Who is England’s Most Lethal Goalscorer?
September 6, 2012 in International
Ah, the international break, the bane of Premier League lovers everywhere ( “three weeks into the season? What is this bullsh..”), and the moment when the variant tribes of English football come together to get behind a national team that is destined to ingloriously beat Moldova 2-1. Rather than think about that, I’ve decided to conduct and investigation into who was the most lethal goalscorer ever to wear the England shirt. Now this isn’t about simply who scored the most goals, but rather who has the highest strike rate. That’s to ask…whose minutes on the pitch to goals scored ratio stands as the best?
A couple of ground rules. You have to have scored 20 goals in an England shirt (because otherwise we’d have a list full of one game one goal types) and you have to have scored them post-War, because I deem goals scored before then too easy, mostly because I hate old people. Let’s do this.
10) Michael Owen: 40 goals, 89 appearances – 0.44 goals a game
Michael Owen may be more horse-racing mogul than footballer these days, but his appearance on this list is a testament to his finishing prowess. A highly impressive international legacy.
9) Mick Channon: 21 goals, 46 games – 0.46 Goals a game
Southampton legend Mick Channon had an intimidating record in club football, but scoring 21 goals in 46 games in a dark time in English footballing history is an impressive feat, sort of like Darren Bent scoring 20+ goals for Sunderland that one time.
8) Bobby Charlton: 49 goals, 106 appearances – 0.46 goals per game
The all time record England goal-scorer needs no introduction. But he did have stupid hair. So.
7) Alan Shearer: 30 Goals, 63 games – 0.48 goals a game
Hero of Euro 96, Premier League all-time top scorer Alan Shearer was a beast in front of goal, long before he became the boring one on Match Of The Day.
6) Geoff Hurst: 24 goals, 49 Games – 0.49 goals a game
Geoff Hurst may only be known for scoring a hat-trick in a World Cup final, because that’s such a ballin’ thing to do, but his England career is stronger than people realize. Did someone say hat-trick in a World Cup final?
5) Peter Crouch: 22 Goals, 42 games – 0.52 goals per game
4) Gary Lineker: 48 goals, 80 appearances – 0.60 Goals per Game
The greatest English striker of the modern era, then, is in fact flogger of crisps and Twitter personality Gary Lineker. Who not only scored more goals than all the other pretenders out there, but did it at a faster rate. Go buy Walkers.
3) Jimmy Greaves: 44 goals, 57 appearances – 0.77 goals per game
In a way, this one is the most impressive on the list. Greaves scored 44 goals, only five less than all-time record holder Bobby Charlton, in just shy of half the games (and scoring SIX hat-tricks). If you took longevity into account, Greaves is probably the most lethal striker in English history. Yet, he’ll forever be remembered as the guy dropped for the World Cup final. Burial.
2) Nat Lofthouse: 30 goals, 33 games – 0.90 goals a game
Bolton legend Lofthouse only played a spry 33 games in England colours, such were the infrequency of fixtures back in the 50′s, but he has an absolutely monstrous strike rate, just shy of a goal a game. You’d think this would win at a cake walk, right? Well…
1) Stan Mortensen: 23 goals, 25 games – 0.92 goals per game
In at number 1, and the most lethal striker ever to wear the England shirt, is Blackpool poacher Stan Mortensen. Cashing on some seriously terrible post-war defences, Stan scored a hat-trick approximately 15% of the time he wore an England shirt, and yet Stanley Matthews is the Blackpool player everyone remembers. Pfft.