James Hayter must have thought he had had enough excitement for the week after the birth of his son last weekend. His manager, Sean O'Driscoll, clearly thought the same as he named him only as a substitute for Tuesday night's Second Division match at home to Wrexham, his striker having already missed the previous match in order to be present at the birth.
With six minutes of Tuesday's match remaining, however, and with his side leading 3-0, O'Driscoll sent Hayter on to the pitch. Less than five minutes later the 24-year-old had entered the history books with the fastest hat-trick ever in the Football League.
Hayter took just two minutes and 20 seconds to claim his remarkable treble. Having come on as an 84th-minute substitute, he scored two goals in the 86th minute and completed his feat in the 88th minute. His shot for the third hit the post before the ball crossed the line.
"It got quite late on in the game and I did not think I would get on, so to come on and score three goals is unbelievable really," Hayter said yesterday. "The 'keeper left quite at lot of room at the far post [for the third goal] and I hit it where I wanted. My heart was in my mouth a little bit when the ball came off the post, but it was nice to get the hat-trick."
O'Driscoll said: "The lads on the bench said I should have sent him on earlier, but I know it was meant as a joke. James missed our match at Brighton because his wife was giving birth and he has now made up for lost time. I know he has been tired because becoming a dad is a traumatic experience. I sent him on because Wrexham's defence was tired and I felt he could run them ragged for a minute or two - and that is what he did."
However, Hayter did not beat the world record. James O'Connor of Shelbourne Football Club in Dublin completed his treble in just two minutes 14 seconds against Bohemians on November 19, 1967.
The previous League record was held by Ephraim "Jock" Dodds of Blackpool, against Tranmere Rovers in 1943, and Gillingham's Jimmy Scarth, versus Leyton Orient in 1952, who both netted three times in two and a half minutes.
OFFICIAL WORLD RECORD
2min 14sec: James O'Connor (Shelbourne) v Bohemians, 1967
3min 15sec: Masashi Nakayama (Japan) v Brunei, 2000
4min 30sec: Robbie Fowler (Liverpool) v Arsenal, 1994
2min 20sec: James Hayter (Bournemouth) v Wrexham, 2004
2min 20sec: Andy Locke (Nantwich) v Droylsden, 1995 (first qualifying round)
3min 30sec: Gary Talbot (Chester) v Crewe, 1965 (first round)
2min 30sec: Ian St John (Motherwell) v Hibernian, 1959 (League Cup)
1min 35sec: Magnus Arvidsson (Hassleholm) v Landskrona, Sweden, 1995
1min 50sec: Eduardo Maglioni (Independiente) v Giminasia de la Plata, Argentina, 1973Reuse content