Liverpool are celebrating 17 years since Xabi Alonso’s stunning goal at Luton Town.
On this day in 2006, the future Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder scored the first of two halfway line goals, a staple of the montage of his era on Merseyside.
Yes, Alonso scored a truly phenomenal Premier League goal from his own half against Newcastle United, but first came a 70-yard marvel at Kenilworth Road.
When did Alonso score from Liverpool’s halfway line?
The Reds kicked off their FA Cup campaign by visiting the Championship side in the third round, where they played an enjoyable 5-3 matchup.
Goals from Steve Howard, Stephen Robinson and Kevin Nichols gave Luton a 3-1 advantage after Steven Gerrard took an early lead over the Premier League favorites.
However, Europe’s reigning champions still had much to fight as Florent Sinama Pongole’s goals on either side of Alonso’s goal re-established Liverpool’s 4-3 lead.
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And with the score standing still and going into injury time, Luton rolled the dice and decided to move forward with goalkeeper Marlon Beresford breaking deep into Liverpool’s half.
Thus, Liverpool had a chance to fight back and score another goal without occupying Luton’s net. This is exactly what Alonso did when he scored for the second time in what was one of Bedfordshire’s most chaotic nights.
We know the rest of the story, as Alonso’s weak-footed punt from his own half finally crossed the line to close out a 5-3 win and set the wheels on their way to 2006 FA Cup glory.
VIDEO: Alonso scores a stunning 70-yard goal for Liverpool
How did the fans win £25,000 from Alonso’s goal?
But what you might not remember about Alonso’s screamer blowing out the 17 candles on his birthday cake is the fans who won big because they dreamed it would happen. yeah seriously.
As we celebrate the anniversary of Alonso’s unforgettable strike, we can’t help but recall the incredible story of supporter Adrian Hayward winning an incredible £25,000.
According to a BBC report from the same period, Berkshire’s Hayward Newbury pocketed a good sum with dreams of Alonso scoring from his own half that season.
Liverpool fans who dreamed of Alonso achieving a rare feat in football in July saw the Spaniard at odds of 125/1 actually producing goods at some point in the 2005/06 season. You bet 200.
And apparently when Alonso found the net from a staggering distance against Luton, it didn’t just mean Mr. Hayward’s dream came true, it meant he won the bet as a result. .
“I had never made a bet as big as this, but I felt about it,” Hayward explained days later.
“I was watching the Luton game on TV with my family and I saw the keeper off the line. And he did. It seemed like it would take a while to hit the net, but when it hit the net, I just went berserk.
The then 42-year-old father of two said he might use some of the winnings for a family vacation.
Meanwhile, Paddy Power reportedly reacted to the episode as a whole:
“But it’s fair play for him. It’s great to see that these out-of-the-ordinary bets have paid off and a dream come true.”
Well, dreams come true sometimesstill waiting for a successful indirect free kick against Burnley with a £150 bet on Tyrannosaurus Rex.
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