Thursday, August 9th, 2012
When a new signing scores a hat-trick in a pre-season match and it is barely mentioned you know something special must have taken place.
Steven Naismith suggested he could be a more than useful addition to the Everton ranks this season with three goals inside half an hour against AEK Athens but Tony Hibbert stole the show during his testimonial match on Wednesday night.
Having failed to score in 309 appearaces, Hibbert is somewhat of a cult hero at Goodison Park and so it proved as there was a healthy turn out for one of the least glamorous players in the Premier League.
Ten minutes into the second half, Hibbert hit a low free-kick that the AEK Athens keeper probably should have saved. The ball squirmed in and the Everton faithful went ballistic.
The subsequent pitch invasion means this is likely to be the most celebrated goal ever scored in pre-season but it was all in great spirits as the Everton fans simply returned to their seats when called upon over the tannoy.
Toffees supporters had promised to riot should Hibbert score. A banner to this effect was held up at the 2009 FA Cup semi-final and also at the testimonial match.
Some of the reaction elsewhere has been terrific, with a comment on the Tony Hibbert goal video on this site, describing it as “The single greatest moment in sporting history…”
Some terrific fan footage of Tony Hibbert’s goal and pitch invasion v AEK Athens can be seen after the main video, which shows the goal.
Fan Footage of the Tony Hibbert goal
Join a Everton supporter as he invades the pitch
“Tony Hibbert, he scores when he wants!”