Corner Kick trick

WAYNE ROONEY’S corner of contention was, according to Alex Ferguson, based on one Celtic tried out 40 years ago. 

That one never worked either.

Indeed the spirit of invention and innovation in football is littered with more failures than success.

From Thierry Henry’s cocked up penalty to Georgie Best kicking the ball out of Gordon Banks’ hands.

Indeed one of the rare successes was Ernie Hunt’s donkey kick against Everton in 1970 – disappointingly made illegal soon after.

But players have never stopped trying.

The history of players trying to use loopholes in the laws to score a goal is a long one.

And while Everton were one of the first to try – the original idea actually came from an Echo sports editor, Ernest Edwards.

Sam Chedgzoy was the man popularly credited with having the law changed, on November 15 1924.

The lnternational Board had re-worded Law 10, governing corners, in the summer of 1924 to allow for a goal scored direct from a corner.

But the new wording left a loophole which keen readers of the game’s rulebook could exploit.

Mr Edwards, who operated under the pen-name ‘Bee’, was such a man.

He alerted Echo readers to the loophole in October 1924, leading to a deputation from the Liverpool Referees’ Society to confront him outside the newspaper’s offices!

They made it clear that they would not allow a player to touch the ball twice from a corner, as Bee claimed the new rules now allowed.

So he decided to test his theory out on the highest stage possible – an English First Division match!

Bee approached Liverpool’s Don McKinlay, who agreed at first, then reneged on the deal in case he was accused of unsporting behaviour.

But Everton’s international winger, Sam Chedgzoy, agreed.

The full story is related in an interview given by former Everton chairman Will Cuff in the Echo shortly after his death in 1949.

Mr Cuff explained: “In the cause of Everton and football history, may I be allowed to tell just what did happen, and readers can make their own decision concerning Chedgzoy’s case.

“The rule had been altered and, undoubtedly, the omission of a comma altered this whole rule. This created in Bee’s mind a notion that a corner-kick taker could dribble the ball inward, taking two or more kicks at the ball. So he asked Donald McKinlay if he would test it out in a game.

“McKinlay agreed at first but began to fear his manager, directors, or that the public might not feel he was playing the game. He dropped out of the experiment.

“Bee then offered the fee – £2 – to Chedgzoy, but with one proviso, get that corner in the first 20 minutes if possible as I want to feed my newspaper clients around the country with the full story and if it arrives after then the wires I send will not reach London, Manchester, Preston, in time for publication.

“The scene of action now concerns the goalmouth at the Park end, Everton kicking toward Stanley Park and Chedgzoy hanging on to the ball to try and force an early corner kick.

“It was the funniest interlude for years. The crowd shouted to Chedgzoy ‘Centre! centre!’ But Sam Chedgzoy wanted a full-back to come near enough to force a corner on to his legs.

“Raid followed raid, but Chedgzoy could not quite get the rebound he had been trying to force on a full-back.

“Eventually the corner arrived and Chedgzoy took it, as arranged by Bee.

“Dribbling in, he glanced upward to see if the referee was objecting and found he was not objecting – the referee had studied his rules and knew Chedgzoy was not breaking the rule.

“Far from Chedgzoy showing the rules to the referee at half-time, I can give you the curious facts of the interval.

“Bee had asked permission to ‘see’ Chedgzoy for three seconds at half-time. I had granted that entry into what is always a sacred room and Bee, having paid the two pounds fee to Chedgzoy and said ‘thanks for the fun’ ran into a cross examination on the part of an official who demanded to know ‘What right have you in there?’

“Which only serves to show some of the difficulties football directors and Press writers suffer.”

The rules were subsequently changed to prevent further exploitation.

Chedgzoy actually tried his innovative dribble twice in the match, each time being crowded out by Arsenal defenders.

Rutherford of Arsenal, joining in the spirit of the occasion, also tried unsuccessfully.

Ironically Arsenal actually scored the winner from a corner taken in conventional fashion. The Gunners held on for a 3-2 victory.

Copyright - Liverpool Echo

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