The Rundown

The strikers who just couldn’t stop scoring

The Rundown

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Bad news for Roman Abramovich: Chelsea's top transfer target Radamel Falcao has just bumped his transfer fee up by a few million after banging in five goals in a single match for Atletico Madrid at the weekend.

It's a rare feat indeed: the Colombian himself said that the last time he'd managed five in a match was back when he was a kid in Bogota.

But should he move to Chelsea - as widely forecast ever since he spearheaded his team to a win over the Blues in the European Super Cup in August - he would not be the first five-star performer to line up in the English top flight.

Four players have managed it in recent years: Alan Shearer lashed in five against Sheffield Wednesday in September 1999, Andy Cole scored five for Manchester United in a 9-0 hammering of Ipswich at Old Trafford in March 1999.

And more recently, Jermain Defoe and Dimitar Berbatov have both pulled off the feat. Tottenham striker Defoe's finest hour came in a Premier League match against Wigan in 2009 when his five goals included three in the space of seven minutes, while Berbatov struck five for Manchester United against Blackburn in 2010.

A few players have also managed double hat-tricks, though not since Geoff Hurst pulled the feat off for West Ham against Sunderland back in 1968.

But even that incredible pales into insignificance next to the exploits of these goal-hungry stars.

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Joe Payne's ten

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Jim Payne in the only exisiting photograph of one of his famous 10 goals

The Luton Town player holds the English league record with 10 goals in a single match, a crushing 12-0 Division Three match against Bristol Rovers on Easter Monday in 1936. It was a miraculous display: Payne was a half-back who had been told to try and do his best up front following injuries to the side's regular front men. Needless to say he spent the rest of his career as a striker.

The previous record had stood at nine goals (set by Robert Bell, whose story is below, earlier that season) and Payne initially thought he had failed to set a new mark when the final record went. Yet the ref had actually credited Payne with a goal initially thought to have been scored by his team-mate George Martin.

Almost as incredible as Payne's story is the fact that the only two players ever to score more than six goals in an English league match both did so in the same season, both setting a record as they did so.

Ted Drake's seven

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Ted Drake in action for Arsenal in 1936

The Arsenal striker had been struggling so badly for goals that he had resorted to playing in reserve matches to sharpen up, but in December 1935 he put his woes behind him by scoring all seven goals in a 7-1 demolition of Aston Villa. Incredibly, he scored with each of his first six attempts on goal, then missed his seventh as it hit the crossbar.

Drake apparently complained to the ref that it had bounced down and crossed the line, but the ref told him "don't be greedy". The Arsenal man was having none of it, and bagged his seventh just before full time. It was at the time a league record, and remains a record in the English top flight.

Robert 'Bunny' Bell scores nine

On Boxing Day 1935, the Tranmere Rovers forward broke Drake's league goalscoring record in perhaps the most ridiculous match of all time against Oldham. An injury to Oldham's star defender Norman Brunskill saw him sidelined for 15 of the first 20 minutes of the match, during which time Tranmere managed to go 6-0 ahead.

Things were more even when he returned to action, with the sides sharing 11 more goals in what turned out a 13-4 victory to Tranmere - the highest ever goal tally in English league football. But the star man was Bunny Bell, who scored nine goals despite missing a penalty!

Ted MacDougall's nine

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Bournemouth's Ted MacDougall has the Cup record having put nine goals past Margate in an 11-0 win in an FA Cup first round match in November 1971. "I was disappointed as I thought I should have got 11," MacDougall later laughed.

John Petrie's lucky 13

In Scotland the single match goalscoring record is held by Petrie, an Arbroath striker who scored 13 goals in his side's famous 36-0 Scottish Cup win over Bon Accord. In fairness to the losing side, they were actually a cricket team who somehow managed to enter the tournament due to an administrative cock-up.

Archie Thomson's even luckier World Cup 13

The Australian striker had the good fortune to be leading the attack for the Socceroos when they lined up against perhaps the worst ever football team, American Samoa, in a World Cup qualifier in 2001. Thomson found the back of the net 13 times in a demolition job that led directly to the instigation of prelimary World Cup qualifiers in Oceania.

Spare a thought for Thomson's team-mate David Zdrilic, though: his eight goals beat the previous record of seven held jointly by another Australian, Gary Cole, (against Fiji in 1981) and Iran's Karim Bagheri (against the Maldives in 1997).

At the World Cup finals themselves the record for a single match is a paltry five, held by Russia's Oleg Salenko against Cameroon at the 1994 tournament in what was a dead rubber for his country.

Nielsen and Fuchs perfect 10s in the Olympics

Danish striker Sophus Nielsen lined up against France in a clash at the 1908 London Olympics, scoring 10 goals in a 17-1 victory, while four years later Germany's Gottfried Fuchs also made double figures in a 16-0 win over Russia. The Olympics was, of course, still completely amateur at the time, however, diminishing the impact of the record.

James Hayter's 45 pro-rata goals

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We're pushing the boundaries a little with this one, but we can't help doffing out cap to Bournemouth's James Hayter. He was brought on as a sub against Wrexham in February 2004 with just six minutes left of the match. Two minutes 20 seconds later he had bagged a hat trick. Based on that scoring rate, he'd have scored 45 goals had he been on since the start!

Unfortunately, his family missed it: they'd been at the match, but had left with 10 minutes to go assuming that he wouldn't get a run out.

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