in the net
What finer sight is there than the ripple of the net as a
goal is scored? Even the sound of the leather skimming
across the nylon is tantalising. Yet, when football was
first played, there were no nets. This led to arguments as
to whether a goal had been scored or not, until a Liverpool
engineer, John Alexander Brodie, decided to design 'a huge
pocket' for the goal.
The world's first footballer ever to 'put the ball in back
of the net' was Geary of Everton, at a trial game in
Nottingham, England, in January 1891. The referee that day,
incidentally, was Sam Widdowson, the man who invented shin
pads. The first
Cup Final to use nets was played at the Oval in 1892 between
West Bromwich Albion and the Villa. Even in the modern
Laws, nets are still not a compulsory item, but are
mentioned as a necessity in nearly all competition rules.
Brodie went on to develop several other inventions and
complete engineering works across Britain, Spain and India.
But he always said that goal nets were his finest
achievement. And who are we to disagree?