Since Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Mark Crossley fumbled the ball into the back of his own net in September 1992, there have been over 1,000 own goals in Premier League history. But which players have scored the most? We’ve taken a closer look at your all-time favourite tragic heroes.
10 Own Goals
Everton, Manchester City, Aston Villa & QPR
The owner of perhaps the most unwanted individual record in the history of the Premier League is Richard Dunne, who also shares the record for the most red cards along with Patrick Vieira and Duncan Ferguson (8).
It did not have to end this way for the Irish centre-back, who managed to avoid finding his own net in 60 appearances for Everton. But once Dunne settled into life at Manchester City, the floodgates soon opened, beginning in calamitous fashion against West Brom on 28 December 2004 as his team looked to be cruising to victory. A long ball cannoned off his shin outside the box and straight past a stranded David James, with Robert Earnshaw desperately sprinting after the ball to claim the goal as his; he failed, and Dunne became acquainted with own goals for the first time.
This set a little bit of a trend for Dunne, who never saw the teams he played for emerge victorious when he scored an own goal, with exactly half of them coming in the last 15 minutes of matches, including a 93rd-minute equaliser in favour of QPR while playing for Aston Villa in 2011.
It would be for QPR that Dunne completed his haul of 10 own goals in the Premier League, with Liverpool being the grateful beneficiaries on 19 October 2014 – a match in which QPR twice put past their own goalkeeper to hand Liverpool a 3-2 victory. At least Dunne can say he slightly redeemed himself during his Premier League career, scoring at the right end of the field on 13 occasions.
Teams who benefitted from Richard Dunne own goals: West Brom, Manchester United, Wigan Athletic, Chelsea, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland, Queens Park Rangers, Liverpool.
7 Own Goals
Unlike Dunne, Carragher had no such powers of redemption. In 508 Premier League games for Liverpool, he scored only three times, the same number as he scored for Tottenham Hotspur in the competition thanks to proficiency at the wrong end of the field.
His first own goal came against Spurs at the tender age of 20 years and 311 days old, making him the youngest scorer on this list, but not overall in Premier League history. Martin Cranie holds that honour, scoring an own goal ON HIS DEBUT for Southampton against Chelsea in January 2004, aged 17 years and 218 days old – the only ‘child’ to score an own goal in the competition.
And while Carragher’s efforts for Spurs are the equal-most own goals a player has scored in favour of one specific team in the Premier League (along with Richard Rufus, who West Ham fans would’ve undoubtedly been delighted to see line up against them), perhaps Carragher’s worst day came against Manchester United on 11 September 1999, when he twice put into his own net in front of the Kop during a 3-2 defeat to their greatest rivals.
In just the third minute of the game, Carragher produced a
wonderful headed finish miscued clearance from Ryan Giggs’ cross that left Sander Westerveld stranded for the game’s opening goal. The Liverpool centre-half was even more unfortunate on the stroke of half-time: a David Beckham free-kick initially found Henning Berg’s head, bouncing onto Rigoberto Song’s leg before ricocheting off a sprawling Carragher into the net for what proved to be the decisive goal. These efforts are just two of the Premier League record 62 own goals Anfield has seen, ahead of Old Trafford (60) and Stamford Bridge (55).
While Carragher was the first to net two own goals in a single game, he certainly isn’t the last. Michael Proctor did the same for Sunderland against Charlton in 2003, before Stoke City’s Jonathan Walters matched the feat 10 years later against Chelsea. The most recent instance of a player scoring two own goals in the same Premier League match was the unfortunate Wout Faes, when the Leicester City defender scored both goals for Liverpool at Anfield in their 2-1 victory on 30 December 2022.
Teams who benefitted from Jamie Carragher own goals: Tottenham, Manchester United, Hull City, Blackburn Rovers.
What is it with Liverpool players? Although it took Carragher over 12 years to accumulate his total, Martin Skrtel was able to net his seven own goals over a five-year period and set the Premier League record for most in a single season during the 2013-14 campaign, probably leaving Brendan Rodgers tearing his hair out after turning into his own net on four occasions (a record since equalled by Lewis Dunk for Brighton during the 2017-18 Premier League season).
Thankfully for the Slovakian, those goals didn’t have too much of a negative impact on Liverpool’s results as the Reds were able to win three of the four games in which he scored for the opposition, including a dramatic 4-3 victory over Swansea in which the defender also gave away a penalty.
And those weren’t the only own goals Skrtel scored during the 2013-14 campaign, as he also netted one for Slovakia. He was extremely unfortunate to suffer the full effects of international teammate Jan Mucha’s brainfart for the only goal in a 1-0 defeat to Greece.
Teams who benefitted from Martin Skrtel own goals: Tottenham, Fulham, Hull City, West Ham United, Swansea City, Newcastle United.
Sheffield United & Everton
Despite his best efforts, Phil Jagielka’s own goal in favour of Leeds United on 3 April 2021 while at Sheffield United still meant he couldn’t claim the dubious honour of being the oldest outfield player to score an own goal in the Premier League, with Stuart Pearce topping him by just 23 days.
The first of Jagielka’s seven own goals came just over 14 years previously, once again for the Blades, where he put into his own net three times before taking his ‘ability’ in front of goal to Everton; there really must be something in the water on Merseyside. But perhaps his best moment on a Premier League pitch came just a week after scoring the second of his own goals.
With Paddy Kenny injured, and no substitute goalkeeper on the bench, Jagielka took over between the sticks and kept an Arsenal side featuring the likes of Robin van Persie at bay as Sheffield United held on for a 1-0 win at Bramall Lane, their first victory over the Gunners in 33 years.
Teams who benefitted from Phil Jagielka own goals: Arsenal, Portsmouth, Wigan Athletic, Stoke City, Aston Villa, Leeds United.
6 Own Goals
Perhaps it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that the uncompromising Ryan Shawcross finds himself on this list.
A stalwart of Stoke City’s defence during their 10-year run in the Premier League, he turned into his own net on six occasions but became something of a Fantasy Football darling during his 401 top-flight appearances for the Potters, a spell that saw him score 25 times…at the right end!
International recognition came via a solitary appearance for England as a substitute in October 2012, but those 16 minutes saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic score a hat-trick, including a spectacular overhead kick. Shawcross was never seen again in a Three Lions jersey.
Teams who benefitted from Ryan Shawcross own goals: Portsmouth, Everton, Liverpool, Bournemouth, Tottenham.
Manchester United & Sunderland
You make a name for yourself as a quality defender, winning five Premier League titles and two UEFA Champions League trophies; you transfer from your hometown club, the only team you have ever known, and line up against them back at the ground you used to call home. You even form part of a guard of honour welcoming your former manager to the pitch.
You’re nervous. You don’t want to make a mistake. You’ve got through the opening 45 minutes unscathed. Just one last corner to deal with – surely nothing can go wrong from here.
The trouble is – your name is Wes Brown. It’s 5 November 2011; you’re playing for Sunderland against Man Utd and you score the only goal of the game at Old Trafford, the fourth of six own goals you score in your Premier League career.
Teams who benefitted from Wes Brown own goals: Southampton, Newcastle United, Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton, Crystal Palace.
Chelsea & Leicester City
The original Premier League king for own goals. For many years, Frank Sinclair was ridiculed for the number he scored while playing for Chelsea and Leicester City, but his total of six leaves him well off the pacesetters these days.
Nevertheless, someone had to walk for others to run, and the former Blues and Foxes centre-half was our original hero. Thankfully, Sinclair saved his best (worst?) until the end.
Any time the matchday broadcast doesn’t capture the full moment of a goal, you know the replays are going to be special, particularly once Sinclair and Ian Walker had finished their long-distance brooding over each other.
Teams who benefitted from Frank Sinclair own goals: Manchester City, Aston Villa, Leicester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Middlesbrough.
Manchester United, Sunderland, West Brom & Leicester City
There’s still hope Jonny Evans might be able to challenge Dunne’s record at the top of the charts as he’s signed a short-term deal back at Manchester United after relegation with Leicester City; whether than extends into the season remains to be seen.
But at least he has, so far, been able to spare himself the embarrassment of scoring an own goal and getting a red card in the same game.
Current England manager Gareth Southgate was the first to achieve that honour when playing for Aston Villa back in September 1999 against Leicester City, which was in many ways bettered by Jan Bednarek in that 9-0 defeat for Southampton against Manchester United in 2021, when he also managed to concede a penalty.
Teams who benefitted from Jonny Evans own goals: Chelsea, Tottenham, Newcastle United, Bournemouth, Liverpool.
Carragher and Skrtel might not have landed the overall prize for most own goals in the Premier League, but they at least can say they’ve both scored the most for an individual club… if that’s something to brag about.
Lewis Dunk could overtake them, though. His six in a Brighton and Hove Albion shirt means he’s fast closing in on the pair, and the Seagulls captain seems to have taken a leaf out of one of their books in achieving his tally to date.
Two of his own goals came in games against Manchester United, albeit in separate fixtures, making him one of three players put past his own goalkeeper in favour of the Red Devils in two different matches (along with Steve Watson and Anton Ferdinand).
Teams who benefitted from Lewis Dunk own goals: Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Swansea City, Fulham.