Obafemi Martins: Tottenham v Newcastle 2007
Words from Matt Ketchell
This goal happened in a game that Newcastle United were not expected to win.
Substitute keeper Steve Harper was babysitting a bench comprised entirely of Academy graduates. Nicky Butt (who would go on to score the winner) spent the previous five days in bed with illness and started the game nine pounds lighter. He even completed a full 90 minutes and had a fight in the tunnel with Pascal Cimbonda at half-time. Shay Given was biblical. Even our kit was good with the colours paying homage to my favourite away kit of all time (the maroon and blue of 95-96 fame). The game was live on Super Sunday and, having been to hundreds of football matches, it remains the only time I’ve ever been picked out in the crowd by TV cameras. It was a special day that I will remember most for the special goal I got to witness.
Match of the Day timed the strike at 84mph. Both of Obafemi Martins’ feet are actually off the ground as he strikes the football. The Nigerian threw his entire body, mind and soul through this 22 yard shot. If you Google ‘fastest football kick’ Guinness have clocked the actual World Record 4mph slower than this Obafemi Martins’ strike. So, not only did he equalise for Newcastle away at Spurs, he might have unofficially broken a World Record. It was a privilege to be in away end, behind the goal that day. The net probably saved my life.
Matt Ketchell is the Digital Editor / Senior Writer at BBC Match of the Day magazine. Follow him @Ketchell
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