Double Hat-Trick: 3 Players Who Scored 6 Goals in a Match

Scoring goals. When you strip it down to the most basic of levels, that is what wins football matches. And over the years, there have been countless prolific goalscorers who found the net with unwavering regularity.

However, while many players have scored hat-tricks, or four or even five goals in a single match, the ‘double hat-trick’ – scoring six goals in a match – is far more elusive.

Let’s look at the double hat-trick and discuss some of the most famous cases of players having a memorable day in front of goal.

What is a Double Hat-Trick in Football?

A double hat-trick in football is the term used when a player scores six goals in a single match. A brace is two goals, a hat-trick is how scoring three goals is described, hence a double hat-trick is the – extremely rare – six-goal haul.

How Rare is a Double Hat-Trick?

As of the start of the 2022/23 season, there had been 166 hat-tricks across 4940 games in the English Premier League, which means that there is only a 3.36% chance of a hat-trick being scored in a game. So the chances of seeing a double hat-trick in a game anywhere are infinitesimal!

Has Anyone Ever Scored 6 Goals in a Premier League Game?

No one has ever scored six goals in a Premier League game since its formation in 1992; while five players have scored five goals in a match, the double hat-trick has remained out of the reach of even the best strikers to grace the league.

The first player to bag five goals in a match was Andrew Cole for Manchester United against Ipswich in a 9-0 win in 1995. Alan Shearer then scored five for Newcastle against Sheffield Wednesday in a 1999 8-0 victory.

Jermain Defoe followed suit for Spurs as they thrashed Wigan 9-1 in 2009, and Dimitar Berbatov did likewise for Manchester United as they defeated Blackburn 7-1 the following year. Finally, Sergio Aguero found the net five times for Manchester City as they beat Newcastle 6-1 in 2015.

3 Most Famous Double Hat-Tricks

While many of football’s greatest names have never registered a double hat-trick in their careers – which includes the two modern-day legends Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – there are some famous instances of players grabbing six (or more) goals in a match over the years.

1. George Best (1970, NORTHAMPTON 2-8 MAN UTD)

Best had been suspended for the previous four weeks when he took to the field in this FA Cup match, and it seems he took his frustration out on Northampton. He scored three goals with his right foot, one with his left and two headers as the lower-league side were swept aside.

The Northampton player tasked with marking Best that day, Ray Fairfax, has since said: “What can you do about such a man? Long before he had finished running us into the ground I felt physically sick. If I had to play against such a man every week I would hang up my boots and quit the game.”

2. Geoff Hurst (1968, WEST HAM 8-0 SUNDERLAND)

World famous for scoring a hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup final, Hurst went three better two years later when he netted six times for West Ham as they thrashed Sunderland in a First Division encounter.

Hurst admitted after the game that he actually used his hand when scoring his first goal (in the days long before VAR of course), and after the game said modestly: “I don’t feel all that elated. I get as much satisfaction out of making goals as scoring them. This is a game of eleven men and I got wonderful service today.”

It remains the last time a player scored a double hat-trick in an English top-flight match.

3. Ted MacDougall (1971, BOURNEMOUTH 11-0 MARGATE) 

Forget the double hat-trick – MacDougall helped himself to a treble hat-trick of nine goals as Bournemouth swept aside non-league Margate in the FA Cup first round. MacDougall scored five in the first half and another four after the interval, and this remains the largest-ever individual haul of goals by any player in the proper rounds of the FA Cup.

His scoring exploits eventually earned MacDougall a big-money move to Manchester United in 1972, but he lasted less than a season before moving on to West Ham.

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Thomas Smith

Tommy is a freelance writer and editor based in Spain but originally from the north east of Scotland. A former daily newspaper reporter, he is passionate about football, loves cricket and snooker and enjoys watching most sports.

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