Football in the UK is a sport rich in history, tradition, and terminology. And while we may think we’ve heard them all, sometimes an unusual one is thrown into the conversation leaving us scratching our head.
One term that might perplex newcomers is the “football brace.” What is it and what is its significance in the beautiful game?
What Is A Brace In Football?
The term “brace” finds its roots in Old French, meaning “a pair” or “two of a kind.”
In football, a player scores a brace when they net two goals in a single game. It’s a feat celebrated by fans and players alike.
Scoring a single goal in a match is commendable; bagging a brace is exceptional.
In the same way that ‘hat-tricks’ are revered, so too are braces. They instantly elevate a player’s status and reputation in the game, because actually, they’re not as common as you think.
So, while the term “brace” might sound a bit old-fashioned, it represents a feat in football that is always exciting and commendable.
The Significance Of Scoring A Brace
Scoring a brace often turns the tide of a game, lifting a team’s spirit. It’s a clear indicator of a player’s skill and form.
When a player scores two goals, it often results in a win for their team. This is especially true in tightly contested matches.
A brace can also be a stepping stone to the coveted hat-trick. Achieving either is a memorable moment for fans.
What Footballer Has Scored The Most Braces?
So you know what is a brace in football, how common is it? Over the course of football history in the UK, icons like Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, and Wayne Rooney have all had multiple two-goal games.
But it is Alan Shearer that holds the record for the most braces scored in the Premier League.
Shearer found the back of the net with remarkable consistency during his career. Playing for clubs like Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, he established himself as one of the greatest strikers in the history of English football.
Shearer’s knack for scoring multiple goals in a single game was a key part of his skill set, and it helped him to amass a total of 260 Premier League goals – a record in itself.
During his career, Shearer scored 39 braces in the Premier League. His knack for finding the back of the net, particularly in situations where he could score multiple goals in a single game, helped cement his legacy as one of the greatest strikers in English football.
The phrase “hat-trick” originally comes from the sport of cricket. In cricket, if a bowler took three wickets with three consecutive deliveries, it was called a “hat-trick.”
The term is said to have originated in the 1850s when an English cricketer named H.H. Stephenson took three consecutive wickets in a game.
Fans were so impressed that they collected money for Stephenson and used it to buy him a hat, which is how the term “hat-trick” came to be.
In football, scoring a hat-trick, which is three goals in one game, is a big deal and a rare feat. Sometimes the player might get to keep the match ball as a memento of their achievement.
There are also different types of hat-tricks. A “perfect hat-trick” is when a player scores one goal with their left foot, one with their right foot, and one with their head.
There’s also a “flawless hat-trick” which occurs when a player scores three times in one half of a game.
Scoring a hat-trick can have a huge impact on a game. It can turn the tide in favour of a player’s team and often results in a win.
For a striker or any attacking player, scoring three goals in one game is a moment they will never forget.