US GOALKEEPER Tim Howard almost had to miss today’s game with Slovenia after bruising his ribs last week. He might have gotten off easy.
Goalkeepers have either the most dangerous jobs in soccer or the worst luck. Keepers get most of the game’s serious head injuries and make up almost all of its fatalities.
Usually they’re injured in accidental collisions similar to Howard’s, but a few keepers manage to hurt themselves under truly odd circumstances, both on and off the field.
Not to make fun of others’ pain, but these in-goal injuries are just too bizarre to forget:
1975: Manchester United goalkeeper Alex Stepney dislocates his jaw while shouting at fans during a game against Birmingham City.
1989: While training with Real Betis, Nery Pumpido nearly loses a finger when his wedding ring catches on an exposed nail in the crossbar.
1993: Carlos Roa contracts malaria during a tour of Congo with Argentine club Racing.
1998: Former Wales keeper Andy Dibble suffers chemical burns from pitch markings drawn with hydrated lime after diving to stop a shot. He’s later awarded £20,000 in damages.
2002: Spain goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares misses the World Cup with a severed tendon after dropping a bottle of aftershave on his foot.
2006: Sheffield United’s Paddy Kenny has his eyebrow bitten off during a drunken street fight outside a curry restaurant.
2006: Chelsea loses two goalkeepers in one game when both Petr Cech and Carlo Cudicini are injured in collisions. John Terry, Chelsea’s captain and normally a defender, has to take over in goal for the last minute of the game.
Read about more odd ways goalkeepers have hurt themselves on Goalkeepers Are Different.