Plenty of football fans claim not to enjoy an own goal as much as a regular one or even confess sorrow for the unfortunate player that puts through his own net, but we all know the truth.
Schadenfreude – pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune.
I'm not sure the Germans had own goals in mind when they created the word ‘schadenfreude‘, but nevertheless it describes the adulation felt by football fans across the world when an opposing player scores an own goal. After the game you might admit that ‘the lad was unlucky there‘ but at the moment the ball crosses the line own goals are treated with the usual roar from the crowd as well as a jeer, especially when the goalscorer is announced over the stadium's PA system.
In this article, we are going to be identifying the ‘king of the own goals‘ during the Premier League era, the record for the most own goals in one Premier League season and naming the teams who have scored the most Premier League own goals.
Contenders for the Crown
This list, in reverse order, will reveal the players who have scored the most Premier League own goals to date.
5 Own Goals
Henning Berg – The former Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United defender enjoyed an impressive career in England and made a century of appearances for his country, Norway.
Zat Knight – Knight played for three Premier League clubs during his career, Fulham, Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers and earned 2 caps for England in 2005.
Richard Rufus – One club man Rufus had to retire at the age of 29 due to injury but the good work he did at Charlton Athletic has been tarnished by allegations of major fraud.
Scott Dann – 33-year old Dann remains in the Premier League with Crystal Palace and could still add to his own goals tally and move further up the list before he calls time on his career.
Phil Neville – The ex-Everton and Manchester United stalwart made over 500 Premier League appearances, featured 59 times for his country and now manages the England women's team.
Neil Ruddock – ‘Razor' Ruddock was one of the more colourful characters in the Premier League who is most remembered for his time at Liverpool where he famously scored an own goal in a Merseyside derby.
Michael Duberry – The centre back made over 400 league appearances in his career, most notably for Chelsea, Leeds United an Stoke City.
6 Own Goals
Wes Brown – Brown made over 200 league appearances for Manchester United before moving to Sunderland and then Blackburn Rovers, earning 23 caps and scoring 1 goal for England.
Phil Jagielka – 38-year old Jagielka still plays in the Premier League for Sheffield United but his appearances are so limited it is unlikely he will be able to add to his 6 own goals.
Frank Sinclair – The former Jamaican international became a figure of ridicule during his time at Chelsea and Leicester City due to the number of own goals he scored, but fear not Frank, you aren't the king of own goals.
Rio Ferdinand – One of the most accomplished and decorated defenders in the Premier League era, Ferdinand made over 300 league appearances for Manchester United and was an England regular, earning 81 caps.
Gareth McAuley – McAuley arrived in the Premier League late in his career and had an eye for goal during his time at West Bromwich Albion, as well as impressing for the Northern Ireland national team.
7 Own Goals
Jamie Carragher – ‘Carra' spent his entire career with Liverpool and won everything but a league title, and has the unfortunate record of scoring more own goals than actual goals for his beloved club.
Martin Skrtel – Another former Liverpool man, Skrtel didn't play anywhere near as many games for the Kopites as Carragher did and still managed to score the same amount of own goals as the England international, impressive.
10 Own Goals
Richard Dunne – Dunne holds the record for the most sendings-off in the Premier League, tied with Vieira and Big Dunc, and despite leaving the field of play a record amount of times, the former Republic of Ireland international is the Premier League's king of the own goal. The former Everton, Manchester City, Aston Villa and QPR man is the only player to have scored into double figures in Premier League own goals, which is impressive considering he only scored 11 goals at the other end of the pitch during his time in the top flight.
Most Own Goals in a Season
Liverpool's Martin Skrtel used to hold the record of most own goals in a single season by himself, putting the ball through his own net 4 times during the 2013/14 campaign. Other players have gone close to Skrtel's record before, with Jos Hooiveld, Andreas Jakobsson and John Pantsil all scoring 3 own goals in a single season. However, in 2018 Brighton centre back Lewis Dunk provided the Slovakian defender with some much-needed company as he scored 4 own goals in one season for The Seagulls.
Which Team has scored the Most Premier League Own Goals?
Everton top the team own goals chart with 53 scored in 28 campaigns, while Aston Villa are next on the list with 46 scored in 25 seasons, followed by Liverpool on 42 own goals in the full 28 Premier League seasons. West Ham have scored 38 own goals as have Manchester City (one of Richard Dunne's former teams), Chelsea and Fulham.
The Toffees are way out in front on the Premier League own goals chart which you might expect given that they have played in every top-flight campaign since the Premier League began back in 1992. Also, Everton only finished in the top half of the table once in the opening 10 seasons of the Premier League, often battling relegation, so you can understand why more own goals might have been scored under these circumstances.