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How many famous people has Aaron Ramsey's goalscoring 'curse' killed?

When Aaron Ramsey scores, famous people usually die within the next 24 hours

Aaron Ramsey goal curse celebrity deaths
When Aaron Ramsey scores, famous people usually die within the next 24 hours

It seems like famous people just can’t escape the ‘Ramsey Curse’ as yet another celebrity passed away soon after Aaron Ramsey’s goal against Tottenham Hotspur. This time, it was former First Lady of the United States Nancy Reagan.

The unfortunate death of Alan Rickman, the respected British actor who famously played the character of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies, had brought into focus Ramsey's supposed 'goalscoring curse’ early in 2016. It came just a few days after the sudden demise of David Bowie, whose passing also had people talking about the curse.

But what is the Ramsey Curse, exactly? It's an urban legend that could be viewed as either tremendously spooky or pure coincidental, depending on your point of view.

When Ramsey returned after a horrific injury (he broke his leg at Stoke City after a horrific tackle) and scored a winner against Manchester United on 1 May 2011, the then-20-year-old midfielder was over the moon. In that 1-0 win at the Emirates, he was vindicated after a number of people said his career was over. 

The very next day, the most wanted terrorist in the world was dead. Osama bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs in a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. While the death itself was celebrated, nobody bothered to link it with Ramsey’s comeback goal back then.

However, when he started scoring on a more regular basis for the Gunners, a pattern started to emerge. Soon, famous personalities – both good and bad – were victims of the so-called ‘Ramsey Curse’. When the Welshman scored a goal, a celebrity was reported dead soon after, most often within the next 24 hours.

From Apple founder Steve Jobs to Muammar Gaddafi, they have all met a similar fate – death after a Ramsey goal. The midfielder himself was not too keen to talk about it and seemed uncomfortable when the subject was brought up in an interview.

I didn’t find it funny: Ramsey

“The most ridiculous rumour I’ve heard is that people die after I score,” Ramsey had said. “There have been loads of occasions where I’ve scored and somebody hasn't died. That’s just a crazy rumour. I didn’t really find it funny.”

Of course, nobody is really suggesting Ramsey is killing them off with every goal he has scored. There have been other days when life moved on even though he found himself on the scoresheet – especially the 2013/14 season, when he scored 16 goals in all competitions. 

But the coincidences of some of the famous deaths are more than just freaky. Here are a few which people the world over will definitely remember. January 2016 itself saw entertainment stalwarts David Bowie and Alan Rickman die at the age of 69 after losing battles with cancer, each within a day of a Ramsey goal.

#DateMatchCelebrity Death
11 May 2011Arsenal 1-0 Manchester UnitedOsama bin Laden
22 October 2011Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 ArsenalSteve Jobs
319 October 2011Marseille 0-1 ArsenalMuammar Gaddafi
411 February 2012Sunderland 1-2 ArsenalWhitney Houston
530 November 2013Cardiff City 0-3 ArsenalPaul Walker
620 April 2014Hull City 0-3 ArsenalRubin "Hurricane" Carter
710 August 2014Arsenal 3-0 Manchester CityRobin Williams
823 August 2014Everton 2-2 ArsenalRichard Attenborough
99 January 2016Arsenal 3-1 SunderlandDavid Bowie
1013 January 2016Liverpool 3-3 ArsenalAlan Rickman
115 March 2016Tottenham 2-2 ArsenalNancy Reagan

Note: Article updated on 7 March

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