Wales’ best ever goals?
To mark the 30th anniversary of Mark Hughes’s volley against Spain at The Racecourse, Leon Barton recently blogged about his memories of that match, his first ever Wales game. There were social media exchanges about where Sparky’s goal ranks in the pantheon of great Wales goals. It got us thinking: which do we think are the best ever Wales goals?
@ffwtbol Agree the that's no. 2 but I put Hughes vs Spain at 1 and Bale at 3.
— Leon Barton (@leoncbarton) April 30, 2015
@ffwtbol Savage v Turkey and Norway surely up there
— Dyfrig Gwent (@DyfGwent) April 30, 2015
Is ‘Best’ the same as ‘Favourite’? Are ‘Important’ goals not some of the ‘Best’? Will the impression made by a goal witnessed in one’s formative years be remembered more fondly than a recent goal? Or will memory distort preferences in favour of those goals scored more recently?
Subjectivity is inevitable in such debates; so Hywel, Russell, Leon and Gareth have embraced it. Each has compiled their list of 15 best goals and the results have been aggregated to collate the Podcast Pêl-droed Best Wales Goals list. Each has defined ‘Best’ in his own way. Each has his own memory and that ever-reliable aid to procrastination, YouTube, to draw on.
The scoring system is simple: the best goal is awarded 15 points, the second is awarded 14 points and so on, with the fifteenth goal scoring one point. The scores have been aggregated and the top 15 goals with the most points accrued are listed below. The maximum points a goal can accrue is 60 points. Where aggregate scores are tied, the goal that received the highest individual ranking takes preference.
- Mark Hughes vs Spain, 1985, 56 points, ranked first by Leon and Russell
- Gareth Bale vs Scotland, 2012, 46 points
- Ivor Allchurch vs Hungary, 1958, 42 points, ranked first by Gareth
- Craig Bellamy vs Italy, 2002, 39 points
- Brian Flynn vs Scotland, 1975, 29 points
- Ian Rush vs Germany, 1991, 29 points, ranked first by Hywel
- Simon Davies vs Croatia, 2002, 26 points
- Robbie Savage vs Turkey, 1997, 21 points
- Gareth Bale vs Andorra (free kick), 2014, 20 points
- Simon Davies vs Italy, 2002, 17 points
- Gareth Bale vs Iceland, 2014, 16 points
- Ian Rush vs Scotland, 1985, 13 points
- Nathan Blake vs Norway, 2000, 13 points
- Robert Earnshaw vs Germany, 2002, 10 points
- Ryan Giggs vs Belgium, 1993, 10 points
Agree? Disagree? There are presumably lesser-known goals from the 1960s and 1970s that deserve to make the list. If so, please drop links to them in the comments section below. The lack of readily available links to Blake’s goal is shame. Fortunately after years absent from the internet, Davies’s solo effort from his own half versus Croatia is no longer one of the Wales’ best kept secrets.
Here are our individual lists.
5. Brian Flynn vs Scotland, 1975, 29 points
4. Simon Davies vs Croatia, 2002
8. Nathan Blake vs Norway, 2000
2. Simon Davies vs Croatia, 2002
11. Nathan Blake vs Norway, 2000
12. Robbie Savage vs Norway, 2001