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Which was your favourite Premier League goal celebration?

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Phil McNulty | 07:00 UK time, Thursday, 19 April 2012

It is the moment players and managers work for every day - the moment when the work is rewarded and the ball hits the back of the net.

The days of the old-fashioned firm handshake and a trot back to the centre circle after a goal has been scored have long gone and 20 years of the Barclays Premier League reflects the change in attitudes.

Goal celebrations can be pre-planned or purely spontaneous, from the bizarre to a simple burst of uncontrolled elation that accompanies the high point of every game.

And all celebratory life is there as it comes to casting the public vote on the best of the Premier League's two decades - but one man has been there through it all, watching on the sidelines.

Sir Alex Ferguson is the only manager with a celebration on the list. Not one of life's most stylish when it comes to a celebration perhaps, but Ferguson's reaction to a goal, particularly an important one, is a public look into the fire and passion that still burns inside even after more than 25 years in charge at Old Trafford.

Ferguson's most memorable celebration came when Steve Bruce scored to complete an injury-time comeback from behind against Sheffield Wednesday in 1993 to effectively seal United's first title for 26 years.

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The Scot came racing, jumping and waving from the dug-out as assistant Brian Kidd went even further out on to the Old Trafford turf, slumping to his knees in relief and elation.

This may have been spontaneous but there is plenty of room for the rehearsed. Jurgen Klinsmann arrived at Tottenham with a reputation as a serial diver in 1994 - so what better way to celebrate a debut goal at Hillsborough than with a flamboyant run and dive accompanied by all his new team-mates?

And of course Eric Cantona's "King of Cool" celebration, a Gallic shrug and a nonchalant gaze around Old Trafford after a chip against Sunderland, had to be included.

Alan Shearer's reaction was simply a trademark raising of the arm and it was performed with such regularity that he may have been in danger of repetitive strain injury as he scored 260 Premier League goals for Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.

There was humour in Jimmy Bullard re-enacting Hull City manager's Phil Brown's infamous half-time team talk on the pitch at Manchester City after scoring at the same ground while Newcastle's Temuri Ketsbaia was almost out of control, stripping off his shirt and lashing out at an advertising hoarding after scoring against Bolton.

Lomana LuaLua will take the prizes for artistic impression with his acrobatics while Liverpool's Steven Gerrard took the romantic option by kissing the television camera after converting a penalty at Old Trafford.

Lee Sharpe's "Elvis" at the corner flag and a spot of push-and-shove between West Ham United's Neil Ruddock and Ian Wright complete the candidates.

Members of the media can even become indirectly involved in the celebrations, with one particular personal memory involving a Liverpool player consigned to the reserves after much criticism celebrating a goal by heading straight towards the press box and, to put it politely, making gestures (or more specifically a gesture) in our direction that made his contempt clear. The fact that Anfield was almost deserted only added impact to his less than complimentary message.

The quality of the Premier League has given plenty of opportunities for players to exercise their imagination when celebrating - and every supporter will have their own favourite.

Have the debate here. Tell me what is your favourite celebration from the nominated list - and what your own personal favourite goal celebration has been.

And you can vote for your favourite goal celebration from the nominated list between now and Monday 30 April at 20 Seasons of the Premier League.



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