Should footballers celebrate scoring against their former club?

Preston North End's Scott Sinclair celebrated against former side Swansea City last weekend.

It’s the age old question – how should players react if they score against an old side?

Preston North End’s newest recruit Scott Sinclair opened his account for his new team versus Swansea City on Saturday, a side he scored 36 times for earlier in his career.

His choice to celebrate following his maiden goal for PNE caused quite a debate, with former Swan and Lilywhite Lee Trundle taking to Twitter to discuss the celebration.

Some, including Trundle, see it as a sign of respect to react mundanely to scoring against former employers, but others don’t understand why a player shouldn’t be able to enjoy the moment like they would any other goal.

In Sinclair’s case, this was his first goal in competitive football since September 2019, so his celebration seemed more of an expression of relief after months of frustration with Celtic rather than ridiculing Swansea.

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This certainly wasn’t the first case of this happening, though.

Here’s three high-profile examples over recent years…

Emmanuel Adebayor for Manchester City against Arsenal

There was a lot of animosity towards the Tongan striker when he packed his bags and traded North London for the North West.

He certainly wasn’t afraid to make his feelings known towards the Gunners’ fans after scoring against them at the Etihad.

Following his goal, he proceeded to run the length of the pitch and knee slide in front of the outraged Londoners.

The celebration saw the striker receive a two-match ban but it will certainly go down as one of the most memorable moments the Premier League has ever seen.

Wayne Rooney for Manchester United against Everton

England legend Wayne Rooney was dubbed a “traitor” by his boyhood club Everton after departing Goodison Park to sign for Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in the summer of 2004.

Even though he’d been an Evertonian all his life, he couldn’t wait to express his emotion after notching on Merseyside for the Red Devils in 2007.

Jumping and kissing the United badge, Rooney sent a definite message to the home faithful that any good relationship he may have had with his former team was well and truly over.

Carlos Tevez for Manchester City against Manchester United

Carlos Tevez became one of the most hated men on one side of Manchester when he swapped red for blue, leaving Manchester United for rivals Manchester City.

The Argentinian striker became infamous in United folklore, especially when he equalised at the Etihad for City in the League Cup before running up and down the touchline, in view of the fans that once used to sing his name.