As in "There's Only One Jimmy Glass", a popular chant in the area of Carlisle, England, in 1999. Jimmy was a less than successful goalkeeper plying his trade in the lower reaches of English club football, until he joined struggling Carlisle on loan (from Swindon Town) during the 98-99 season.
Jimmy's unique talents were not fully realised until the last game of that season, a game which Carlisle had to win to preserve their place in the English Third Division, and avoid relegation from the Football League. Things did not begin well for Mr. Glass when opponents Plymouth Argyle scored past him in the first half, and a Carlisle equaliser halfway through the second period did little to relieve the home fans' anxieties as the final whistle, and non-league oblivion, loomed.
It wasn't until the game's dying seconds that Jimmy Glass stepped up to save Carlisle, and stake his place in goalkeeping legend. Well into the fourth minute of injury time, Carlisle won a corner, and Jimmy sprinted the length of the field to join all 10 of his colleagues in the Plymouth penalty area. The corner was met with a strong goalbound header from Scott Dobie, but Plymouth's keeper somehow managed to get a hand to the ball, only to deflect it into the path of his opposite number.
What happened next? Jimmy threw a foot at the ball, and drove it into the bottom corner of the goal. As you'd expect, pandemonium ensued, with all 10 of Carlisle's outfield players jumping on top of Jimmy in an undignified heap. They were immediately joined by half the population of Carlisle, who streamed onto the pitch and deposited themselves on top of their prostrate heroes. The Plymouth players (whose season had effectively ended several weeks earlier) looked on with bemused expressions, while the referee vainly attempted to restore some order to the situation, until he was flattened by a (good-natured) rugby tackle from an elated Carlisle fan.
A winning goal with the last kick of the game is always something special. When it occurs in a match that your team must win to remain as one of the 92 League clubs in English football, it's a once-in-a-lifetime moment, But when that winning goal is scored by your GOALKEEPER, then you have probably the most incredible, nonsensical, and downright fantastic goal in English football history. Incidentally, it was scored with the final kick, from the final corner, in the final minute, of the final game, of the final season of the 20th Century. Coincidence? (Yes).
It was also Jimmy's last game for the club - his loan period expired, Carlisle's chairman and sometimes manager, Michael Knighton (a man who claims to have seen aliens, and famously once tried to buy Manchester United for £10 million) couldn't agree personal terms with the club’s new hero, and Jimmy returned to Swindon Town, and subsequently retired from football altogether. His whereabouts today remain a mystery.
None of this is any consolation to Scarborough FC, of course, who were relegated in Carlisle's place, and remain a non-league club.
A video of the goal, (and the first few seconds of the ensuing melee), can be found at - http://www.kynson.freeserve.co.uk/RIOA/features/games/tge/ - along with several photographs, match reports and interviews. This moment of footballing history was brought to you by a Chelsea supporter.