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King's relief after goal confirmed as fastest in Premier League

21 Nov 2018
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Spurs legend sees his strike at Bradford City in 2000 officially timed at 9.82 seconds

For 18 years Ledley King had unofficially held the record for the fastest goal in Premier League history.

King's strike for Tottenham Hotspur at Bradford City in December 2000 was timed at 10 seconds but this goal and others straight from kick-off had historically been rounded up to full seconds.

So when Christian Eriksen struck straight from kick-off for Spurs at home to Manchester United last season King started to worry.

Record threat

"I was at the game and was taking my seat and I just heard a roar and, initially, I thought, 'What's happened? Who's scored?' " King said.

"And then a little while after, I thought, 'That's quick. That's challenging my record.'

"So I started asking people, 'What time was that?' And a few people were saying, 'Ten, 12 [seconds].' That's when I realised I actually cared about my record! I didn't want to lose it!"

Opta technology

So we took the Spurs legend to the Munich offices of Opta, the Premier League's official data supplier, to provide the most accurate measurement yet of his goal at Bradford and to discover whether Eriksen had beaten it.

Using Opta's technology the quickest strikes were able to be measured to the hundredth of a second, from when the ball was first in play at kick-off to when it crossed the goalline, to provide an official list of the 10 fastest goals in the competition's history.

And it confirmed that King's goal at Valley Parade was the fastest at 9.82 seconds.

King relief

"Really pleased about that," a relieved King said. "I wasn't sure if technology proved there was a quicker goal and it was going to get taken off me all of sudden.

"So I am pleased for now I am still holding that record." 

Indeed Eriksen's goal, which was timed at 10.54 seconds, was not even the second-fastest. It sits in third place, 0.02 seconds behind Alan Shearer's strike for Newcastle United against Manchester City in 2002/03.

Kane prediction

King doesn't see his record lasting another 18 years and reckons that after one Spurs player had come close to beating it, another could well take his crown.

"Someone like Harry Kane is going to beat it in the future," King said. "It wouldn't surprise me."

Top 10 fastest Premier League goals*
Time (sec) Player Match Season
09.82 Ledley King Bradford City v Spurs 2000/01
10.52 Alan Shearer Newcastle v Man City 2002/03
10.54 Christian Eriksen Spurs v Man Utd 2017/18
11.90 Mark Viduka Charlton v Leeds 2000/01
12.16 Dwight Yorke Coventry v Aston Villa 1995/96
12.94 Chris Sutton Everton v Blackburn 1994/95
13.48 Kevin Nolan Blackburn v Bolton 2003/04
13.52 James Beattie Chelsea v Southampton 2004/05
13.64 Asmir Begovic Stoke v Southampton 2013/14
13.68 Jay Rodriguez Chelsea v Southampton 2013/14

*this record was since beaten by Shane Long scoring after 7.69sec for Southampton at Watford

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