Chris Kamara picks his 5 most unbelievable (Jeff) football moments
The Sky Sports presenter reveals what makes him utter his iconic catchphrase.
As Gareth Southgate prepares for England’s first game of Euro 2020 on Sunday 13 June, Chris Kamara – Kammy to his friends – has been busy with a team of his own.
The footballer-turned-pundit has been working with Subway to turn a suburban garden into a DIY stadium for five fans who’ve had their Euros tickets cancelled due to reduced capacities in the stands – but he still found time for a Zoom call with ShortList to talk shop.
“We [England] have the best chance that we've had for a long time,” says Kammy. “France are the favourites but I think they're weaker than the World Cup. Belgium would be the one that you say all them quality players at some stage have got to win something – could it be their turn this time around?
“Germany and Spain, for me, are not the Germany and Spain of old, and I would say we’re in a better position than Portugal and Italy. We won a World Cup on home soil, can we win the Euros on virtually home soil?”
Surely nothing would be guaranteed to elicit Kammy’s famous “Unbelievable!” response like England lifting the trophy this summer, and when ShortList asks him to pick his top five most unbelievable moments he warns that he could probably choose “about 100,000” from his nearly 50 years in the game – but the Goals On Sunday host manages to narrow it down to a handful that are more than worthy of his catchphrase.
“My memory is shocking, so forgive me if I miss out on anything that was exceptional,” he says, before consulting a few pre-prepared notes to help. Kammy miss something important? Surely not…
5. Rod Wallace’s wonder goal for Leeds
“We've seen brilliant goals from Di Canio, we've seen brilliant goals from Rooney, we've seen brilliant goals from Dennis Bergkamp and Eric Cantona – but no one seems to remember this one against Spurs in 1994. It's been hidden on the back shelf.
“Rod picks the ball up just outside his own penalty area, beats three players along the way, gets into the box, beats another player and bends his shot into the far corner – and he wasn't breathing from that exertion. He couldn't have blown a match out. If it had been Lionel Messi we'd have seen it every single year but people have just forgotten it. Rod, I have brought it back for you.”
4. Luis Suarez’s mid-match snack
“You asked for the most unbelievable things I have ever seen on a football pitch, and in 2013 Luis Suarez bit Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea on the arm and didn’t get sent off! I can’t remember who the ref was but he just gave him a talking to. Ivanovic is sitting there going, ‘Look! He drew blood!’ – and to add insult to injury, Suarez scored the winner [Ed's note - it was the equaliser but, yeah that must have stung].
“The whole thing was just, did I really see that? I have to say, what a player. What a brilliant, brilliant player. He's getting on now but he's still scoring goals.”
3. Pedro Mendes’s halfway-line ghost goal
“There were only two people in the world who didn't see Pedro Mendes score from 50 yards against Manchester United in 2005 – and that was the referee Mark Clattenburg and his assistant. You didn't need goal line technology, you just needed to look to know it was a goal. I was at Sky Sports and I remember they put up 'GOAL' on the screen, so if you were watching the game at home it was one nil. And then all of a sudden Clattenburg runs over to the assistant and it's no goal!
“I was in the stadium for the Lampard one [at the World Cup in 2010] and it happened so quickly. With Pedro Mendes's one, Roy Carroll saved it, spilled it into the back of the net and then grabbed it out. It's a picture that you really couldn't forget. To score from 50 yards against Man U and have that taken away from you by the officials – we have never seen anything like that.”
2. Liverpool’s day at the beach
“People always talk about dogs on the pitch. I saw a cat on the pitch at Goodison and a pigeon on the pitch at West Ham, but I'm gonna go with Darren Bent's beach ball goal against Liverpool, where Pepe Reina went to save the beach ball. You couldn't write it.
“I remember doing Goals on Sunday the next day. One thing I had to be clued-up on for Goals on Sunday was the laws of the game. Any sort of object that was on the pitch, if the ball hits it it's an indirect free kick – but at that particular time they forgot. The irony was it was a Liverpool fan's beach ball. That was an absolute killer.”
1. Manchester City’s fairytale ending
“Number one was easy, because if this was a movie you wouldn't believe the ending. It has to be Sergio Aguero's goal against Queens Park Rangers to win the Premier League for the first time for Manchester City.
“The game at Sunderland had finished. Sir Alex and his boys were still on the pitch at the Stadium of Light watching the big screen, ready to celebrate that they'd won the title. Two minutes before they were all jumping up and down because somebody had said it was over at the Etihad – but of course it wasn't. And then the iconic commentary from Martin Tyler was just, well, to this day it sends chills up your spine every time. It was fairytale stuff.
“Myself, Ben Shepherd and Peter Reid had done a preview of all the games, so we went to a pub in Chiswick to watch them all. We just couldn't believe it. The whole pub couldn't believe it. I think we had to have one more drink afterwards because we couldn't believe what we'd seen.”
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