We’re in awe of the former Leeds goalkeeper that’s produced 2023’s most slapstick moment
Football blooper compilations, once a stocking-filler for any lover of the beautiful game, are now largely considered relics of the 2000s – a development which should have Bailey Peacock-Farrell sighing with relief.
Peacock-Farrell is one of those goalkeepers that it feels like has been around forever, only for your eyebrows to enter another postcode upon discovering they’re only 27.
After losing the Leeds starting berth to ex-Real Madrid stopper Kiko Casilla in January 2019, he moved to Burnley but was never able to win the number one position at Turf Moor.
After a season with Sheffield Wednesday, he served as backup to Aro Muric last term, making 16 appearances as Burnley earned promotion back to the Premier League.
But Vincent Kompany spent £20million to sign James Trafford this summer, and Peacock-Farrell knew he needed to look elsewhere. He had options in the Championship but the challenge, both personal and professional, of a switch to AGF Aarhus had greater appeal.
“It’s really nice, a beautiful country, a great city,” he said after moving to Denmark’s second city. “It feels very natural and there’s been no issues settling.”
He’s still a stalwart at international level, having been Northern Ireland’s main goalkeeper since 2018 and won 40 caps for his country, but the move to Scandavia is intended to kickstart Peacock-Farrell’s club career having spent far too long warming the bench.
“When I come away I try like everyone to play to the best of my ability and overall I’ve done quite well so far,” Peacock-Farrell told the PA news agency.
“Club level has not been amazing and there’s been inconsistencies in terms of game time. For the manager now (Michael O’Neill) and the manager before (Ian Baraclough) to stick by me is obviously a really nice vote of confidence.
“I’m just trying to rectify the club level now and that’s the aim this year.”
That said, Kompany or any interested Championship managers wouldn’t have too enamoured with the shenanigans on show in Peacock-Farrell’s latest outing.
With the home match against Brondby goalless midway through the first half, the 27-year-old slipped while attempting to clear a backpass and was only saved from humiliation by the post.
Or, so we thought. As the opposition striker raced it to tap the ball into his unguarded net, Peacock-Farrell outed himself as a rugby nut with a superbly executed tackle that was comparable to anything seen at the ongoing World Cup.
It goes without saying that he was dismissed from the field by the bemused referee. Aarhus would go on to lose 3-0.
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) September 18, 2023
Despite the kind of slapstick that would’ve made Charlie Chaplin look like an amateur, Peacock-Farrell’s decision to move to Denmark should be applauded; despite the feats of Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham, there are still relatively few British players brave enough to play abroad.
“I’m not sure why,” Peacock-Farrell said. “Maybe it’s a cultural thing but maybe it’s because the Premier League is here and everyone wants to come.
“I had a couple of options in England and this one really stood out in terms of a different way of football.
“European football is so different to the Premier League, Championship, League One, so it was another learning experience and hopefully it’s a good one by the end of the season.”
However it turns out for the goalkeeper, he’ll be thanking his lucky stars that the likes of Danny Baker and Nick Hancock aren’t busy compiling their latest attempt at dominating the bloopers market this Christmas.
By Michael Lee