No player has scored more goals in English league football this century than Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp.
Sharp’s brace in United’s 3-0 win over Blackburn Rovers brought him level with Rickie Lambert at the top.
Both the Blades skipper and Lambert have now netted 219 times since January 2000. Sharp now has 15 Championship goals this season. No player has more.
Yet what makes Sharp’s achievement all the more impressive is that he reached the milestone in 495 matches. That is 110 fewer than it took Lambert.
Billy Sharp’s amazing stats
Only one other player has more than 200 league goals in England since 2000 and that is Wayne Rooney. Yet even his 208 came in 491 games.
Sharp’s goal to game ratio is far better than both, even if his goals have admittedly come in the Championship and League One, rather than the Premier League.
Behind the trio is then Jamie Cureton with 199 in 571 appearances and Jermain Defoe with 191 in 544 appearances. Neither come close to Sharp.
Jordan Rhodes then has 185 goals in 407 games and Glenn Murray has 183 in 460 outings. Rhodes is the only one with a better goal to game ratio and even then the numbers are minute.
What makes Sharp’s achievement all the greater is that the striker has had to work hard for it. Extremely hard.
Amazingly the 32-year-old still has plenty of critics. There were those than claimed Sharp wasn’t cut out for the Championship. He now has 106 goals in the second tier alone.
Sharp has also now scored 94 times for United. His return to Bramall Lane in 2015 has prompted a prolific scoring spell. However, he had to go away and prove himself with the likes of Scunthorpe United and Doncaster Rovers before that happened.
A Blades academy product, Sharp has finally achieved hero status at the club in the latter stages of his career. Let’s hope there’s a few more years in him yet.