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The Greatest Goal Scored Against My Club: Roy Wegerle's Mazy Run For QPR vs Leeds

by Rob Atkinson
5 February 2013 9 Comments

I hate it when teams net against my team, but when Roy Wegerle blitzed through the Leeds defence for QPR, I couldn't help but stand and applaud his effort.

The Greatest Goal Scored Against My Club: Roy Wegerle’s Mazy Run For QPR vs Leeds

For any football fan asked to nominate a favourite goal, the prospect opens of a pleasurable half an hour recalling all those wonderful strikes down the years, mentally compiling a short-list, and then proudly revealing to the questioner that golden shot, header, volley or back-heel, possibly prefaced by the two runners-up in time-honoured reverse order. Bliss.

The challenge of naming the best goal ever scored AGAINST your favourites, however, is obviously not quite so enjoyable. Most of us like to think of ourselves as football purists, at least in a neutral sense, so that we can appreciate the beauty of a goal scored in a game not involving our club, even one by a despised rival. But a goal in your own team’s net is never completely free of attendant pain, and however wonderfully executed it might have been, you can’t actually enjoy it. You wince as it goes in, you home in on a possible offside flag, or any infraction of the rules that might lead to it being chalked off. When it counts, your mood sinks. You’re in no state to acknowledge the brilliance of it all. You just want your lot to set about redressing the balance.

But the fact remains; you will have seen many terrific goals scored against your own beloved side. You may possibly find that one amongst them tops even the best goal you can ever recall your lot scoring, though you will not, of course, admit that. As a Leeds United fan, I’d certainly never concede I’ve seen better opposition goals than Yeboah’s howitzers against Liverpool and Wimbledon, Strachan’s belter against Leicester, Currie’s banana shot against the Saints, Eddie Gray’s pleasure ride through the Burnley defence or any half-dozen you might care to name from Lorimer’s ferocious back catalogue.

Looked at without the partisan blinkers, though, my mind’s eye recalls some very memorable goals scored against Leeds, particularly at my end of Elland Road; the Gelderd End, or Kop. Jeremy Goss blasted home a fulminating volley for Norwich in 1993 that drew gasps of admiration. The crisply-struck blockbusters do tend to stick in the memory, and I’ve often complained that we seem to cop for more than our fair share of goal-of-the-season contenders that fly into our top corner, when they might so easily have zipped into the back row of the stand.

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The one opposition goal that I’ll truly never forget, though, was in a category all of its own. In the early part of the 1990-91 season, Leeds had made a decent start to their first year back in the top flight since relegation in 1982. Consolidation of higher status was the name of the game, but United appeared to be capable of more, and would, in fact, achieve a top four finish as a prelude to actually winning the Title the following season. In these early days back in the big time, though, it was wonderful just to be there and holding our own. A visit from Queen’s Park Rangers wasn’t expected to present any real problems, and there was a relaxed and content air around Elland Road when Leeds moved into an early two goal lead.

Then, it happened, as it’s frankly happened too often in my time watching Leeds. We managed to salvage, from the jaws of victory, an unlikely 2-3 defeat. But one of those goals was scored by Roy Wegerle, South African-born U.S. international, now a golf pro, but then Leeds United’s latest nemesis. He picked the ball up wide on the right about halfway inside the Leeds half, executed a ridiculously mazy run on a by-no-means direct route to the edge of the area, during which he went past five Leeds players as if they just weren’t there, before shifting the ball finally onto his right foot and dispatching it past a flailing John Lukic. It was one of those moments when, despite your love of your own team, you just stopped for an instant, transfixed in wonder, before exclaiming “I say, what an absolute corker of a goal that was!”, or words to that effect.

It was a beautiful goal, a wondrous, marvellous gem of a goal. I’ll certainly never forget it, and seemingly new generations of QPR fans are always finding out about it, and wishing they could have seen it live. Well, I did see it, and although I may not have appreciated it at the time, it certainly gets my nomination for “best ever against Leeds”. I’m not alone in that, either – one other thing I recall from that day is the loud and generous applause Wegerle’s effort elicited from the notoriously parochial Leeds support.

It takes a very special goal indeed to get that reaction at Elland Road, and this was definitely as special as it gets – worthy of Maradona, perhaps … or even Eddie Gray. Take a bow, son.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Grenville Hair 2:11 pm, 5-Feb-2013

i was in the Kop at the game and i remember Ray Wilkins applauding us for applauding Wegerle!

SanMiguelMalaga 3:17 pm, 5-Feb-2013

I was there too, and applauded. Our jaws dropped. It was fantastic. Many of us wanted to sign him for years after that- just on that goal. This interestingly brings up another topic for Leeds fans: whether it is right to applaud goals by other teams. It's discussed in every-game-for-decades (and latterday bates collaborator) Gary Edwards' book 'Paint It White.' One guy was smacked in the face by another 'fan' for applauding the goal. Edwards implied that this was the right thing to do and he would never applaud another side scoring against his. Sums up the gulf between some Leeds fans and others really.

MedwayR 3:50 pm, 5-Feb-2013

Well written article and a fantastic goal. Unfortunately I was too young to have seen it live but I am certainly aware of the goal & have seen it several times. Got me thinking of the best goal I've seen QPR concede & I'm struggling to think of any, obviously I quickly forget goals against us, probably for the best...

challers 4:46 pm, 5-Feb-2013

I must say its my favourite opposition goal too and great to watch again after all these years. We all stood and applauded where I sat and that's how it should be.Passion, emotion and love for your team and the great game. That season we were just excited at seeing the top sides visit ER and Leeds proved they were quick learners, competing successfully at the top level.

Ghost of Clarkeonenil 4:47 pm, 5-Feb-2013

Agree on "gulf" and side with writer however the best goal ever scored against LUFC in the last 35 years happened in 79-80 at Elland Road when Man City's Kazimierz Deyna flick with his toe a 30 yard unsavable screamer in front of the South Stand.

R 5:08 pm, 5-Feb-2013

You are not wrong, I rem,ember watching that on the TV and Wegerle was and is my favourite QPR player of all time (i dont go back as far as Bowles et al). There is a young moroccan fellow that is pushing him remarkably close though...

Jebadiah springfield 8:05 pm, 5-Feb-2013

Great goal can't takt that away from the lad, but pissssss poor defending!

Ilkleywhite 10:08 pm, 5-Feb-2013

I was there that day, level with the half way line, in the old lowfields, and I have to say that was probably the best goal I have ever seen scored against us, I wouldn't mind but we were winning 2-0 and the final score was 3-2 to QPR

Andy 12:20 pm, 6-Feb-2013

Great article, I was at the game as a QPR fan.

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