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Premier League records for substitutes

There’s rarely a better moment in football than when the last-minute substitute sends a screamer straight into the top corner. The 90th-minute, Hail Mary match-maker that puts commentators and crowds around the country into meltdown. Sometimes a fresh set of legs is all that’s needed to turn the tide. Today we take a look at the greatest Premier League substitute records.


Fastest Goal By A Substitute – Nicklas Bendtner

It’s only right to kick off our list of the greatest Premier League substitute records with the Lord himself. In the 2007 game between Arsenal and Spurs, Nicklas Bendtner came off the bench to score a leaping header in just 6 seconds!

The Arsenal super-sub managed to convert from a corner without even breaking his stride, as he soared onto the end of a Fabregas set-piece. The Gunners went on to beat their local rivals 2-1 and the Bendtner header went down as the fastest goal by a substitute in Premier League history – made even better by securing the record on derby day.


Most Goals As A Substitute – Jermaine Defoe

With a Premier League playing career spanning more than two decades, Jermaine Defoe is no stranger to the starting eleven, yet remains one of the best players to never win a trophy.

Having played over 500 games of top-flight Football, Defoe has racked up an impressive array of accolades, one being  the most goals scored as a substitute, with a whopping 24 finishes.

Other achievements that the Spurs and England star has racked up over the years are equally just as impressive; Over 150 Premier League goals (although not a Golden Boot winner, still in top ten of all time), 57 international caps and he has scored over 100 goals in his career at Tottenham, making him one of their highest-scoring players ever.


Most Subbed On Player – Peter Crouch

Piggybacking off of our last list placement is Defoe’s former-Portsmouth striking partner Peter Crouch, who holds the title for the most subbed on player in Premier League history.

The 6 ft.7 Englishman managed to take the title from Shola Ameobi in 2017 and has since come off the bench a staggering 158 times.

Crouch actually holds two Premier League records (and this will come as no surprise) with him also scoring the most headed goals in the Premier League with a giant 53, as well as having had, unofficially, the greatest celebration to grace the Premier League. You can’t knock a man who can do the robot that well.


Most Subbed Off Player – Ryan Giggs

Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has one of the most crowded trophy cabinets in Football, so it’s no surprise to see his name crop up somewhere on this list.

With 632 Premier League appearances under his belt, the Welshmen holds the record for being the ‘most subbed off playerin the Premier League, having been brought back to the bench 134 times in his twenty-year career.

It’d take far too long to list all of the Wales managers’ playing achievements but his 13 Premier League titles definitely speak for themselves and this particular Premier League record is really just an inevitability for a career that went on for so long.


Fastest Substitute Red Card – Keith Gillespie

No one ever likes to see things turn ugly on the pitch, but with tempers high and titles on the line, sometimes that’s exactly what happens.

In a hostile Premier League meeting between Sheffield United and Reading, Keith Gillespie managed to achieve the unthinkable. After being brought on as a second-half substitute, Gillespie and Hunt were jostling for position and as events turned sour, Gillespie threw an elbow – earning him a red card before the game had even resumed play!

The pair came to blows again as Gillespie left the pitch. The whole incident gained him the title of ‘fastest red card in Premier League history’, clocking in at an official twelve seconds (although technically play had never even begun.)



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