Kyle Walker in goal: ‘I looked about ten years old and Lampard burst out laughing’ – Glen Johnson on when being emergency Chelsea keeper

7 Nov

It’s one of the biggest joys for a football fan when you see an outfield player pull on a goalkeeper shirt and gloves for an emergency stint between the sticks.

Kyle Walker was the latest star to try his hand at shot-stopping, and he did alright too, during Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Atalanta in the Champions League.

The defender took the gloves for the last ten minutes after a nightmare scenario for City, with Ederson going off injured at half-time before substitute keeper Claudio Bravo was sent off.

Kyle Walker was the hero for Man City as he helped them hold on to a draw in the Champions League…v in goal

Walker stepped up and even made a little bit of short-term history, with his – not at all convincing – save from a late Atalanta free-kick making him the first Englishman to make a save in the Champions League in three years, since Leicester City’s Ben Hamer in 2016.

But he’s not the only England right-back to enjoy/endure a short spell in goal.

Glen Johnson did exactly the same thing, in almost identical circumstances, back in 2005 during his early career at Chelsea.

Except, it seems he didn’t volunteer for it as Walker did… and captain Frank Lampard, instead of giving him encouragement, found it hilarious.

Johnson explained to talkSPORT hosts Jim White and Natalie Sawyer: “We were against Newcastle in the FA Cup and the first-half didn’t go to plan, we were 1-0 down and playing pretty badly.

“Mourinho made two subs at half-time and shortly after half-time Bridgey unfortunately broke his leg and had to come off, then shortly after that Cudicini got sent off.

“I was playing right-back and was closest to the dug-out, so as Carlo was walking off the pitch he walked past me and without hesitation he chucked me his gloves!

Glen Johnson was forced to don the gloves for Chelsea back in 2005, as nobody else clearly wanted to!
Getty Images – Getty

“I’ve caught the gloves and looked over my shoulder at the bench and everyone has turned their back on me, they’ve moonwalked out of my eye line.

“So I’m like, ‘what do I do now?’

“Literally no one would look at me, so I was like, ‘well I guess I’m going in goal then’.

“Nobody talked me out of it, they didn’t want to know.

“So now I’ve got Carlo’s shirt on which made me look like I was about ten years old, and the first thing I had to do was defend a free kick which Laurent Robert, who has a hammer left foot, was lining up to take. I’m thinking, ‘oh here we go’.


“And as I’m lining the wall up I’ve made eye contact with Lamps and we’ve both burst out laughing!”

Chelsea ultimately lost the fifth-round game 1-0 thanks to Patrick Kluivert’s fourth-minute goal, but at least Johnson kept a clean sheet!

Listen back to Glen Johnson’s unlikely goalkeeper story IN FULL above

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