For any footballer – strikers in particular – scoring a hat-trick is a special moment. Finding the back of the net three times in a game to take home the match ball is great and it’s even better when you add to that tally.
On Saturday Huddersfield Town frontman Jordan Rhodes scored four goals as his side drew 4-4 with Sheffield Wednesday, so this week Toppo’s Top Ten takes a look at players in the Football League who have achieved that feat and more, getting themselves a haul of goals.
10: Clyde Wijnhard
Dutch striker Clyde Wijnhard spent eight years playing in England, beginning at Leeds United in 1998 before moving to a host of lower league sides including Huddersfield Town, Preston North End, Oldham, Macclesfield, Darlington and Brentford, scoring goals on a regular basis.
He joined Oldham Athletic in the summer of 2002 and early in the 2002/03 season, scored four goals against a shellshocked Mansfield Town at Boundary Park. In an interview in the matchday programme Wijnhard said he would score goals and he came good on that promise, hitting a first half hat-trick before adding a fourth in the second period.
He got his first on ten minutes, chesting a Josh Low cross across the line, his second came eighteen minutes later from the penalty spot to restore Oldham’s lead following an equaliser from Stags’ Wayne Corden and he got his third on 36 minutes, capitalising on a mistake in the Mansfield defence.
Wijnhard, who joined Oldham on a free transfer, got his fourth twenty minutes from the end when he nodded Carlo Corazzin’s cross home before being subbed off to a great reception. Ian Dowie’s Latics added to their lead, making the final score 6-1 thanks to Corazzin and a penalty from Wayne Andrews.
9: Robert Earnshaw
In his first spell with Cardiff City between 1998 and 2004 Robert Earnshaw was prolific, scoring 105 goals in 205 appearances for the South Wales club. He also is the only player to have scored a hat-trick in the Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two, the League Cup, FA Cup and for Wales at International level.
One of his hat-tricks in the second tier came as Cardiff City hosted Gillingham in a Division One fixture at Ninian Park in September 2003. The Bluebirds scored two goals in three first half minutes through Peter Thorne and Earnshaw’s first of the afternoon, before the striker got his second on 35 minutes, finishing from close range after Gillingham had failed to clear a corner.
In first-half injury time Cardiff were awarded a penalty and Earnshaw stepped up to beat Gills’ goalkeeper Jason Brown and score his hat-trick. Half an hour into the second period, Earnshaw notched his fourth of the afternoon, firing home a rebound after the ball bounced back out off a post to score his ninth of the season and round off an impressive 5-0 victory.
8: Michael Chopra
In April 2003, Burnley and Watford shared eleven goals in an action-packed Division One fixture at Turf Moor where a young Michael Chopra netted four times for the visitors as they claimed a 7-4 victory.
Wayne Brown gave Watford the lead before Gareth Taylor equalised for the hosts, but Watford went back ahead not long after when Micah Hyde converted Gavin Mahon’s centre for 2-1 and Neil Cox made it three, heading home an Neal Ardley corner to give the visitors a two goal cushion. On 29 minutes Watford made it 4-1 as Chopra grabbed his first, beating the offside trap to score. Before the break Steve Davis and Gareth Taylor reduced the arrears to 4-3.
Watford scored their fifth of the night as Chopra, on loan from Newcastle United, raced onto Paolo Vernazza’s through ball and finished beyond Clarets goalkeeper Marlon Beresford, before Taylor claimed his hat-trick to make the score a remarkable 5-4 at half-time.
Chopra netted his third on 61 minutes as Ardley centred to present the striker with an easy tap-in, before scoring for the fourth time in the game during injury time as the Hornets broke quickly upfield, Jason Norville crossed from the left and the 19-year-old Chopra emphatically rifled the ball past Beresford to round off a memorable night for him and his team.
7: Steve Bull
Steve Bull was one of the most prolific marksmen outside of the top flight, spending most of his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Third and Second Divisions between 1986 and 1999. He scored 306 goals for the West Midlanders in 475 appearances, including eighteen hat-tricks. He was even selected to play for England whilst still in the Third Division during the 1988/89 season.
One of his Wolves hat-tricks came on New Years’ Day in 1990, as his side travelled to St. James Park to face Newcastle in the Second Division. After a closely-fought first half, Bull took the game by the scruff of the neck, scoring four goals in the second half as his side cruised to a 4-1 success.
6: Brian Deane
In November 2004, veteran striker Brian Deane rolled back the years to hit four goals for Leeds United as they thrashed Queens Park Rangers 6-1 in a Championship fixture at Elland Road. Rangers were going well in the early stages of the 2004/05 season, sitting in the top half of the table and they got off to a good start in this game, Gareth Ainsworth putting them ahead with a drive two minutes in. However Leeds came back and equalised seven minutes later thanks to David Healy’s chipped finish.
Deane grabbed his first of the afternoon on thirteen minutes when he tapped in at the back post for 2-1 and Jermaine Wright made it 3-1 eleven minutes after, tapping in the rebound after Chris Day could only parry his shot. The goals kept coming in an entertaining first half, Deane making the score 4-1 after being set up by John Oster, before the former Sheffield United man got his hat-trick five minutes before the break, converting Gary Kelly’s cross to make it 5-1.
In the second half the goals were less forthcoming but Deane did score his fourth of the afternoon on 72 minutes after Danny Shittu’s poor defensive header fell to the striker, who made no mistake from close range to seal a fine victory for the hosts.
5: Kevin Phillips
Kevin Phillips enjoyed a prolific spell with Sunderland between 1997 and 2003, scoring 113 goals in 208 league games for the club in six years, which included winning promotion to the Premier League in 1999. The Black Cats cruised to the Division One title that season, with Phillips and Niall Quinn forging a successful partnership up front and it was Phillips who hit four against a struggling Bury side in April 1999 to clinch a spot in the top-flight.
Sunderland travelled to Gigg Lane and turned on the style, with 4,492 of their fans making up the crowd of 8,869. Phillips opened the scoring on ten minutes from the penalty spot, his 19th goal of the season before Bury equalised through a spectacular 20-yard strike from Darren Bullock. Niall Quinn restored Sunderland’s lead before Phillips got his second on the half hour mark, ramming home a rebound after Dean Kiely failed to hold Lee Clark’s shot.
The frontman completed his first treble of the season two minutes later when Allan Johnston’s corner fell to him in the box and he made no mistake, finishing beyond Kiely for 4-1. In the second half Nick Daws made the scores 4-2 twenty minutes after the restart with a powerful left-foot volley but it was Phillips who would have the final say, cutting in from the left and curling a shot into the top corner ten minutes from time to score his fourth of the night and kickstart Sunderland’s promotion party.
4: Micky Quinn
On the opening day of the 1989/90 Division Two season, big frontman Micky Quinn made his debut for Newcastle United and helped send 40,000 United supporters home happy on a hot August afternoon.
Leeds United were the visitors to St.James’ Park as Jim Smith’s Magpies faced Second Division football after relegation from the top flight two months before. Quinn joined the Magpies for £680,000 from Portsmouth, having hit 54 goals in 121 appearances for the South Coast club and soon got on the scoresheet for his new employers, along with fellow debutant John Gallagher.
Leeds did lead 2-1 but centre-forward Quinn put the game out of reach of Howard Wilkinson’s men, hitting four goals on his first appearance for the club. He went on to net 34 times in the league that season, making him the top scorer in all four divisions in England.
3: Wayne Andrews
Watford striker Wayne Andrews spent five years at Vicarage Road but failed to make a real breakthrough into the first team, moving to Peterborough United on loan in 1999, where he made an immediate impact. The Posh hosted Barnet at London Road in the Third Division and cruised to a 5-2 success with Andrews scoring four goals on his debut.
Ken Charlery gave the visitors the lead four minutes in but Peterborough equalised on 33 minutes thanks to Rob Sawyers’ own goal. Marlon King put Barnet back in front just a minute later and they kept the lead as the teams headed off the field at half-time. After the break, the hosts came storming back with Andrews leading the scoring.
He got his first of the afternoon on 53 minutes to equalise then grabbed his second a minute later to make it 3-2. Nine minutes after that he scored his hat-trick and rounded off a memorable debut ten minutes from the end as he scored his fourth to make the score 5-2 to Barry Fry’s side. He went on to make ten appearances for Peterborough, scoring just one more goal.
2: Jordan Rhodes
Jordan Rhodes is attracting interest from a whole host of clubs thanks to his excellent goalscoring form for Huddersfield Town and he added to his burgeoning reputation with a brilliant four goal salvo in a pulsating Yorkshire derby at the weekend. Town travelled to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday in a clash between two League One promotion hopefuls and the game did not disappoint.
Rhodes, whose father Andy is Wednesday’s goalkeeping coach, put Huddersfield ahead with an excellent rising header from Gary Roberts’ cross on 12 minutes and four minutes doubled the lead in a similar fashion, nodding home another good Roberts cross from the left to give Town a dream start.
The Owls equalised in the space of two minutes through Reda Johnson and Rob Jones, before two second half strikes from Ben Marshall and Chris O’Grady gave the hosts a 4-2 lead and looked to set them up for victory. However on 77 minutes Rhodes made the scores 4-3 and netted his hat-trick when he drilled a low shot past Steve Bywater.
It looked as if Gary Megson’s Wednesday would hold on for a crucial win, but in the 97th minute Rhodes latched onto a Peter Clarke pass, raced past the Owls defenders and produced a brilliant curling finish with the outside of his right foot from eighteen yards to score his fourth of the game and snatch a dramatic late draw for Town.
1: Giuliano Grazioli
Former striker Giuliano Grazioli is a firm favourite at Barnet, having scored the goals to help the club reach the Football League in 2005 and helped the Bees avoid the drop back into non-league last season, taking over as manager in April 2011 after the shock resignation of Martin Allen. However in September 1999, he was the main protagonist in dishing out a 9-1 thrashing to Barnet, as Peterborough United romped to victory in a Division Three match at Underhill.
Jimmy Quinn got things started for Posh, netting after sixteen mintues and Grazioli made it two ten minutes later. Mick Bodley scored an own goal two minutes later to make the scores 2-1, but Grazioli quickly restored Peterborough’s two goal cushion and Quinn scored his second four minutes before the break.
In the second half Peterborough continued to dominate and extended their lead further as Grazioli completed his hat-trick six minutes after the restart and then scored his fourth of the afternoon on 55 minutes. Dean Hooper and a young Matthew Etherington made the score 8-1 as the match entered injury time, but Grazioli found the back of the net once more in the closing stages to score his fifth goal of the game and complete a 9-1 success for Barry Fry’s side. It remains Peterborough United’s biggest league win to date and Barnet’s record league defeat.
Written by Steven Toplis, We Are Going Up podcast member and Nottingham Forest blogger
Steven tweets at @steven_toplis