What is the longest goal ever scored in football history & who holds the record?

Comments (0)
Tom King Newport County
Getty/Goal composite
The title now belongs to a League Two goalkeeper after a fortuitous goal kick became a record breaker

When the topic of long-range goals is raised, names like David Beckham, Xabi Alonso or Paul Scholes might come to mind, but none of their classic strikes come close to the record.

While Beckham's half-way line spectacular against Wimbledon or Alonso's sumptuous strike against Newcastle certainly had distance and live long in the memory, they are about 30 yards off the mark.

In fact, the record-holder for the longest goal ever scored will probably come as a surprise.

Article continues below

So what is the record for the longest goal ever scored and who holds it? Goal brings you everything you need to know.

What is the longest goal ever scored in football history?

The record for the longest goal scored in football history belongs to goalkeeper Tom King after he scored from 105 yards (96.01m) for Newport County against Cheltenham Town.

King scored direct from a goal kick during the match, which was played on January 19, 2021. The Guinness Book of World Records subsequently confirmed the record on January 21.

While King's goal was not enough to secure three points for Newport, it was nonetheless an important strike, with the game finishing 1-1.

King, who spent time at Crystal Palace and Millwall before signing for Newport, supplanted former Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic as the record holder.

Begovic's record stood for seven years after he hit the back of the net in 2013 from a clearance while playing for Stoke City against Southampton in the Premier League.

Not only was the 100.5 yard-strike the longest-ever goal scored at that point in time, it was - and remains - the fastest goal ever scored by a goalkeeper, coming after just 13 seconds.

"I'm obviously absolutely delighted because it's not something that I intentionally set out to do," King said after the rare achievement.

"I'm sure it will be talked about for a long time to come, so I'm proud and I'm sure my family will be extremely proud too.

"I'll have to drop Asmir a message to send my commiserations, but, in all honesty, it's different territory for me because it's something I never dreamt of being in the books that you get for Christmas every year.

"Hopefully I might actually read it if I get one for Christmas this year. I'm delighted and hopefully no one beats it for a long time now so I can show my grandkids!"

Interestingly, while he has understandably lapped up the praise from all quarters, King made a point to stress that he would never lord it over Cheltenham's Joshua Griffiths, the unfortunate victim of the goal.

"There was no celebration - I'd never do that to another goalie," King said. 

"I've not meant it and I think we have that kind of unwritten rule, that secret goalkeeper's union that people talk about so I'd never do that.

"I'd never celebrate, but I'm just happy that I could help the team, really."

Longest goals in football history

Rank Scorer Distance Date
1 Tom King 105 yards (96.01m) January 19, 2021
2 Asmir Begovic 100.5 yards (91.9m) November 2, 2013
3 Matias Situra 95-100 yards (86.8m - 91.4m)* April 25, 2017
4 Tim Howard 95-100 yards (86.8m - 91.4m)* January 4, 2012
5 Andy Lonergan 95-100 yards (86.8m - 91.4m)* October 2, 2004

*Estimate in absence of official measurement.

As well as the aforementioned King and Begovic, a number of notable goalkeepers have scored goals from considerable distances.

USMNT legend and former Manchester United shot-stopper Tim Howard found the net in 2012 while playing for Everton against Bolton Wanderers.

Like King, Howard refused to celebrate after beating Adam Bogdan, saying it was a "cruel" experience for a goalkeeper. 

"For our goal I was disappointed from a goalkeepers' union standpoint," Howard said at the time. "You never want to see that happen. It's not nice, it's embarrassing, so I felt for Adam but you have to move on from it."

Andy Lonergan scored for Preston North End against Leicester City in 2004. The strike saw North End hold the Foxes to a 1-1 draw, heaping pressure on then-Leicester boss Micky Adams, who described the goal as "a freak" occurrence.

Close