BBC Goal of the Season
In English football, the Goal of the Season is an annual competition and award given on BBC's Match of the Day, in honour of the most spectacular goal scored that season. It is typically contested between the winners of the preceding ten Goals of the Month, although the goal can and has come from any game in the regular season, including international qualifiers and friendlies—potentially from the opening league games of the season to the end of the European season UEFA Champions League final. In several instances, the goal has come in the final game of the domestic season, the FA Cup Final, the most recent example of which is Steven Gerrard's last minute goal in 2006. However, in 1980-81 for example the superb goal scored by Ricky Villa in the FA Cup Final replay for Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester City could not be considered as voting had already taken place.
In general, the winning goal has occurred for an English side within the domestic English league or cups, although these are not particular rules—Kenny Dalglish's goal in 1982–83 for Scotland being an example. The goal usually comes from competitions to which the BBC holds television rights and which are shown under the Match of the Day banner—at present Premier League highlights—although some have come from the equivalent Sportscene broadcast by BBC Scotland. Due to the lack of BBC European club football coverage, held predominantly by ITV and Sky, no goal of the season has ever been scored in European club competition despite many contenders.
Due to a transfer of broadcast rights, the entries for the 2001–02, 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons were decided on ITV's The Premiership, which have been subsequently recognised by the BBC. When the BBC previously could not show league footage from 1988–89 to 1991–92, the winning goal in each season was scored in the FA Cup which they held the rights to. League rights holder ITV had its own competition during these seasons for Goal of the Season, broadcast on the Saint and Greavsie show. Previously the channels had shared league and cup rights (showing different matches to each other) and for many years ITV broadcast its own Golden Goals competition as an equivalent of Goal of the Season. From 2013–14 season onwards, the Goal of the Season has been chosen by a Twitter poll and the BBC Sport website. Jack Wilshere is the first player to win Goal of the Season in consecutive seasons (2013–14 and 2014–15) since the start of the Premier League. The 1987-88 competition was unique in that all 10 goals shortlisted were scored by Liverpool players. As of 2015-16, this is the only occasion where the contenders were made up entirely of goals scored by players for one club.
For several years in the late 2000s, the winner was not subject to public vote due to the 2007 Phone-in scandals. The winning goal was instead decided by pundits in the studio.
2014–15 Goal of the Season controversy
On 24 May 2015, the final day of the 2014–15 season, Match of the Day held an online vote at around 11pm GMT for the Goal of the Season award. Users were able to vote via the BBC website or via Twitter. The poll was quickly rigged by Arsenal supporters, many from the Far East, resulting in Jack Wilshere winning the award for his final day strike against West Bromwich Albion, despite not being the favourite. Host Gary Lineker expressed surprise as he read out the winner, and pundit Alan Shearer suggested that Charlie Adam should have won the award for his 66-yard effort against Chelsea; fellow pundit Danny Murphy felt former Fulham team-mate Bobby Zamora should have won.
The incident was labelled a "shambles" by Pete Smith of The Stoke Sentinel who thought that Stoke City's Adam should have won, and a "concerted campaign by Arsenal fans" by Alan Pattullo of the Scotsman, who also believed that the Scottish midfielder was deserving of the award. Mark Brus of Caught Offside also criticized the choice stating that a goal in a meaningless game should not have won Goal of the Season and that Juan Mata's acrobatic effort against Liverpool was worthy of the award.
The following season, prior to the final episode of that season's Match of the Day, the programme's producers changed the rules to prevent a similar situation. The Goal of the Season award will now be decided by the pundits on the show, who will choose the winner based on the top three goals voted for by the public.
List of winners
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- Simon Rice (25 May 2015). "Jack Wilshere wins Match of the Day Goal of the Season award after Arsenal fans hijack vote". The Independent.
- Pete Smith (26 May 2015). "Stoke City: Charlie Adam denied goal of the season by Arsenal fans in MOTD shambles". The Stoke Sentinel.
- Alan Pattulo (26 May 2015). "Arsenal fans rob Charlie Adam of goal of the season". The Scotsman.
- Mark Brus (25 May 2015). "Wilshere goal of the season: Meaningless Arsenal goal should not have won ahead of this Manchester United". Caught Offside.
- Sean Kearns (14 May 2016). "Match of the Day change rules on goal of the season award to stop Arsenal fans from hijacking vote". Metro.
- "BBC Goal of the Season from 1970-71 to Present". My Football Facts. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- Murray, Scott (28 January 2011). "The Joy of Six: Training-ground set-piece goals". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Motson (2005), p. 19.
- "Top five thunderbolt strikes of all time". Telegraph.co.uk. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Bradford (2006), p. 480.
- "Vote for your greatest QPR goal!". Queens Park Rangers. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Motson (2010), p. 91.
- Clough (2009), p. 231.
- "Villa's Fab 50 top player countdown: 21 Tony Morley". Aston Villa. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Lepkowski, Chris (15 January 2008). "Albion legends - Cyrille Regis". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "Cyrille Regis: An Iconic Footballer Tells His Story". Cross Rhythms. 15 January 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Smyth, Rob (14 April 2011). "FA Cup semi crackers, great cricket spats and the best BMX stunt ever". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Macdonald, Neil (27 September 2011). "Mersey Derby Memories: Graeme Sharp's screamer gives Everton FC Anfield victory in 1984". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Auclair (2009), p. 203.
- "Was it too early to be Goal of the Season?". Daily Mirror. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2006.
- Edwards (2011), p. 45.
- Le Tisser (2009), p. 117.
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- "Champions League Special: Thierry Henry's Top 10 Greatest Moments For Arsenal". Goal.com. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
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- "Goal of the season". BBC Sport. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
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- "Goal of the season". BBC Sport. 6 June 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- "Goal of the season". BBC Sport. 5 June 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
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- "Fig gets goal gong". Wigan Today. 29 September 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney and Neymar shortlisted for Fifa Puskas Award for goal of the year". Telegraph.co.uk. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- BBCSport (14 May 2012). "Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer choose Papiss Cisse's goal for Newcastle against Chelsea as @BBCMOTD's goal of the season" (Tweet). Retrieved 14 May 2012 – via Twitter.
- "Wilshere goal voted best of 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season". Premier League. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
- "Dele wins Match of the Day's Goal of the Season". Tottenham Hotspur. 16 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.