The highest Boxing Day scorers in Premier League history
The belt is a bit tighter, scraps of wrapping paper are still strewn all over the house, and there is an overwhelming abundance of football.
While the majority of Europe gives its players a hard-earned break, Boxing Day matches – and the myriad of plush matches on either side – have long been a staple of the English football calendar, long before the start of the Premier League.
Some managers may have spent the crowded list of party gatherings lamenting the craziness of it all, but it’s clearly popular among fans – as shown by the thousands of people braving the elements, armed with turkey sandwiches, to cheer on their camp every year.
Here are the scorers who took the most of this Boxing Day fight.
Boxing Day PL clubs: West Ham, Chelsea, Man City
Halfway through his first campaign as a Chelsea player, Frank Lampard hadn’t quite established himself as the quintessential scoring midfielder with whom he would end his career.
In fact, Lampard was scoreless in his first 16 Premier League games until he found the net on either side on Christmas Day 2001. The rest is history.
PL clubs on Boxing Day: Liverpool
Not only does Steven Gerrard bring a prolific edge to a day many spend groggy stumbling from the couch to the kitchen and back, but the Liverpool icon can also boast a consistency when it comes to Boxing Day – alone two players in the history of the competition featured him in more games on the 26th.
Boxing Day PL clubs: Newcastle, Man Utd, Blackburn, Fulham, Man City, Portsmouth
Andrew Cole was almost as prolific in front of goal as he was at moving clubs. No player has played for more different Premier League teams on Boxing Day than the former English nomad striker with six.
Boxing Day PL clubs: Spurs, Man Utd, Fulham
Dimitar Berbatov’s hat-trick for Manchester United against Wigan in 2011 was perhaps his most goal-laden outing on Boxing Day, but the Bulgarian forward arguably did better the following year.
After opening the scoring for Fulham against Southampton, Berbatov took off his jersey to reveal one of the most memorable jersey messages, which read: “Keep calm and pass the ball to me.”
Seven words that succinctly sum up Berbatov’s approach to team sport didn’t quite ring true that day, as Southampton hit a late equalizer.
Boxing Day PL clubs: West Ham, Spurs, Portsmouth, Bournemouth
It’s fair to say that Jermaine Defoe may have mixed feelings about a Boxing Day trip to Villa Park.
After being sent off for Spurs against Aston Villa in 2010, Defoe returned two years later to score his sixth and final goal on Boxing Day.
PL clubs on Boxing Day: Arsenal
Thierry Henry has been in unplayable form for more games than most during the Premier League era, but Boxing Day 2000 against Leicester City was a highlight.
Not only did he score a hat trick, but Henry had two assists in a landslide 6-1 win. No player has ever had more goal contributions, and no team has ever enjoyed a greater margin of victory, Boxing Day in the Premier League.
Boxing Day PL clubs: Blackburn, Newcastle
In consecutive years to the mid-1990s, the Premier League had its own Christmas-themed streak of X-File occurrences.
Boxing Day 1994 and 1995, Blackburn faces Manchester City. On each occasion the Rovers were the winners, each time by a two-goal margin and in both games Alan Shearer scored the first goal.
Ok, maybe it’s a bit of a stretch to classify these quite achievable coincidences as paranormal phenomena, but there’s no doubt that Shearer’s scoring record at any time of the year was from another world. .
Boxing Day PL clubs: Coventry, Leeds, Spurs, Liverpool
Robbie Keane’s first, and arguably most impressive, goal on Boxing Day in the Premier League was a surprising 3-2 victory for Coventry City over Arsenal in 1999, when fears of global pandemics were strictly the property of theorists of the conspiracy.
Nonetheless, Gary McAllister opened the scoring in this game and he remains the only player born on Christmas Day to have found the net on Boxing Day.
Boxing Day PL clubs: Spurs
While August was once considered a fallow period for Harry Kane, it did warm up over Christmas.
Impressively, the Tottenham talisman has scored in all five Premier League Boxing Day matches he has played in. Even in 2016/17, when Tottenham’s game with Southampton ran until December 28, Kane still found the net.
Boxing Day PL clubs: Liverpool, Leeds, Man City
While there probably aren’t many outside of the game that can offer too much sympathy to footballers who miss most of the Christmas festivities in preparation for the Boxing Day game, there has to be a little more compassion. for players who have a trip away on the 26th.
However, Robbie Fowler never seemed to care about the trip. Seven of his nine Boxing Day goals have come far from home, more than double the next highest score for this particularly niche factoid.