After Saka nicked James Maddison’s dart throw, this iconic Wembley moment is my all-time favourite celebration


JAMES  MADDISON  wishes to announce  he was the first player to celebrate a goal with a dart-throwing action.

It’s the real thing, said Spurs’ No 10, not that cheap copy as displayed by Bukayo Saka.


Arsenal star Bukayo Saka nicked Tottenham ace James Maddison’s darts celebrationCredit: Sky Sports

James was the original thinker-upper of the goal celebration due to his love of playing and watching darts.

Arsenal star Saka copied it for “banter” — not for a love of darts.

Goal celebrations have become a performance in themselves.

Not quite Strictly but certainly more action-packed than the Antiques Roadshow.

I have my loves and hates, naturally.

The one that evokes most yawns is players jumping to the top of the pile, one after another, until you have to wonder whether they have decided to play rugger.

And, if the scorer below will be revealed as inert as a dead rat when his mates clamber off. It’s a wonder no one is hurt!

It isn’t football any more than pulling off your shirt is . . . followed by jumping into the crowd and kissing an unshaven brute.

That is a yellow card offence now although, thank goodness, one or two show-offs just can’t resist a public display.

Paul Gascoigne never could stop playing the fool. After scoring a  dazzling goal against Scotland at Wembley at Euro 96 he laid down and mimicked a dentist chair drinking jape played out in Hong Kong.

To this day, the  international stars around Gazza refuse to apologise, even those who had pretended to squirt alcohol into his gaping mouth.

Terry Venables, the boss then, backed his lads.


Maddison created the celebration that was nicked from Saka at the North London Derby


Maddison created the celebration that was nicked from Saka at the North London DerbyCredit: Getty

Heaven knows what Gareth Southgate would have done today.

It is hard to outdo Gazza in the celebration stakes, although Robbie Fowler must be a contender.  The Liverpool striker envisaged one of the pitch markings as a line of cocaine on which he joyfully fell to his knees to sniff as he celebrated his goal against — no surprise here — Everton.

This was in 1999 and he was banned for four games, earmarking a gradual crackdown on many childish displays.

Any recommendation that excited players should be barred from knee slides would be an overreaction, I think.

Still, it is a wonder to those whose knees creak climbing stairs that one of the sliders hasn’t suffered cartilage damage.

 Arsenal supporters  did not appreciate when Emmanuel Adebayor, having just been  sold to Manchester City, ran the length of the pitch to  celebrate his goal against his old club.

SunSport columnist Karren Brady revealed her favourite ever celebration


SunSport columnist Karren Brady revealed her favourite ever celebrationCredit: Getty

Adebayor, who was also  banned for three matches for stamping on Arsenal hero Robin van Persie, justified the run and slide by claiming the crowd and Gunners stars had made provocative remarks to him.

An FA panel more or less accepted his plea and gave him a  suspended two-match ban and a £25,000 fine.

Football today is a serious business but there has to be room for fun.

It’s easy to forget there will always be humour among a bunch of lads and sometimes it strays into areas it shouldn’t.

Brady's favourite celebration was England star Chloe Kelly's goal


Brady’s favourite celebration was England star Chloe Kelly’s goalCredit: Reuters

Maybe dropping your pants, headbutting the dugout (ouch!) or pulling a carrot out of your shorts — all of which has been done — is a bit much but harmless enough.

My favourite goal celebration was when England women beat Germany in the Euros final last year.

Chloe Kelly ripped off her shirt and was swinging it around her head and leaping around joyfully following her extra-time winner.

What made it great? It was just a spontaneous reaction — which to me is better than a dart throw any day!­

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