Great Estonian sporting moments: Goalkeepers Mart Poom and Evald Tipner

Mart Poom.
Mart Poom. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

To mark the centennial of the foundation of the Estonian Olympic Association, ERR's Sport portal has selected the 100 top Estonian sporting moments. Galkeepers Mart Poom and Evald Tipner are both widely admired for their contributions to Estonian football on and off the field.

Evald Tipner and Mart Poom were more than just great Estonian goalkeepers.

In the 1990s, Poom paved the way for a new generation of Estonian footballers at a time when the country was re-emerging on the international stage after re-gaining independence.

At the time, it seemed incredible for Estonians that Poom could join Premier League side Derby County and go on to become one of the best goalkeepers in the English top flight. It was even more unbelievable when Poom managed to score a late equalizer for Sunderland against Derby after heading home from a corner.

Spells with Watford and Arsenal followed, and Estonians continued to watch and even become used to seeing one of their own performing at the sport's highest level.

The same level of admiration had been shown for another man of similar stature half a century earlier.

That man was Evald Tipner. At 194 centimeters tall, Tipner was a giant both on and off the pitch. Winning 66 caps over 15 years as goalkeeper for the Estonian men's national team, Tipner spent his entire career with just one club - Tallinna Sport, where he won eight Estonian championship titles.

Tipner was so highly respected that it was once said, other goalkeepers could only play as phenomenally as he did every match, once in a lifetime.

The Evald Tipner Trophy. Source: Liisi Troska/

Despite plying their trade in completely different eras, these two goalkeepers, Tipner and Poom, both proved to Estonians that they were capable of competing with the very best on the football field.

Mart Poom is currently the goalkeeping coach of the Estonian men's national team and chairman of Tallinn club Nõmme United, who have just won promotion to the Estonian top-flight for next season.

In 2012, the Estonian Football Association (EJL) named the country's top men's cup competition in honor of Evald Tipner.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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