Goal of the Season
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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. 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.
Goal of the Season 2014-15 controversy
On Sunday 24 May 2015, the final day of the 2014-15 football 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 skewed by Arsenal football supporters, many from the Far East, resulting in Jack Wilshere winning the award for his final day strike against West Brom, despite Charlie Adam's 66 yard effort against Chelsea being the heavy favourite. Host Gary Lineker looked physically embarrassed as he read out the winner, and pundit Alan Shearer suggested that Adam should have won the award; 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 Sentinel  and a 'concerted campaign by Arsenal fans' by Alan Pattullo of the Scotsman. Mark Brus of CaughtOffside also criticized the choice stating that a goal in a meaningless game should not have won Goal of the Season, and suggested it wasn't far off being nothing more than a 'wondergoal in training'.
List of winners
- Match of the Day: 25 Years of Goal of the Season video (1995, voiced by John Motson)
- "MOTD Live Poll". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 25 May 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.
- White, Jim (10 June 1995). "Matthew Le Tissier, you will not be surprised to hear, is a useful golfer. And he is getting plenty of practice just now". The Independent (London). Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "Ask Albert - Number 8". BBC Sport. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "Swindon Town confirm Paolo di Canio as new manager". BBC Sport. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "Bartlett wins Goal of the Season". BBC Sport. 15 May 2001. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "Champions League Special: Thierry Henry's Top 10 Greatest Moments For Arsenal". Goal.com. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "Goal of the Season 2003/04 Premiership ITV Goal 8".
- "Goal of the season". BBC Sport. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- "Goal of the season". BBC Sport. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- "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.
- "Goal of the season". BBC Sport. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
- "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.
- "Alan Hansen and Alan Shearer choose Papiss Cisse's goal for Newcastle against Chelsea as @BBCMOTD's goal of the season". BBC Sport. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Wilshere goal voted best of 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season". Premier League. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
- "BBC MOTD". BBC Sport. 24 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015.