UTD Podcast: The goal that wasn’t a goal

Roy Carroll has spoken about the ‘goal that wasn’t a goal’ during Manchester United’s Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in 2005.

The goalkeeper famously spilled Pedro Mendes’s long-range shot in that clash 15 years ago and replays showed the ball had clearly crossed the line.

Despite that, the officials on the night didn’t award the goal and the Northern Irishman’s error ultimately went unpunished, as the game ended 0-0.

Carroll is the latest guest on our UTD Podcast series and, during a brilliant episode, co-host David May is keen to dissect the 42-year-old's memories of the incident.

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“I remember it really well,”
reflects Roy.
“It was one of those idiot moments of a goalkeeper who, you’re running back and it’s an easy ball to catch, but I’m looking to throw the ball out to Gary Neville instead of keeping my eye on the ball as it’s come into my chest.

“I always say to young ones: ‘Make sure you react to anything’. As that ball went over my shoulder I still reacted and kept it from going over the line, which was fantastic for me,”
he added, with a little grin.

“The worst thing about it - I moved to West Ham after that and I moved to place called Chigwell. I didn’t realise the Spurs training ground was just down the road, so I got hammered when I moved there. It was a nightmare.”

During his UTD Podcast, Carroll is also quizzed about Sir Alex Ferguson’s immediate reaction to the game and Roy admits he escaped without one of the manager's famous rebukes.

“It was the longest walk off the pitch in my life,” says Roy. “It must have taken me about 10 minutes!

“To be fair to Sir Alex he asked what happened and I said: ‘Boss, I took my eye off the ball; I wasn’t concentrating’. He said my reactions were good. I thought I was going to get the hairdryer treatment - I never saw the hairdryer treatment actually, so I can’t say anything about that.”

In four years at Old Trafford, Roy made 72 appearances and proudly won the Premier League title in 2002/03, as well as the FA Cup in 2004

As he reveals during the podcast, the championship is his greatest achievement from a career that has spanned 25 years and is still going at an ammeter level in his native Northern Ireland.

“People said I made a lot of mistakes, especially the Spurs goal. But, at the end of the day, that happens in football. The Spurs goal wasn’t a goal because it was 0-0.

“Let me say about the Premier League… sitting in Enniskillen High School, I said to my careers teacher that I wanted to be a professional footballer. He said: ‘You can’t do it Roy, it’s very difficult’.

“Once I won that [Premier League] medal - that’s the proudest thing of my life. A lot of people try and win it - Steven Gerrard would have loved to, but he never got the chance - so it’s amazing to win that medal.”

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