for Sunderland but facing Charlton – bottom half of the table – at home might be the spark which ignites a revival and turns on some miraculous string of fortunate results. Charlton at home should by no means be an impossible task but the gods of football had decided otherwise and the most unfortunate of them all was to be striker Michael Proctor, a lad who as it turned out would only make 38 appearances in seven seasons for the club.

24 minutes in Charlton have managed to get a series of balls toward the Sunderland penalty area when Wright scores and own goal. A rather harmless ball thrown in towards a cluster of players, but it is deflected twice on Sunderland shirts and finds its way into the net. Five minutes later – the 29th minute – Proctor is backtracking helping his defence out. He is chasing a Charlton forward who manages to come clear with the keeper, shoots, it is deflected on Proctor’s leg and finds its way in goal through a narrow gap between the keeper and the post.

As if that wasn’t enough, three minutes later in the 32nd minute Proctor is once again helping out in defence on a corner. A cross comes in where he is standing only a yard out from his own goal but turns his back to the cross, the ball hits him and ends up in the Sunderland net. Three own goals within seven minutes, two of them from the unfortunate Sunderland-born Michael Proctor within five, and a new not very delightful record had been broken.

Proctor was soon after sold to lower league side Rotherham and Sunderland, well Sunderland find themselves in new era of misfortune having been relegated last season to the Championship where they are last and could possibly play League One football the bext.

/ Zvonko,