It’s the sort of trick that could make you a hero — or leave you looking like a bit of a chump.
Alan Knuckey had been trying to pull off his signature move for 15 years, and when he finally succeeded it made sporting headlines around the world.
Never mind that it was during an amateur club rugby match attended by the usual sparse crowd of dedicated fans — video of the spectacular runaway try Knuckey scored after collecting his overhead back-heel kick has been viewed 2.7 million times on his Facebook page and picked up by major news outlets.
“I’ve been doing it for about 15 years and never, ever pulled it off,” Knuckey, who plays for London team Charlton Park, told CNN’s World Rugby show.
Playing against Old Colfeians last month, the scrum-half caught the ball behind his own try line and kicked it over his head with the heel of his boot. It sailed over the opposition defensive line, and he ran through to gather the ball and scoot 100 yards to dot down.
“On that day, some of it’s a bit of skill, but a lot of it’s a lot of luck — and I just got very lucky that day,” Knuckey recalls.
“As I connected the ball, I knew it was good. My adrenaline was just pumping.
“I can never normally sprint the length of the pitch but because of the adrenaline I could’ve sprinted it twice.”
Knuckey scored three much more conventional tries in his club’s next match, then traveled to Dubai for a tournament held during the opening leg of the 2016-17 Sevens World Series competition.
There, he recreated the move for CNN, and challenged viewers to emulate his feat.
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He hasn’t had quite the same success with “the Knuckey” since returning home to the UK, revealing that opposition teams have become wise to his trick since it went viral.
“They held me back by my shirt as I run past,” he wrote on his Facebook page after trying it again in a game this month.
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“But we got a penalty try from it. So I shall class that as a success.”