To celebrate John O’Shea’s birthday, it would be wrong to suggest that he is not the greatest utility player ever to grace the Premier League.
A defender-cum-midfielder-cum-striker, the Irishman, now 34, played in every position for United, including once donning the goalkeeper’s jersey for Alex Ferguson’s men. He kept a clean sheet as United defeated Spurs 4-0, but he is not the only outfield player to head between the sticks.
It is a rare province, and one that can ended in brilliance or despair.
To celebrate O’Shea’s glorious career, we look at five other outfield players to have headed into goal.
Peter Beardsley - Newcastle United
The talented forward may have excelled in front of the opposition goal, but when tasked with defending his own he certainly failed. Newcastle’s third goalkeeper of the evening in 1986, Beardsley was on the end of an 8-1 thrashing at Upton Park to West Ham.
He never was chosen to repeat the experiment.
Bobby Moore - West Ham
Being one of few stand in goalkeepers to save a penalty, Moore took to the role in 1972, as Bobby Ferguson was injured in an FA Cup semi-final with Stoke. Moore saved the penalty, only for the rebound to be turned in, and he returned to his outfield role not long after, as Ferguson returned to the game - of which he has no recollection.
Lucas Radebe - Leeds United
The African defender had started his career as a goalkeeper, before moving to the area just in front of the stopper, and had to don the gloves against Manchester United in 1996. He put in a mesmerising display after taking to the goal in the 17th minute, and it was only in with 20 minutes to go that United finally netted to win 1-0.
Rio Ferdinand - Manchester United
Edwin van der Sar was taken off with injury and Thomas Kuszczak was then sent off, resulting in Ferdinand taking to the goal in a 2008 FA Cup tie with Portsmouth. He was immediately faced with saving Sulley Muntari’s penalty, which he could not do, and United crashed out the competition.
Harry Kane - Tottenham Hotspur
A hat-trick and then in goal, Kane netted three times for Spurs against Asteras Tripolis earlier this season, before replacing Hugo Lloris when the Frenchman was sent off. He could not save a free-kick awarded to Asteras, as the ball rolled through his legs in comical style.