“the kind of penalty that only a goalkeeper could have invented”

The BBC reports that planning permission has been granted to erect a memorial in Milford, County Armagh, to William McCrum aka “Master Willie”, son of linen millionaire Robert Garmany McCrum, great-grandfather of the Observer’s literary editor Robert McCrum, member of the Irish Football Association, goalkeeper for Milford Football Club.. and, in 1890, inventor of the penalty kick.From the Wikipedia entry

The original proposal read: If any player shall intentionally trip or hold an opposing player, or deliberately handle the ball within twelve yards from his own goal line, the referee shall, on appeal, award the opposing side a penalty kick, to be taken from any point 12 yards from the goal line, under the following conditions: All players, with the exception of the player taking the penalty kick and the goalkeeper, shall stand behind the ball and at least six yards from it; the ball shall be in play when the kick is taken. A goal may be scored from a penalty kick.

As Robert McCrum wrote

As a goalkeeper, Master Willie had every opportunity to witness the way in which the purity of the sport was being corrupted by such foul play. Then he had his big idea. Offenders should be punished with a penalty. And not just any old penalty. A ‘penalty kick’. From his goalmouth vantage-point on the muddy, low-lying Milford village football pitch, during the 1880s, William McCrum slowly developed the idea of the penalty kick as a way of curbing excesses on the field.

The penalty kick , of course, is the kind of penalty that only a goalkeeper could have invented, a supreme moment of drama and self-sacrifice that places the goalkeeper, generally a bystander, at the centre of the stage. Yes, it stacks the odds against the goalie, but it does make him, heroically, even tragically, the star of the show. Master Willie was not just a sporting show-off. He also devoted hours of recreation to amateur theatricals in the Milford village hall, the McCrum Institute.

And the memorial itself.. according to the BBC report

The memorial to Mr McCrum, on which work is due to begin later this year, will consist of a memorial plinth and bronze bust.

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  • darth rumsfeld

    and the very first penalty ever given was against Linfield in a match against a Canadian team- since which time we’ve been continually victimised by referees

  • Yokel

    You wouldnt think they do drama down that direction.

    Petition to Sepp Blatter to call it a McCrum kick not a penalty.

    Sudden death McCrums….

  • Ziznivy

    “and the very first penalty ever given was against Linfield in a match against a Canadian team- since which time we’ve been continually victimised by referees”

    Which taught them to beconme hand in glove with the local association and cheat their way through every competition ever sense whether it be by having the rules changed on appeal when they had no leave to appeal in the first place, playing for years with more home games than anyone else simply because their hooligan fans couldn’t behave themselves, getting large interest free loans or through the IFA nudging the referee as to who they’d like to win a cup tie resulting in some of the most outrageous refereeing seen in an Irish Cup game.

  • realist

    Nice to see that Ballymena fans have got over their recent cup hammering by the Blues-eh Owen?

  • Cromwell

    Well said Ziznivy.
    Darth seems to forget about all those last minute penalties Binfield get when they are being beaten 1 nil or drawing.
    Or is it just me?

  • Forecast

    Yokel – ‘Sudden death McCrums….’

    Just imagining Andy Grey screaming down the mike, ‘and Henry has been callously and deliberately kicked in the McCrum area. Not only a professional foul, but surely John Terry did not expect to get away with that.
    Henry steps up, adjusts his ball, and starts his run up to take the McCrum.’

    Loads of mileage in that, brilliant!

  • Forecast

    and I v’e been kicked in the McCrum area before……………….very painful ;o)

  • Ziznivy

    Just pointing out the irony of Darth’s post, Stuart. *rolls eyes*

  • darth rumsfeld

    Darth seems to forget about all those last minute penalties Binfield get when they are being beaten 1 nil or drawing.
    Or is it just me?

    .you must be mixing us uo with Gl***oran

  • Mustapha Mond

    “…deliberately kicked in the McCrum area.”

    Kicked in the Willie McCrum area sounds like rhyming slang.

  • Cromwell

    You must be mixing us up with Glentoran.

    No definitely not Darth.
    How many times have i been standing at the Oval & elsewhere over the past 20 odd years & some random trannieman informs me that the Blues have got a penalty in the last minute? Too many!