One. Two. Three. A player netting three goals, in a singular game, always leaves the crowd mesmerised. The ‘hat-trick’ – a term coined in cricket but adopted by football – is the pinnacle for any striker.
Because yes, while we can all agree that the sport is a team effort – and every player on the pitch is integral to the Club’s success – it takes a great player, with some serious scoring boots, to slot three away in a match.
And it seems an even harder challenge, and a much rarer occurrence, to score a hat-trick in modern-day football. You’d be lucky to witness one a season. But if you look to the history books, you can read the tales of some cracking, and often truly unbelievable, scoring accomplishments.
Take Fred Shinton, in 1909, when he tucked away three goals in a five-minute-frenzy. Or Johnny Duncan, on Christmas Day 1928, when he hit six goals in one game. More recently, of course, Patson Daka netted four goals in Russia to secure a 4-3 victory over Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Europa League.
Rewind the tape to 1894 and you’ll come across a player named David Skea, second from the right, middle row, above. Skea, an inside-left for Leicester Fosse between 1894 and 1896, joined the Club just as they’d gained election to the Second Division.
On his first time donning a Fosse jersey, and in the Club’s first Football League match, the inside-left scored twice. Later that season, he went on to convert the first successful penalty at Football League level and received the accolade of the first seasonal top-scorer.
Alas, there was no such ‘golden boot’ back in 1894. He also scored the Club’s first-ever Football League hat-trick. Firsts all round. It was 8 September, 1894. Leicester Fosse faced Rotherham Town. Skea, making his home debut, laced his boots up for only the second time that season.
Within minutes of the whistle marking the start of the match, he greeted the 4,000 faithful supporters with a goal. And then a second. And a third. Fosse finished the match 4-2, collecting two points, and Skea went into the history books.
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