Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, there have been 334 hat-trick’s scored by 180 different players, yet only five men have the acclaim of having hit a treble for three different top-flight clubs.
In what is essentially an ode to a handful of beloved journeyman strikers, here’s a look at the five players who stand above the rest as the ultimate hat-trick heroes:
Teddy Sheringham – Tottenham, Manchester United, and Portsmouth
The former England international is often remembered as one of the most naturally gifted and intelligent strikers of his generation yet few give him the credit he deserves for his excellent goalscoring record.
No stranger to a hat-trick prior to his Premier League days, Sheringham hit a mightily impressive haul of four trebles during the 1990-91 season, a campaign that saw him hit 37 league goals for Millwall in the second division.
A move to Nottingham Forest soon followed, before moving on to Tottenham at the start of the 1992/93 season, hitting the first of two hat-trick’s for the club in February 1993 during a 4-0 thrashing of Leeds United.
A second treble followed a year-and-a-half later, this time against Newcastle United. The first goal saw that famed Darren Anderton-Sheringham partnership combine, the former teeing up his teammate, who curled a delightful finish into the top corner with the outside of his right boot. The two men linked up once again soon after, Anderton’s corner finding the striker who dug the ball out well to fire past the ‘keeper, with the third a comfortable side-footed finish on the rebound.
Such impressive form earned a then 31-year-old Sheringham a move to Old Trafford in June 1997, where he would go on to lift three Premier league titles, as well as that famed treble in the 1998/99.
While often playing second fiddle to the dynamic duo of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, Sheringham stuck it out to forge a successful Red Devils career, scoring the equaliser on that night at the Nou Camp in ’99 and finishing the 2000/01 season as the PFA Player of the Year.
It was that campaign that saw the Englishman grab his one and only United hat-trick in a 5-0 thrashing of Southampton, before he re-joined Spurs on a free transfer at the end of the campaign.
Two years later he was on the move again, this time linking up with Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth, where he became the oldest player ever to net a hat-trick in the Premier League, at the age of 37, against Bolton Wanderers.
Les Ferdinand – QPR, Newcastle United, and Tottenham
In an era of sensational English striking talent – with the likes of Shearer, Cole, Wright, Fowler, Sheringham – Ferdinand was not necessarily an underrated talent, but undoubtedly a criminally underused player at international level, with just 17 caps to his name.
The Englishman had all the attributes of a perfect centre-forward, he was quick, strong, good in the air and, most importantly, he knew where the goal was.
After helping Queen’s Park Rangers survive in the 1991/92 season, Ferdinand was part of the first ever Premier League season, a campaign in which he hit 20 league goals, including netting two hat-trick’s in the space of just three days, in 4-3 and 5-3 wins over Nottingham Forest and Everton, respectively. One of just five players to have hit consecutive trebles.
Following a perhaps long-overdue departure from Loftus Road, the forward joined Newcastle United in 1995, spearheading that entertaining and attack-minded side under Kevin Keegan. In his first season at St James’ Park he hit 25 league goals, including a treble against Wimbledon in a 6-1 thrashing, although the Magpies eventually squandered a 12 point lead at the summit to finish behind Manchester United.
The departure of Keegan and the arrival of Alan Shearer ultimately spelt the end of his Newcastle career, as he returned to London to join boyhood club Tottenham in 1997, where he hit his fourth and final Premier league hat-trick, saving the best till last with what was a delightful perfect hat-trick.
After leaving White Hart Lane in 2003, Ferdinand spent a few more years in the top-flight with a smattering clubs, before ending his career with an incredible tally of 149 Premier League goals – placing him 11th on the all-time scorers list at present.
Kevin Campbell – Arsenal, Nottingham Forest, and Everton
Another man who spent the large majority of his career in and around the top-flight, Campbell began his career with Arsenal as part of a side full of centre forward talent, including Alan Smith, Ian Wright and Paul Merson.
While never the main man at the Gunners, the Englishman was still a reliable goalscorer nonetheless, hitting his first Premier league treble in 1993/94 season against Ipswich Town in a 4-0 win at Highbury. He bagged a second treble in a game of the same scoreline against Swindon Town later that season, before moving to Nottingham Forest in 1995.
After a dismal first campaign at the club, Campbell made the perfect start to the 1996/97 season, scoring all three goals in a 3-0 win over Coventry City on the opening day – matching his tally for the whole of the previous season.
His first strike was a lunging dink over the onrushing Steve Ogrizovic, with his second a fine finish into the far corner after an electric turn of speed. He rounded off his fine afternoon with a sensational effort, jinking his way past the defence with some deft flicked touches, before firing into the back of the net past the helpless Coventry stopper.
After a brief spell out on loan in Turkey, the striker joined Everton in 1999, initially on-loan, making an instant impact to drag the Toffees away from potential relegation, netting the fourth Premier League hat-trick of his career against West Ham on the penultimate day, helping his new club secure another season in top-flight.
Nicolas Anelka – Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea
In an at times controversial career that took him from Paris to Madrid to Turin and ended in Mumbai, the Frenchman’s best days came in England, where he solidified his status as one of the most talented, if not always consistent, strikers in world football.
A 17-year-old Anelka joined Arsenal in 1997 and played a key role in their double win under Arsene Wenger in the 1997/98 season, before enjoying an excellent campaign the year after, hitting 17 goals in 35 Premier League goals, with his first hat-trick coming in a Dennis Bergkamp-inspired 5-0 win over Leicester.
After a failed spell at Real Madrid the following season, as well as an underwhelming few years at Paris Saint-Germain and a loan spell at Liverpool, the forward revived his career at Manchester City, hitting 37 goals in 89 Premier League appearances for the club in his three-year spell.
It was in that time that he bagged his second top-flight hat-trick, bagging three as part of a second-half comeback in an eventual 4-1 win over Aston Villa, with two of his goals coming from the penalty spot.
Following a move to Turkey with Fenerbahce, the striker returned to England with Bolton, before clinching a move to Chelsea in January 2008. The following season saw him hit a career-best 19 league goals, including a hat-trick in a 5-0 thrashing of Sunderland.
In truth, none of his three goals were anything but ordinary, the first two seeing the France international tap home from close range in his typically calm manner, before he rounded off his hat-trick with a fortunate effort that looped up and over the goalkeeper.
Yakubu – Portsmouth, Everton, and Blackburn
And last but not least, the man who inspired the immortal line, ‘Feed the Yak and the Yak will score!’
The Nigerian striker was last seen trotting around the centre circle at Coventry City a few seasons ago, but in his prime, he was one of the most adored and feared forwards in the Premier League.
Following a five-year spell in Israel, Yakubu joined Harry Redknapp’s Portsmouth on-loan in January 2003, going on to score seven goals in 14 games to help fire Pompey to the First Division title. Then in the Premier League, and forming a partnership with another man on this list in Sheringham, the forward was an instant hit in the top-flight, rounding the season off with four goals against Middlesbrough on the final day.
Yakubu hit the final hat-trick of the 2003/04 season and then the first of the following campaign, netting three in a thrilling 4-3 win over Fulham. With his side already 1-0 up, The Yak netted somewhat fortuitously from the penalty spot, the ball striking the under side of the bar before dropping into the back of the net.
He then put his side 3-0 up with a well-taken left-footed strike into the far corner and completed his hat-trick courtesy of a calm, almost pass-like finish to give his some breathing space following the Cottagers plucky comeback.The striker seemingly liked scoring against Fulham, as he went on to net a perfect hat-trick against them in a 3-0 win for Everton at Goodison Park in December 2007.
His fourth and last top-flight hat-trick came almost exactly four years later for Blackburn Rovers against Swansea City in the 2011/12 season, once again netting a perfect triple as part of his superb four-goal haul.