- Richard Dunne tops the list with 10 own goals in his career, earning him the dubious honor of most own goals scored in footballing history.
- Franco Baresi, despite being considered one of the greatest center-backs in history, had his fair share of blunders with 8 own goals throughout his illustrious career with AC Milan.
- Riccardo Ferri and Martin Skrtel share the joint-record of 8 own goals in Serie A and the Premier League respectively, proving that even top defenders can have their moments of misfortune.
They say the hardest thing in football is to put the ball in the back of the net. After all, it takes real technique, conviction and accuracy to put it past a goalkeeper whose sole job is to prevent it from going in. The players on these list however, won’t be going down in history for being the greatest strikers the game has ever seen.
10 Frank Sinclair – 6
Kicking off this list is Frank Sinclair, who for many years of the Premier League era, would be the man with the most own goals scored until some of his contemporaries decided to turn it up a notch and give him some company. The former Chelsea and Leicester centre-back wasn’t the most elegant of defenders, and that rather showed with the kind of shanked efforts he would send into the back of his own net.
One of his particularly memorable ones came back in the 2001/2002 campaign when he was in a Foxes shirt, sending one past Ian Walker. Such was the shock nature of it, the TV cameras failed to even pick it up live, instead deciding that they had enough time to be showing a close-up of a Boro player. When they eventually cut to a replay, Sinclair was seen trying to pass a bobbling ball back to his goalkeeper, catching it all wrong and finding the bottom corner in emphatic fashion.
9 Ryan Shawcross – 6
Remember good-old Stoke with Tony Pulis on the touch-line, Rory Delap launching footballing missiles from throw-ins, and Jonathan Walters battering into any centre-half he could see? Those were the days. Ryan Shawcross was the man tasked with keeping the opposition out, and often by any means necessary – Aaron Ramsey can attest to that. Whether it was because of that old-school approach or not, the defender found himself on the wrong end of a few shanks inside his own box, doing so on six occasions.
Perhaps his most unfortunate own goal came in a 3-1 defeat to Brentford, when Said Benrahma’s corner was cleared by Benik Afobe. Or so everyone thought. Instead, the ball cannoned off Shawcross’ head and into the net to give the Bees the opening goal and set them on their way to a comfortable victory.
8 Wes Brown – 6
Part of the all-conquering Manchester United side from the late 90s and early-to-mid 2000s, Wes Brown won five Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies in his time at Old Trafford. The former England defender enjoyed a successful career at the highest level, but had his moments of madness too – not least when he returned to play against United as a Sunderland player back in November 2011.
After getting through much of the first-half against his former side relatively untroubled and keeping them at bay, a corner from Nani saw Danny Welbeck meet it with a header, before Brown ended up diverting it past Sunderland keeper Kieran Westwood and sending the Black Cats to a 1-0 defeat. Given that the game was Sir Alex Ferguson’s 25th anniversary as manager of United, perhaps Brown just wanted to give his old gaffer a gift.
7 Jonny Evans – 6
Another player with Manchester United in his blood, Jonny Evans makes his way onto the list for six own goals scored during his professional career. The 35-year-old made his shock return to Old Trafford as a free agent earlier this summer, and it just means he’s got more time for him to climb up this illustrious list. The veteran centre-back chose his opponents well, rising to the occasion in big games and helping the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool with a goal at the wrong end.
Now back in United colours, Evans will be hoping that he doesn’t risk the wrath of current manager Erik ten Hag and sending one past Andre Onana anytime soon. The Red Devils already have to deal with one calamitous centre-half in Harry Maguire, they don’t exactly need another one.
6 Phil Jagielka – 7
Capable of netting an absolute screamer from 30 yards at Anfield in the Merseyside derby, and then slicing one into his own net, Phil Jagielka seemed to have every goal in his locker. The ex-Everton man scored seven own goals over his career, with the last one coming in a clash against Leeds United back in April 2021 while he was playing for Sheffield United.
Despite that strike, Jagielka missed out on the record of being the oldest player in Premier League history to score an own goal, with Stuart Pearce still holding onto that distinguished honour thanks to a difference of 23 days. We don’t think the former Toffees star will be too fussed about that one.
5 Jamie Carragher – 7
As a Liverpool player, there are probably two teams who you absolutely wouldn’t want to be scoring an own goal against: Everton and Manchester United. Not only did Jamie Carragher do exactly that against the Red Devils, but he put two past his own goalkeeper at Anfield. In the same game. Yes, the now Sky Sports pundit pulled off an unbelievable feat by opening the scoring for United when he beautifully diverted a header past a hapless Sander Westerveld, before a more comical effort saw the ball ricochet off him and into the net for what proved to be the decider in a 3-2 defeat.
If ever any stat summed up Carragher’s luck in front of goal, then the fact the Liverpool man netted the same amount of times for Tottenham as he did for his own club (three), says it all. If the old saying is ‘Nobody wants to grow up and be a Gary Neville’, then judging by his own goal record, nobody wants to grow up and be a Jamie Carragher either.
4 Martin Skrtel – 7
The second former Liverpool player to feature on this list, Martin Skrtel was an uncompromising defender who took no prisoners either with the man – and judging by his own goal record – with the ball too. The Slovakian is already high up on this list as it is, but arguably more impressively than his old teammate Jamie Carragher, would notch his tally within a five-year span at Anfield. In fact, Skrtel managed to bag own goals in four games in a single season back in the 2013/2014 campaign, the kind of goal-scoring numbers some midfielders would even be proud of. It’s a record that still stands today, although Lewis Dunk has since equalled it with Brighton.
Skrtel’s own goals thankfully for Liverpool though, didn’t cost his team too much, with the Reds good enough to get over the setback, winning three of those four games. While his teammates did well to bail him out, they can’t do anything about him featuring on this list.
3 Riccardo Ferri – 8
If you were reading this list and thinking we had gotten this all wrong and that it was just a Premier League-based look at the top own goal-scorers, then say hello to Ricardo Ferri. A veteran of both Inter and Sampdoria, the Italian played for some illustrious clubs in his home country, but may be remembered just as much for the amount of times he put the ball in the back of his own net. In fact, his eight own goals is a joint-record in Serie A history with a player set to feature on this list.
Ferri’s playing career was not to be under-estimated though, with Dutch legend Marco van Basten naming him and his Italian teammate Pietro Vierchowod as two of the best defenders he ever faced – quite the praise. Given Italy was the home of catenaccio football and having a defend-first policy, perhaps it’s no surprise Ferri makes his way onto the list. And that leads us on nicely to the man in number two…
2 Franco Baresi – 8
Widely recognised as one of the best centre-backs in footballing history, Franco Baresi being on this list tells you that own goals absolutely don’t define your career in the game. The Italian put the ball past his own goalkeeper eight times during his legendary career with Serie A giants Milan, but is still thought of as a footballing great.
Baresi won six league titles and three European Cups in his time at the San Siro, but that didn’t stop him from occasionally costing his team with the odd clanger. Given that he played a whopping 532 times for Milan over a 20-year stint at the club and helped win all the trophies he did, you would think Rossoneri fans have forgotten all about his own goals.
1 Richard Dunne – 10
10 own goals. Take a bow, Richard Dunne. The man clear at the top of this list of most own goals scored in footballing history, the former Manchester City defender actually got his career off to uneventful fashion during his time at Everton, playing 60 games with the Toffees with no harm done whatsoever. But, his move to the Etihad seemed to bring some sort of inner goalscorer out of him, doing so for the first time back in December 2004.
Whenever the centre-back did put one past his own keeper, his teams never managed to win, while exactly half of his own goals came in the final 15 minutes of a game, including one particularly galling 93rd minute equaliser for QPR when playing for Aston Villa. Dunne would get to the unwanted double digits when he netted his final own goal in favour of Liverpool in October 2014, sealing a 3-2 defeat for his new team QPR.
Not content with being top of just the one list, Dunne is also right up there at the top for most Premier League red cards too. Forget your World Cups, Champions Leagues and Golden Boots. Dunne’s done the lot.