Football Language: To let fly
There are many ways to describe a shot from distance, for example, a thunderbolt, a long-range shot, a sweet strike and another phrase used to describe this kind of shot is ‘to let fly‘. It usually means that the shot has come from outside the box and has been hit or struck really hard – maybe a first-time shot. If we think of a player kicking the ball so hard that it flies this might give you an idea of the how the phrase is used. Even though it is not mentioned, it is understood that what is being hit (or made to fly) is the ball – the striker let fly (of the ball). This kind of shot does not always mean that a goal has been scored – a player can let fly without troubling the keeper as the phrase refers to the shot not the goal.
- Example: ‘Liverpool matchwinner Sadio Mane was outside the box when Daniel Sturridge let fly‘ (Metro, 19 December 2016)
- Example: ‘Watkins let fly from outside the box and saw his shot squirm under David Stockdale.’ (SW London, 20 February 2018).