Set pieces are one of the most dangerous means of scoring goals in football. Accordingly, teams are always getting creative to get the most out of corner kicks and free kicks. Coventry City took that creativity to the extreme in 1970 – the team’s free-kick trick was so good it was banned.
On October 3, 1970, Coventry City hosts Everton FC at Highfield Road. In the Premier League, which was then called League Division One, Coventry was one of the top teams in the league at the time, while Everton traveled to the “Sky Blues” as reigning champions. A real top game.
Coventry got a free-kick just 20 yards from the Toffees goal when the score was 0-0. City’s Willie Carr positions himself squarely over the ball as forward Ernie Hunt braces for the free-kick. The Everton free-kick wall is not even fully positioned when Coventry unpacks its rehearsed tactics.
Carr pinches the ball between his feet and jumps up, heels to his body, launching the pill into the air for Hunt to use. The English striker then shows his brilliant technique and volleys the ball into the top corner – dream goal!
Coventry with the “donkey kick”: Forbidden good!
Coventry took a 1-0 lead with their free-kick tactic and won the game 3-1. Hunt’s goal garnered national attention as the top game was named ‘Match of the Day’ at the BBC was transferred.
But the so-called ‘donkey kick’ could not be duplicated by other sides – the free-kick trick was banned at the end of the season, meaning Hunt’s goal will forever be remembered as one of the most creative free-kick variations of all time.