In English football, the Goal of the Season is an annual competition and award given on BBC's Match of the Day, in honour of the most spectacular goal scored that season. It is typically contested between the winners of the preceding ten Goals of the Month, although the goal can and has come from any game in the regular season, including international qualifiers and friendlies—potentially from the opening league games of the season to the end of the European season UEFA Champions League final. In several instances, the goal has come in the final game of the domestic season, the FA Cup Final, the most recent example of which is Steven Gerrard's last minute goal in 2006. However, in 1980–81, for example, the superb goal scored by Ricky Villa in the FA Cup Final replay for Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester City could not be considered as voting had already taken place.
In general, the winning goal has occurred for an English side within the domestic English league or cups, although there are no particular rules; Kenny Dalglish's goal in 1982–83 for Scotland being an exception. The goal usually comes from competitions to which the BBC holds television rights and which are shown under the Match of the Day banner; at present Premier League highlights and FA Cup live matches and highlights, although some have come from the equivalent Sportscene broadcast by BBC Scotland. Due to the lack of BBC European club football coverage, held predominantly by ITV, Sky and BT Sport, no goal of the season has ever been scored in European club competition despite many contenders.
Due to a transfer of broadcast rights, the entries for the 2001–02, 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons were decided on ITV's The Premiership, which have been subsequently recognised by the BBC. When the BBC previously could not show league footage from 1988–89 to 1991–92, the winning goal in each season was scored in the FA Cup which they held the rights to. League rights holder ITV had its own competition during these seasons for Goal of the Season, broadcast on the Saint and Greavsie show. Previously the channels had shared league and cup rights (showing different matches to each other) and for many years ITV broadcast its own Golden Goals competition as an equivalent of Goal of the Season. From 2013–14 season onwards, the Goal of the Season has been chosen by a Twitter poll and the BBC Sport website. Jack Wilshere is the first player to win Goal of the Season in consecutive seasons (2013–14 and 2014–15) since the start of the Premier League. and is only the second player overall to have achieved this after John Aldridge, who won the award in both 1987–88 and 1988–89 (which pre-dated the Premier League era) seasons. The 1987–88 competition was unique in that all 10 goals shortlisted were scored by Liverpool players. As of 2018–19, this is the only occasion where the contenders were made up entirely of goals scored by players for one club.
For several years in the late 2000s, the winner was not subject to public vote due to the 2007 phone-in scandals. The winning goal was instead decided by pundits in the studio.
|1970–71||Ernie Hunt||England||Coventry City||Everton||Highfield Road||First Division||3 October 1970||Barry Davies|||
|1971–72||Ronnie Radford||England||Hereford United||Newcastle United||Edgar Street||FA Cup||5 February 1972||John Motson|||
|1972–73||Peter Osgood||England||Chelsea||Arsenal||Stamford Bridge||FA Cup||17 March 1973||David Coleman|
|1973–74||Alan Mullery||England||Fulham||Leicester City||Craven Cottage||FA Cup||26 January 1974||John Motson|||
|1974–75||Mickey Walsh||Ireland||Blackpool||Sunderland||Bloomfield Road||Second Division||1 February 1975||Barry Davies|||
|1975–76||Gerry Francis||England||Queens Park Rangers||Liverpool||Loftus Road||First Division||16 August 1975||John Motson|||
|1976–77||Terry McDermott||England||Liverpool||Everton||Maine Road||FA Cup||23 April 1977||John Motson|||
|1977–78||Archie Gemmill||Scotland||Nottingham Forest||Arsenal||City Ground||First Division||21 January 1978||David Coleman|
|1978–79||Ray Kennedy||England||Liverpool||Derby County||Baseball Ground||First Division||24 February 1979||John Motson|
|1979–80||Justin Fashanu||England||Norwich City||Liverpool||Carrow Road||First Division||9 February 1980||Barry Davies|||
|1980–81||Tony Morley||England||Aston Villa||Everton||Goodison Park||First Division||7 February 1981||John Motson|||
|1981–82||Cyrille Regis||England||West Bromwich Albion||Norwich City||The Hawthorns||FA Cup||13 February 1982||Alan Parry|||
|1982–83||Kenny Dalglish||Scotland||Scotland||Belgium||Heysel Stadium, Brussels||Euro 1984 qualifying||15 December 1982||Tony Gubba|||
|1983–84||Danny Wallace||England||Southampton||Liverpool||The Dell||First Division||16 March 1984||Barry Davies|||
|1984–85||Graeme Sharp||Scotland||Everton||Liverpool||Anfield||First Division||20 October 1984||John Motson|||
|1985–86||Bryan Robson||England||England||Israel||Tel Aviv||Friendly||26 February 1986||Barry Davies|||
|1986–87||Keith Houchen||England||Coventry City||Tottenham Hotspur||Wembley Stadium||FA Cup||16 May 1987||John Motson|||
|1987–88||John Aldridge||Ireland||Liverpool||Nottingham Forest||Hillsborough||FA Cup||9 April 1988||John Motson|||
|1988–89||John Aldridge||Ireland||Liverpool||Everton||Wembley Stadium||FA Cup||20 May 1989||John Motson|||
|1989–90||Ian Wright||England||Crystal Palace||Manchester United||Wembley Stadium||FA Cup||12 May 1990||John Motson|
|1990–91||Paul Gascoigne||England||Tottenham Hotspur||Arsenal||Wembley Stadium||FA Cup||14 April 1991||Barry Davies|
|1991–92||Mickey Thomas||Wales||Wrexham||Arsenal||Racecourse Ground||FA Cup||4 January 1992||Tony Gubba|||
|1992–93||Dalian Atkinson||England||Aston Villa||Wimbledon||Selhurst Park||Premier League||3 October 1992||Clive Tyldesley|||
|1993–94||Rod Wallace||England||Leeds United||Tottenham Hotspur||Elland Road||Premier League||17 April 1994||Gerald Sinstadt|||
|1994–95||Matthew Le Tissier||England||Southampton||Blackburn Rovers||Ewood Park||Premier League||10 December 1994||Clive Tyldesley|||
|1995–96||Tony Yeboah||Ghana||Leeds United||Wimbledon||Selhurst Park||Premier League||23 September 1995||Barry Davies|||
|1996–97||Trevor Sinclair||England||Queens Park Rangers||Barnsley||Loftus Road||FA Cup||25 January 1997||John Motson|||
|1997–98||Dennis Bergkamp||Netherlands||Arsenal||Leicester City||Filbert Street||Premier League||27 August 1997||Tony Gubba|||
|1998–99||Ryan Giggs||Wales||Manchester United||Arsenal||Villa Park||FA Cup||14 April 1999||Jon Champion|||
|1999–2000||Paolo Di Canio||Italy||West Ham United||Wimbledon||Upton Park||Premier League||26 March 2000||Simon Brotherton|||
|2000–01||Shaun Bartlett||South Africa||Charlton Athletic||Leicester City||The Valley||Premier League||1 April 2001||Jon Champion|||
|2001–02||Dennis Bergkamp||Netherlands||Arsenal||Newcastle United||St James' Park||Premier League||2 March 2002||Guy Mowbray|||
|2002–03||Thierry Henry||France||Arsenal||Tottenham Hotspur||Highbury||Premier League||16 November 2002||Clive Tyldesley|||
|2003–04||Dietmar Hamann||Germany||Liverpool||Portsmouth||Anfield||Premier League||17 March 2004||Clive Tyldesley|||
|2004–05||Wayne Rooney||England||Manchester United||Middlesbrough||Old Trafford||FA Cup||29 January 2005||John Motson|||
|2005–06||Steven Gerrard||England||Liverpool||West Ham United||Millennium Stadium||FA Cup||13 May 2006||John Motson|||
|2006–07||Wayne Rooney||England||Manchester United||Bolton Wanderers||Old Trafford||Premier League||17 March 2007||Steve Wilson|||
|2007–08||Emmanuel Adebayor||Togo||Arsenal||Tottenham Hotspur||White Hart Lane||Premier League||15 September 2007||John Motson|||
|2008–09||Glen Johnson||England||Portsmouth||Hull City||Fratton Park||Premier League||22 November 2008||Simon Brotherton|||
|2009–10||Maynor Figueroa||Honduras||Wigan Athletic||Stoke City||Britannia Stadium||Premier League||12 December 2009||Tony Gubba|||
|2010–11||Wayne Rooney||England||Manchester United||Manchester City||Old Trafford||Premier League||12 February 2011||Steve Wilson|||
|2011–12||Papiss Cissé||Senegal||Newcastle United||Chelsea||Stamford Bridge||Premier League||2 May 2012||Steve Wilson|||
|2012–13||Robin van Persie||Netherlands||Manchester United||Aston Villa||Old Trafford||Premier League||22 April 2013||Guy Mowbray|||
|2013–14||Jack Wilshere||England||Arsenal||Norwich City||Emirates Stadium||Premier League||19 October 2013||Jonathan Pearce|||
|2014–15||Jack Wilshere||England||Arsenal||West Bromwich Albion||Emirates Stadium||Premier League||24 May 2015||John Motson|||
|2015–16||Dele Alli||England||Tottenham Hotspur||Crystal Palace||Selhurst Park||Premier League||23 January 2016||Alan Green|||
|2016–17||Emre Can||Germany||Liverpool||Watford||Vicarage Road||Premier League||1 May 2017||Martin Fisher|||
|2017–18||Jamie Vardy||England||Leicester City||West Bromwich Albion||The Hawthorns||Premier League||10 March 2018||John Roder|||
|2018–19||Vincent Kompany||Belgium||Manchester City||Leicester City||Etihad Stadium||Premier League||6 May 2019||Steve Wilson|||
|2019–20||Son Heung-min||South Korea||Tottenham Hotspur||Burnley||Tottenham Hotspur Stadium||Premier League||7 December 2019||Guy Mowbray|||
|2020–21||Erik Lamela||Argentina||Tottenham Hotspur||Arsenal||Emirates Stadium||Premier League||14 March 2021||Steve Wilson|||
On 24 May 2015, the final day of the 2014–15 season, Match of the Day held an online vote at around 11 pm GMT for the Goal of the Season award. Users were able to vote via the BBC website or Twitter. The poll was quickly skewed by Arsenal supporters, many from the Far East, resulting in Jack Wilshere winning the award for his final day strike against West Bromwich Albion, despite not being the favourite. Host Gary Lineker expressed surprise as he read out the winner, and pundit Alan Shearer suggested that Charlie Adam should have won the award for his 66-yard effort against Chelsea, while fellow pundit Danny Murphy felt former Fulham teammate Bobby Zamora should have won.
The incident was labelled a "shambles" by Pete Smith of The Stoke Sentinel who also thought Stoke's Adam should have won, and a "concerted campaign by Arsenal fans" by Alan Pattullo of The Scotsman, who also felt the Scottish midfielder was deserving of the award. Mark Brus, of Caught Offside, also criticized the choice arguing that a goal in a meaningless game should not have won Goal of the Season and that Juan Mata's acrobatic effort against Liverpool was worthy of the award.
The following season, before the final episode of that season's Match of the Day, the programme's producers changed the rules to prevent a similar situation. The Goal of the Season award has since been decided by the pundits on the show, who will choose the winner based on the top three goals voted for by the public.