Stephen Dobbie: Queen of the South striker is Europe’s most prolific marksman


‘I’m surprised he’s not playing at a higher level’

Stephen Dobbie may be in his sporting dotage, but Queen of the South’s veteran striker can currently claim to be the sharpest marksman in Europe.

The 35-year-old has scored 21 goals in 13 games in all competitions this season, including three hat-tricks.

That gives him a strike rate of 1.62 goals per game – better than anyone across the top tiers of the continent’s 55 Uefa countries, and some of the biggest stars in world football.

Dobbie launched his season with seven goals in Queens’ opening three League Cup group games in July, and they have continued to flow freely in the Scottish Championship and Irn-Bru Challenge Cup.

Dobbie endured a two-game ‘drought’ as Motherwell and Morton both kept him off the score-sheet, but he has only failed to score in one further match so far this season, with 14 goals in his last eight games.

The only other striker in Scotland with a strike-rate of more than a goal a game this season is Ayr United’s Lawrence Shankland, whose 15 goals in 13 games include two hat-tricks. Steven Naismith, the leading scorer in the top flight, has nine in 11 for Hearts.

Dobbie is well on his way to surpassing his previous best tally in a season of 27 goals, set last term. He has now scored 20 goals or more in all five campaigns he has started across two spells at Dumfries-based Queens. The much-travelled striker has never managed more than 11 in a season at his other nine senior clubs.

*Season ongoing. **Goals from January 2007