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It's Been 51 Years Since The Free-Kick So Genius It Was Banned Straight Away

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It's Been 51 Years Since The Free-Kick So Genius It Was Banned Straight Away

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 Neymar and Lionel Messi pulling off in the year of 2021.

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.

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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.


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.

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No, it looks like Carr and Hunt's routine will go unmatched, unless the FA or FIFA relax the rules on the 'donkey-kick'

Featured Image Credit: Image: YouTube & BBC

Topics: Everton

Jack Kenmare
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