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It's Been 50 Years Since The Free-Kick So Genius It Was Banned Immediately

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It's Been 50 Years Since The Free-Kick So Genius It Was Banned Immediately

It won BBC Goal of the Year, but the incredible 'donkey kick' free-kick routine was banned at the end of the season.

Everton were the team on the receiving end when Coventry City, top-flight regulars back in October 1970, unleashed this unique trick. It was a pre-planned move played to perfection.

As the wall lined up, Coventry's Willie Carr - innocently standing over the ball - suddenly gripped the ball between his heels and flicked it into the air. Striker Ernie Hunt swung back a boot and absolutely smashed a volley right into the net. Sublime.

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"An original piece of football impudence," acclaimed John Motson on Match of the Day. Everton were certainly caught completely unawares by the routine, as they waited for a traditional dead-ball strike.

However football authorities banned the so-called 'donkey-kick' as a means of taking a free-kick at the end of the season. So this goal is one we're unlikely to see Harry Kane and Son Heung-min pull off in 2020, while Jose Mourinho gives it large on the touchline.

Coventry went on to win the match 3-1, with Hunt (who died in 2018) netting a brace. Yet we'd never see another goal like this again.

Unfair? Well, Mexico's Cuauhtemoc Blanco got away with his 'bunny hop' - leaping over tackles with the ball wedged between his feet - for years. But that wasn't from a free-kick and he didn't have Hunt thundering in behind him.

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The closest we'll probably see in the Premier League era is something like Matt Le Tissier's flick-up free-kick, which also resulted in a volleyed finish but with Le Tiss providing the set-up himself.

No, it looks like Carr and Hunt's routine will go unmatched, unless the FA or FIFA relax the rules on the 'donkey-kick'. Might be an idea just so we can all stop talking about the handball law for 15 minutes.

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Features image credit: YouTube/BBC

Topics: Football News, Football, Goals, Free-kick, Premier League

Alex Reid
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