Shaun Goater-A potted history
Shaun Goater Personal information
Full name Leonard Goater
Date of birth 25 February, 1970
Place of birth Hamilton, Bermuda
Height 6’0 (182cm)
Nickname The Goat
Position Centre Forward
Current club retired
1988-1989 Manchester United
Years Club League Apps (League goals)
1989 Manchester united
1989-1996 Rotherham United 209 (70)
1993 Notts County (loan) 1 (0)
1996-1998 Bristol City 75 (40)
1998-2003 Manchester City 184 (84)
2003-2005 Reading 43 (12)
2005 Coventry City (loan) 6 (0)
2005-2006 Southend United 34 (11)
Career league total 552 apps 217 goals
Bermuda 36 (32)
Shaun Goater MBE (b. February 25 1970 in Hamilton, Bermuda as Leonard Goater) is a former footballer who played as a striker. He is most well known for his time at Manchester City, where he scored over 100 goals.
His first professional club was Manchester United, but he did not reach the first team, making his League debut after moving to Rotherham.
He also played for Notts County, Bristol City, Reading, Coventry and Southend United, before retiring in May 2006.
Goater was educated in the United States, where he had a soccer scholarship at Columbia High School, North Carolina. At the age of 18, whilst home in Bermuda during his Thanksgiving break, Goater was spotted by scouts from Manchester United who invited him to England for a trial. With encouragement from his mother Lynette, who was a former football player herself, Goater accepted, forfeiting his scholarship by doing so. At this time Goater did not play as a striker, but instead played as a creative midfielder.
Goater’s trial resulted in the offer of a professional contract, but he did not break into the first team. In 1989 Goater signed for Rotherham Utd in order to play first team football.
At this time Goater suffered homesickness, finding it difficult to adapt to the English climate: ‘It took me a good two years to get used to life in England. At first I thought the sun never shone and it wasn’t for me.’.
However, he gradually got used to living in England, and over the course of seven seasons at Rotherham he gained a reputation as a reliable lower division striker, scoring 86 goals in 262 appearances.
In 1993, Goater also had a brief loan spell at Notts County, though he made only one appearance for the Nottingham club.
In the 1996 close season Goater moved to Bristol City for a fee of £175,000.
In a little under two years with the club he scored 45 goals in 81 appearances. On 26 March, 1998, Goater signed for Manchester City, who paid Bristol City £400,000 for his services.
It is likely that Bristol City valued Goater more highly, but as his contract was due to run out at the end of the season they decided to accept a lower offer rather than risk losing him on a Bosman transfer
Goater joined Manchester City at a turbulent point in their history, with newly appointed manager Joe Royle battling to save the club from relegation to Division Two.
Goater scored three goals in the seven remaining matches of the 1997/98 season, but this was not enough to prevent the club from being relegated to the third tier for the first time ever.
Fans were initially sceptical as to Goater’s ability, but as goals were scored supporters were gradually won over, creating a song in his honour, ‘Feed The Goat And He Will Score’ (to the tune Cwm Rhondda). The 1998/99 season saw Goater score 21 goals, finishing the season as Manchester City’s top goalscorer.
The last of these was the winning goal in a play-off semi-final against Wigan Athletic, sending Manchester City to Wembley for a playoff final which saw City promoted after a penalty shootout.
The 1999/00 season was even more successful for Goater. He was the club’s top goalscorer once again, this time with 29 goals, and was named Manchester City’s Player of the Year by the supporters after Manchester City were promoted for the second successive year.
In the summer, Goater was awarded the freedom of Bermuda, with June 21 declared as ‘Shaun Goater Day’ on the island.
The following season Goater made his first appearance in top flight football at the age of 30, though injury and the presence of new signings Paulo Wanchope and former World Player of the Year George Weah meant he had to wait three months to do so.
Once again established in the first team, Goater was Manchester City’s top goalscorer for the third consecutive season, but his 11 goals could not save the team from relegation.
During the 2001 close season upheaval took place at Manchester City, with manager Royle departing to be replaced by Kevin Keegan.
As a striker, Goater was well placed to benefit from Keegan’s adventurous brand of football, and in the 2001/02 season he became the first Manchester City player since Francis Lee in 1972 to score more than 30 goals in a season. City were promoted as champions, and Goater was the clubs top scorer for the fourth time in a row, as well as being the top scorer in the division.
Over the summer of 2002 there was speculation that Goater would be transferred, as Manchester City had twice broken their transfer record by buying strikers Jon Macken and Nicolas Anelka. Goater stayed, but opportunities were limited.
He started just 14 games, but showed a healthy return of seven goals, including his 100th for the club, which came in a derby match against local rivals Manchester United.
In February 2003, Goater struck against the same opposition to score the fastest goal by a substitute in FA Premier League history, just 9 seconds after coming onto the pitch.
Shortly before the end of the 2002/03 season Goater announced his intention to leave Manchester City when the season finished in order to seek regular first team football. In his final match for Manchester City, he was given the honour of captaining the side in Manchester City’s final game at Maine Road.
In total Goater scored 103 goals in 211 appearances for Manchester City.
Goater moved to Reading on 1 August, 2003. Reading chairman John Madejski described the transfer as ‘the biggest in Reading Football Club’s history’, but Goater’s time there was not a happy one.
Shortly after Goater’s arrival, Reading manager Alan Pardew left for West Ham, and Pardew’s replacement, Steve Coppell, did not regard Goater as part of his plans.
In his second and final season at Reading Goater played just four times, and was loaned to Coventry City.
Goater then considered retirement, but instead moved to League One Southend United for a final season as a professional. The move, a free transfer, was completed on 3 August 2005.
At Southend, Goater acted as a mentor for young striker Freddy Eastwood, and contributed towards a second successive promotion for the Shrimpers, scoring 11 goals.
His final appearance before retirement was on 6 May 2006, when Southend played Bristol City, one of Goater’s former clubs.
The crowd included over 100 Manchester City fans who travelled to Southend to mark the occasion.
Goater has also played for the Bermudian national team 36 times, scoring 32 goals, though due to Bermuda’s lowly standing in world football he never played in a major international tournament.
After retiring, Goater returned to Bermuda, receiving an official welcome from Prime Minister Alex Scott on his arrival.
A week later, Southend played the Bermuda national team in an appreciation game for their former striker.
Goater has expressed a wish to enter coaching following his retirement, and studied for the UEFA B coaching licence in 2005
Since 2003, Goater has organised the annual Shaun Goater Grass-roots Soccer Festival, a football coaching event for children in Bermuda.
Goater is married to Anita, who was his childhood sweetheart. He was awarded the MBE in 2003 for services to sport and young people in Bermuda.
Football League Fourth Division (1989)
Football League Division One (2002)
Football League One (2006)
Highest scorer, Football League Division One (2002)
Member of PFA Divisional XI (1998, 2002)
Shaun Goater-A potted history
Shaun Goater-A potted history