Moving the Goalposts: Last and First Stadium Goalscorers

Belle Vue - Doncaster Rovers former ground

Theo Streete played just ten matches as a professional footballer. His is the sort of blink and you miss it pro career that in most instances would fade away everywhere but a listing in a tattered Rothmans Annual. Not Streete however, instead he has an eternal residency as a footnote in South Yorkshire sporting history. That is because one hour into a match in late December 2006 he took an ambitious pot shot on goal from out on the right wing, and through doing so became that last ever goalscorer at Doncaster Rovers’ Belle Vue ground.

A lot of club honours in football can be surpassed; trophies are only held for a year whilst players can score more goals, make more appearances, be younger on debut or older on retirement, be bought or sold for more money. Yet being the last goalscorer at an old ground, or indeed the first goalscorer at a new one is a very finite honour; one of few in football from which you can never be displaced.

This notion, of bringing the curtain down on an old home, or ushering in a new era has long fascinated me; possibly due to the trajectory of Theo Streete’s career. The idea that such an honour can potentially fall on someone, anyone by chance, or by circumstance has an element of romance. It’s an honour that can befall everyday people. There was a lad called Jamie Green lived down my dad’s road, he played in midfield for the village team Rossington Main a couple of seasons back, but three years earlier he arrived in the penalty area at just the right time to score the last goal at Millmoor.

It only takes a second to score a goal we’re told, and so in such a brief moment in time you can change your entire placing in the game, in the same way Streete did. Mark McCammon scored Doncaster’s first goal at the Keepmoat Stadium, but for the agility of Matt Glennon or the width of the crossbar at the South Stand end, that honour could just as easily have gone to Paul Heffernan or Pawel Abbott respectively.

In the 25 years since the Taylor Report a lot of teams have moved on from tired old tumble-down homes to modern concrete bowls; grounds and parks have become stadiums and arenas. But despite all the Football League sides who had moved on I could find no comprehensive record of who had scored their last goal at their former home, or the first goal at their sleek new one. To me that seemed something of a tragedy, that these impromptu stars had not been recognised. So I made one and you can find that below complete with links to the goals themselves wherever I have been able to find them.

Theo Streete has gone on to forge a decent semi-pro career at the top level of non-league. Four years after his defining moment, I stood at Worcester City’s St George’s Lane (also now sadly defunct) and watched him take a similarly optimistic punt at goal for Alfreton Town; that one landed in the Birmingham canal. His shot at Belle Vue could just as easily have ended up on the roof of Asda – it certainly should’ve been saved by Nottingham Forest’s Paul Smith. Such is fate. Instead a player that would have been forgotten, now has an honour that can’t be taken from him, ensuring that when housing was finally built on the site of Belle Vue, there was an inevitable campaign for a Theo Street among its roads.

crest of Arsenal FCARSENAL
Highbury
LAST GOAL: Thierry Henry; 4-2 vs Wigan Athletic (May 2006)
Emirates Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Olof Mellberg (Aston Villa); 1-1 vs Aston Villa (August 2006)

 

crest of Barnet FCBARNET
Underhill
LAST GOAL: Jake Hyde; 1-0 vs Wycombe Wanderers (April 2013)
The Hive
FIRST GOAL: Luke Gambin; 3-0 vs Chester (August 2013)

 

crest of Bolton Wanderers FCBOLTON WANDERERS
Burnden Park
LAST GOAL: John McGinley; 4-1 vs Charlton Athletic (April 1997)
Reebok Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Alan Thompson; 1-1 vs Tottenham Hotspur (September 1997)

 

crest of Boston United FCBOSTON UNITED
York Street
LAST GOAL: Dan Mooney (Altrincham); 0-1 vs Altrincham (August 2020)
Jakemans Community Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Connor Hall (Chorley); 0-2 vs Chorley (December 2020)

 

crest of Brentford FCBRENTFORD
Griffin Park
LAST GOAL: Steadman Callender (Erith Town); 6-3 vs Erith Town (August 2020)
Brentford Community Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Ethan Pinnock; 1-1 (4-2 on penalties) vs Wycombe Wanderers (September 2020)

 

crest of Brighton & Hove AlbionBRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
Goldstone Ground
LAST GOAL: Stuart Storer; 1-0 vs Doncaster Rovers (April 1997)
Withdean Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Darren Freeman; 6-0 vs Mansfield (August 1999)
LAST GOAL: Danny Ward (Huddersfield Town); 2-3 vs Huddersfield Town (April 2011)
AmEx Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Billy Sharp (Doncaster Rovers); 2-1 vs Doncaster Rovers (August 2011)

 

crest of Bristol Rovers FCBRISTOL ROVERS
Eastville
LAST GOAL: Brian Scrimegeour (Chesterfield); 1-1 vs Chesterfield (April 1986)
Memorial Ground
FIRST GOAL: Lee Archer; 1-1 vs Stockport County (August 1996)

 

crest of Burton Albion FCBURTON ALBION
Eton Park
LAST GOAL: Jon Shaw; 1-0 vs Northwich Victoria (April 2005)
Pirelli Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Aaron Webster; 1-1 vs Grays Athletic (August 2005)

 

crest of Cardiff City AFCCARDIFF CITY
Ninian Park
LAST GOAL: Jon Stead (Ipswich Town); 0-3 vs Ipswich Town (April 2009)
Cardiff City Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Michael Chopra; 4-0 vs Scunthorpe United (August 2009)

 

Chester City FC crestCHESTER CITY
Sealand Road
LAST GOAL: Graham Abel; 2-0 vs Rotherham United (April 1990)
Deva Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Chris Beaumont (Stockport County); 1-2 vs Stockport County (August 1992)

 

Chesterfield FC crestCHESTERFIELD
Saltergate
LAST GOAL: Derek Niven; 2-1 vs Bournemouth (May 2010)
Proact Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Dwayne Mattis; 2-1 vs Barnet (August 2010)

 

crest of Colchester United FCCOLCHESTER UNITED
Layer Road
LAST GOAL: Richard Creswell (Stoke City); 0-1 vs Stoke City (April 2008)
Community Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Mark Yeates; 2-2 vs Oldham Athletic (August 2008)

 

crest of Coventry City FCCOVENTRY CITY
Highfield Road
LAST GOAL: Andrew Whing; 6-2 vs Derby County (April 2005)
Ricoh Arena
FIRST GOAL: Claus Bech Jorgensen; 3-0 vs Queens Park Rangers (August 2005)

 

crest of Darlington FCDARLINGTON
Feethams
LAST GOAL: Neil Wainwright; 2-2 vs Leyton Orient (May 2003)
Reynolds Arena
FIRST GOAL: Danny Williams (Kidderminster Harriers); 0-2 vs Kidderminster Harriers (August 2003)
LAST GOAL: Ben Ford (own goal for Darlington); 3-1 vs Kettering Town (April 2012)
Blackwell Meadows
FIRST GOAL: Mark Beck; 3-2 vs FC Halifax Town (December 2016)

 

crest of Derby County FCDERBY COUNTY
Baseball Ground
LAST GOAL: Ian Wright (Arsenal); 1-3 vs Arsenal (May 1997)
iPro Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Stefano Eranio; 1-0 v Barnsley (August 1997)

 

crest of Doncaster Rovers FCDONCASTER ROVERS
Belle Vue
FIRST GOAL: Arthur Charlesworth; 1-0 vs Gainsborough Trinity (August 1922)
LAST GOAL: Theo Streete; 1-0 vs Nottingham Forest (December 2006)
Keepmoat Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Mark McCammon; 3-0 vs Huddersfield Town (January 2007)

 

crest of Huddersfield Town FCHUDDERSFIELD TOWN
Leeds Road
LAST GOAL: Phil Starbuck; 2-1 vs Blackpool (April 1994)
John Smiths Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Simon Garner (Wycombe Wanderers); 0-1 vs Wycombe Wanderers (August 1994)

 

crest of Hull City AFCHULL CITY
Boothferry Park
LAST GOAL: Simon Betts (Darlington); 0-1 vs Darlington (December 2002)
KC Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Dean Keates; 2-0 vs Hartlepool United (December 2002)

 

crest of Leicester City FCLEICESTER CITY
Filbert Street
LAST GOAL: Matt Piper; 2-1 vs Tottenham Hotspur (May 2002)
Walkers Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Brian Deane; 2-0 vs Watford (August 2002)

 

crest of Maidstone United FCMAIDSTONE UNITED
Athletic Ground, London Road
LAST GOAL: Nigel Donn (own goal for Stafford Rangers); 4-2 vs Stafford Rangers (April 1988)
Gallagher Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Phil Williams (Walton & Hersham); 4-5 vs Walton & Hersham (August 2012)

 

crest of Manchester City FCMANCHESTER CITY
Maine Road
LAST GOAL: Michael Svensson (Southampton); 0-1 vs Southampton (May 2003)
City of Manchester Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Trevor Sinclair; 5-0 vs The New Saints (August 2003)

 

crest of Middlesbrough FCMIDDLESBROUGH
Ayresome Park
LAST GOAL: John Hendrie; 2-1 vs Luton Town (April 1995)
Riverside Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Craig Hignett; 2-0 vs Chelsea (August 1995)

 

crest of Millwall FCMILLWALL
The Den
LAST GOAL: Mike Davies (Bristol Rovers); 0-3 vs Bristol Rovers (May 1993)
The New Den
FIRST GOAL: John Kerr; 1-4 vs Southend United (August 1993)

 

crest of Morecambe FCMORECAMBE
Christie Park
LAST GOAL: David Artell; 2-1 vs Dagenham & Redbridge (May 2010)
Globe Arena
FIRST GOAL: Andy Fleming; 2-0 vs Coventry City (August 2010)

 

crest of Newport County AFCNEWPORT COUNTY
Somerton Park
LAST GOAL: J. Prew; 1-0 vs Barry Town (April 1992)
Newport Stadium
FIRST GOAL: L. Jones; 4-0 vs Redditch United (August 1994)
LAST GOAL: Adrian Cieslewicz (Wrexham); 0-1 v Wrexham (April 2012)
Rodney Parade
FIRST GOAL: Aaron O’Connor; 4-0 vs Nuneaton Town (August 2012)

 

crest of Northampton Town FCNORTHAMPTON TOWN
County Ground
LAST GOAL: Steve Wilkinson (Mansfield Town); 0-1 vs Mansfield Town (October 1994)
Sixfields Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Martin Aldridge; 1-1 vs Barnet (October 1994)

 

crest of Oxford United FCOXFORD UNITED
Manor Ground
LAST GOAL: Tony Naylor (Port Vale); 1-1 vs Port Vale (May 2001)
Kassam Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Matt Doughty (Rochdale); 1-2 vs Rochdale (August 2001)

 

crest of Reading FCREADING
Elm Park
LAST GOAL: Craig Bellamy (Norwich City); 0-1 vs Norwich City (May 1998)
Madejski Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Grant Brebner; 3-0 vs Luton Town (August 1998)

 

crest of Rotherham United FCROTHERHAM UNITED
Millmoor
LAST GOAL: Jamie Green; 1-0 vs Barnet (May 2008)
Don Valley Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Reuban Reid; 1-0 vs Lincoln City (August 2008)
LAST GOAL: Adebayo Akinfenwa (Northampton Town); 1-1 vs Northampton Town (May 2012)
New York Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Daniel Nardiello; 3-0 vs Burton Albion (August 2012)

 

crest of Scarborough FCSCARBOROUGH
McCain Stadium
LAST GOAL: Kevin Rapley (Leigh Genesis); 1-1 vs Leigh Genesis (April 2007)
Flamingo Land Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Michael Coulson; 1-1 vs Marske United (August 2017)

 

crest of Scunthorpe United FCSCUNTHORPE UNITED
Old Showground
LAST GOAL: Steve Lister; 1-1 vs Torquay United (May 1988)
Glanford Park
FIRST GOAL: Dave Cowling; 3-1 vs Hereford United (August 1988)

 

crest of Shrewsbury Town FCSHREWSBURY TOWN
Gay Meadow
LAST GOAL: Nick Fenton (Grimsby Town); 2-2 vs Grimsby Town (May 2007)
The New Meadow
FIRST GOAL: Darran Kempson; 1-0 vs Colchester United (August 2007)

 

crest of Southampton FCSOUTHAMPTON
The Dell
LAST GOAL: Matt Le Tissier; 3-2 vs Arsenal (May 2001)
St Mary’s Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink (Chelsea); 0-2 vs Chelsea (August 2001)

 

crest of Stoke City FCSTOKE CITY
Victoria Ground
LAST GOAL: Andy Hunt (West Bromwich Albion); 2-1 vs West Bromwich Albion (May 1997)
Britannia Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Graham Kavanagh; 1-1 vs Rochdale (August 1997)

 

crest of Sunderland AFCSUNDERLAND
Roker Park
LAST GOAL: Allan Johnston; 3-0 vs Everton (May 1997)
Stadium of Light
FIRST GOAL: Niall Quinn; 3-1 vs Manchester City (August 1997)

 

crest of Swansea City FCSWANSEA CITY
Vetch Field
LAST GOAL: Andy Robinson; 2-1 vs Wrexham (May 2005)
Liberty Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Adebayo Akinfenwa; 1-0 vs Tranmere Rovers (August 2005)

 

crest of Tottenham Hotspur FCTOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
White Hart Lane
LAST GOAL: Harry Kane; 2-1 vs Manchester United (May 2017)
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Son Heung-Min; 2-0 vs Crystal Palace (April 2019)

 

crest of Walsall FCWALSALL
Fellows Park
LAST GOAL: Andy Dornan; 1-1 vs Rotherham United (May 1990)
Bescot Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Matty Bryant (own goal for Torquay United); 2-2 vs Torquay United (August 1990)

 

crest of West Ham United FCWEST HAM UNITED
Upton Park
LAST GOAL: Winston Reid; 3-2 vs Manchester United (May 2016)
London Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Cheikhou Kouyate; 3-0 vs NK Domzale (August 2016)

 

crest of Wigan Athletic FCWIGAN ATHLETIC
Springfield Park
LAST GOAL: Paul Dickov (Manchester City); 1-1 vs Manchester City (May 1999)
DW Stadium
FIRST GOAL: Simon Haworth; 3-0 vs Scunthorpe United (August 1999)

 

crest of Wimbledon FCWIMBLEDON
Plough Lane
LAST GOAL: Ian Wright (Crystal Palace); 0-3 vs Crystal Palace (May 1991)
Selhurst Park
FIRST GOAL: Robbie Earle; 2-0 vs West Ham United (August 1991)
LAST GOAL: David Connolly; 2-1 vs Burnley (May 2003)
Kingsmeadow
FIRST GOAL: Berry (Chipstead); 1-2 vs Chipstead (August 2002)
LAST GOAL: Paddy Madden (Fleetwood Town); 1-2 vs Fleetwood Town (February 2020)
Plough Lane
FIRST GOAL: Joe Pigott; 2-2 vs Doncaster Rovers (November 2020)

 

crest of Wycombe Wanderers FCWYCOMBE WANDERERS
Loakes Park
LAST GOAL: Dave Carroll; 2-1 vs Stafford Rangers (May 1990)
Adams Park
FIRST GOAL: Gary Smith; 4-1 vs Welling United (August 1990)

 

crest of Yeovil Town FCYEOVIL TOWN
Huish Athletic Ground
LAST GOAL: Neil Cordice; 1-0 vs Telford United (May 1990)
Huish Park
FIRST GOAL: Mickey Spencer; 2-0 vs Colchester United (August 1990)

 

crest of York City FCYORK CITY
Bootham Crescent
LAST GOAL: yet to be scored
York Community Stadium
FIRST GOAL: yet to be scored

 

Some things stand out from that list; notably Ian Wright’s existence as some sort of football ground grim reaper; not content with scoring a hat-trick for Crystal Palace in the last game at Plough Lane, he also scored the death knell at the Baseball Ground too. Adebayo Akinfenwa also appears twice; bringing the curtain down on Don Valley’s football existence and drawing a ball into his orbit long enough to christen the Liberty Stadium in 2005 as well.

There are some big names on that list; it’s hard to imagine a player so much of the modern era like Craig Bellamy ever playing at such a relic as Elm Park never mind scoring there, whilst there will be few more fitting scorers than Matt Le Tissier curling in the final goal at The Dell.

Interestingly, but for Andy Hunt’s consolation goal for West Brom in the final game of the 1996-97 season Graham Kavanagh would have the unique distinction of scoring the last goal at Stoke’s former ground and the first one at their new ground. And spare a thought for Walsall’s Matty Bryant whose honour of scoring the first goal at the Bescot Stadium, is somewhat tempered by the fact that he did so into his own net. On a similar vein however there is something gloriously fitting given how much of a millstone the Reynolds Arena was that the last goal scored there should be an own goal.

For Rovers fans there are plenty of familiar names among the above from Billy Sharp christening the AmEx Stadium, to future manager Paul Dickov scoring the last goal at Wigan’s Springfield Park. In addition to the aforementioned Adebayo Akinfenwa there is Nick Fenton scoring the last goal at Gay Meadow, Brian Deane opening the Walkers Stadium and Scunthorpe’s two milestone goals both came from ex-Rovers, Steve Lister and Dave Cowling.

by Glen Wilson

Revised and updated: November 2020

Footnote: The table lists goals in competitive games. Ground-shares with other football teams have been omitted, this includes Bristol Rovers’ years in Bath and Brighton’s exile at Priestfield as well as Newport County’s time away from Somerton Park.  The exception is Wimbledon owing to the 12 years they spent at Selhurst Park. Wimbledon is a complex case I know, though some may (rightly) feel Wimbledon FC ceased to be in 2002 when AFC Wimbledon were created, they did play the 2002-03 seasons as Wimbledon FC therefore the last goal at Selhurst Park scored by the club is the final one from the 2002-03 season. If anyone spots any mistakes please do let me know, likewise if you have any videos of the goals listed.

23 thoughts on “Moving the Goalposts: Last and First Stadium Goalscorers

    1. Thanks Janik… not sure how I managed that given I referenced it in the text and know one of the goalscorers too… changed from 98 to the correct 2008 now.

  1. A cracking piece of research there, though I think you are about ten years out with Glanford Park and the vid for the Eastville goal does state “Brian Scrimgeour would equalise from a penalty during the second half for Chesterfield.”

  2. What’s interesting to me as a Southampton fan is that the last ever goal at the Dell was scored by Uwe Rosler in a Friendly against Brighton & Hove Albion. He was also – if memory serves – the first Saints scorer at St Mary’s (they were trailing 4-0 to Espanyol at the time). Both were however friendly games.

    As Uwe had only a brief stay at Southampton – certainly not long enough to become a crowd favourite some airbrushing subsequently took place in the city’s collective memory and it is the last ever competitive goal – as you rightly point out scored by Matt Le Tissier – that is regarded as the last ‘true’ goal at the Dell. Uwe’s goal is never referred to at all.

    It’s an interesting example of how history can be tweaked, have to say though that I do feel a bit sorry for Uwe on this one!

    1. I’m not sure it is history tweaking really, its just that stadium last and first goals can be very hard to determine. The very last goal scored at Belle Vue for example would have been by a fan, who’d paid some money to play in a friendly game on the pitch a week later, so I think it is much more effective to identify the last competitive scorer. Harsh as that may be on Uwe as you point out.

    1. First ever League goal yes Brendan… Kavanagh’s goal came in a League Cup tie in the week leading up to that Swindon match.

      1. I see! I remember going to the game (as a Swindon fan) and there was all this ‘stadium opening razamatazz’ going on. Stoke obviously used the fixture as their ‘official’ opening game because an encounter with Swindon always adds a certain gravitas to any occasion ;-)

  3. Steve Lister (p, 81 mins) did indeed score the last goal at the Old Showground, but it was in a 1-1 draw with Torquay in the play offs, 18 May 1988. 1-1 v Exeter was the last league game. Great list.

  4. Nice research. Not quite the same thing but as a Hammers fan i enjoyed the symmetry that we were the last team to beat Arsenal at Highbury and the first to beat them at the Emirates.

  5. Great list, well done! Might be worth a footnote, the first goal in a competitive match at iPro (then Pride Park) was scored by Ashley Ward for Derby against Wimbledon. His name’s not in the record books, however, as the match was abandoned due to floodlight failure, with the home side leading 2-1. Eranio’s goal was the first in a completed competitive fixture.

  6. Hi, I really enjoyed reading post. However I’m pretty sure you got the first goal at the Memorial Ground (Bristol Rovers) wrong. For whatever reason the first home game of the season was still played at Twerton Park so the first game at the ‘Mem’ was against Stockport County on 31st August. Lee Archer scored first for Rovers in a one all draw but there was a slight issue with the high of the goal posts as detailed in the match report I have found. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/exile-over-for-the-rovers-1361373.html

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