There are some goals that, for whatever reason, burn through your retinas and imprint themselves on your brain for the rest of your life.
For some it will be Dennis Bergkamp versus Newcastle, for younger fans it will doubtless be Gareth Bale’s wonder goal against Real Madrid earlier this year.
But for a small number of fans, a goal scored by a former Arsenal academy player in 2013 will live with them forever.
Let’s take you back to 1 October 2013. It’s an FA Cup second qualifying round replay between non-league sides St Neots Town and Canvey Island. St Neots are trailing 1-0, and heading out of the cup for another season.
Then, out of nowhere, St Neots left-back Rene Steer steps up and does this…
“I remember it being an FA Cup game so I was quite up for it, and it was the season I had just come back from an Achilles snap, so I was quite like, frustrated and wanted to get back playing a lot,” says Steer, five years on from the goal.
He continues: “We went 1-0 down to a silly goal, and I just remember the ball coming out and being frustrated and I just thought, I’m going for this, hit it as hard as I could and saw it just fly in.
“It wasn’t until I got home that my chairman was like, ‘Have you seen this? It’s gone crazy online.'”
In many ways it is the perfect worldie – a first time hit, still rising as it crashes off the crossbar and in. The angle from behind the goal shows the keeper completely flummoxed and helpless as the ball sails into his top corner.
“It was one of those things where I thought, if it flies out into the car park it flies out, but I’m going for it – it was just one of them that I thought, I’m just gonna do it,” says Steer.
“As soon as I hit it I could see that the keeper wasn’t moving, and I thought, that’s going in. When it hit the crossbar I’m just, off, celebrating.”
Steer began his career in the Arsenal academy, before a serious facial injury while playing at Oldham put an end to his professional playing days.
Now he mixes his time playing for National League side Maidenhead United with teaching sports in schools – and has found that goal to be of great benefit when earning the respect of the occasional difficult student.
“I work a lot in schools coaching and doing classes, and every so often someone will show the kids the goal,” Steer adds.
“Especially the teenagers, when they see me they go ‘Oh that’s just some old guy’ and then the goal gets shown and it’s like ‘Oh… ooooh… yeah yeah that’s a goal!'”
Unfortunately the story doesn’t have a happy ending – St Neots eventually went onto lose the game 2-1 and failed to progress into the next round of the cup – but when you see a once-in-a-lifetime hit like Steer’s, you might think that the result isn’t really the most important thing after all.
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