Ghost goal voted most bizarre refereeing blunder ever

Chris Baird’s sending-off for Northern Ireland against Hungary last night has divided opinion amongst the football fraternity and missed out on being named the most bizarre refereeing decision ever.

Nope, 56 per cent of Ladbrokes News readers who had their say in our latest poll weren’t convinced that Baird’s dismissal was the result of an odd bit of officiating.

Instead, that accolade goes to Stuart Attwell and his awarding of a phantom goal for Reading back in September 2008.

The Royals were playing away at Watford at the time and couldn’t believe their luck when Attwell awarded them an early lead despite the ball being four yards away from the back of the net.

It’s an incident that’s gone down in football folklore and led to the red-faced ref being temporarily stood down from his duties.


Coming home in second was a particular favourite around the office.

Cast your minds back to the 1986-87 Turkish top-flight season and a match-up between Ankaragucu and Besiktas.

The ball is pinging around the area and who should get their head to a match-winning attempt at goal?

Er, it was the ref and he inexplicably awarded the goal to Ankaragucu.

Just for old times’ sake, let’s see it again…

Meanwhile, Andre Marriner, Graham Poll (accompanied by his three yellow cards) and our Baird nemesis, Cuneyt Cakir, were all left languishing at the bottom of our pile.

They probably won’t mind that too much though.

Agree with the result? Let us know in  the comments section below or via @Ladbrokes!

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.


William Geldart

Having graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Wales, Bangor, William contributed to a number of online football blogs before finally finding his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow alongside the rest of the Ladbrokes News team. Now indulging passions for football, horse racing, greyhounds, boxing and political betting. Supports Wycombe Wanderers and can be spotted at various lower league and non-league grounds across the country.