The 10 Oldest Players in Premier League History

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On Saturday, Brad Friedel became only the fourth player in Premier League history to play at the age of 42 and the first in six and a half years.

Here are the top 10 oldest players to feature in the Premier League since it rebranded in 1992:

10. Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United – 40 years, 6 months, 24 days)

A Premier League record holder for most consecutive minutes in both the Premier League and world football, Edwin van der Sar kept went 1,302 minutes without conceding a single goal during the 2008-09 season.

The 130-time Dutch international goalkeeper, Edwin van der Sar first arrived in England with Fulham in 2001, signed from Italian Serie A giants Juventus who has just signed Gianluigi Buffon from rivals Parma.

Arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and world football has ever seen, van der Sar won the Premier League with Manchester United four times, the Dutch Eredivisie four times with Ajax and the Champions League once with each club, as well as a number of other trophies during his illustrious career.

9. Mark Schwarzer (Fulham – 40 years, 7 months, 13 days)

Mark Schwarzer ended his Fulham career on 19 May 2013 and signed off with a 3-0 victory at Swansea City before moving on a free transfer to Chelsea this summer. The Australian goalkeeper is in his 18th consecutive season in English football, and with the exception of half a season with Bradford City during the 1996-97 and a season with Middlesbrough in 1997-98, he has spent most of these in the top flight.

He was Middlesbrough’s first choice goalkeeper in the Premier League for 10 consecutive seasons before moving to Fulham in the summer of 2008. After failing in a bid for Norwich City’s John Ruddy, José Mourinho picked up Mark Schwarzer on a free transfer following his release from Chelsea.

Schwarzer has yet to appear in the Premier League for Chelsea, backing up Petr Čech. He is now 41 and an appearance this month would move him up to number 9 on the all-time oldest players list.

8. Teddy Sheringham (West Ham United – 40 years, 8 months, 28 days)

The only outfield player on the list, former Tottenham, Manchester United and England international Teddy Sheringham is the oldest player to score a goal in the Premier League, and the only player to do so above the age of 40.

Teddy Sheringham’s football career pre-dates the Premier League, playing in the old First Division with both Millwall and Nottingham Forest. After scoring 1 Premier League goal for Forest, he moved to Tottenham Hotspur the same season in 1992-93 and finished as the inaugural Premier League season’s top scorer.

Sheringham’s final Premier League game came on 30 December 2006 in a 1-0 home loss against Manchester City whilst playing for West Ham. He then went on to play for Colchester United in the Championship before retiring from professional football.

7. Jens Lehmann (Arsenal – 41 years, 5 months, 0 days)

After four successful seasons at Arsenal before a final season spent mostly sitting on the bench between 2003-08, Jens Lehmann came back as an emergency signing by Arsène Wenger in March 2011 due to injuries to Wojciech Szczęsny, Łukasz Fabiański and Vito Mannone.

Following a pre-game injury to Manuel Almunia on 10 April 2011, Lehmann started in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Blackpool – making his 200th appearance for the Gunners in all competitions and becoming the oldest player to play for them in the Premier League.

This would be Jens Lehmann’s final game as a professional footballer, having previously retired at VfB Stuttgart at the end of the 2009-10 Bundesliga season. He was a one-time Premier League and FA Cup winner with Arsenal, part of the Invincibles, as well as reaching the Champions League final in 2006 with the London side. He remains the Champions League holder for most consecutive clean sheets in the competition.

6. Kevin Poole (Bolton Wanderers – 41 years, 5 months, 11 days)

Now 50-years old, Kevin Poole made his last Premier League appearance back on New Years’ Day 2005 in a 1-1 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion, whilst playing for Bolton Wanderers.

Having played for both Aston Villa and Middlesbrough in the 80’s, Poole enjoyed his first Premier League experience with Leicester City.

Incredibly, Kevin Poole is still on the playing staff at League Two side Burton Albion but has yet to make an appearance.

5. Neville Southall (Everton – 41 years, 5 months, 26 days)

After 17 seasons with Everton in the top flight of English football (6 of those in the Premier League), Neville Southall moved to Doncaster Rovers in the Conference in 1998-99 after loan spells wiith Southend United and Stoke City. The former Wales number 1 only spent a brief time at Doncaster before playing a season and a half with Torquay United in the Third Division (fourth tier).

Paul Jewell’s newly-promoted Bradford City appointed Southall as a player-coach in their inaugural Premier League season of 1999-2000. And following injuries to Aidan Davison, Matt Clarke and Gary Walsh, Southall got his 1 and only Premier League appearance with the Bantams on 12 March 2000, losing 2-1 to Leeds United.

Neville Southall was regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world at one point, winning the First Division with Everton in 1984-85 and 1986-87, The FA Cup in 1984 and 1995 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1985.

4. Brad Friedel (Tottenham Hotspur – 42 years, 5 months, 23 days)

Roy Evans first brought Brad Friedel to the Premier League as Liverpool manager in December 1997. He had previously had a work permit appeal twice rejected, first when Brian Clough tried to sign the American goalkeeper for Nottingham Forest in 1993, and then Kevin Keegan for Newcastle United in 1994.

He has remained in England ever since, spending only one season outside the top flight – with Blackburn Rovers in 2000-01; his first full season in English football after spending most of his three seasons at Liverpool as a backup.

Brad Friedel continues to hold the record of 310 consecutive Premier League games, set between August 2004 at Blackburn up until October 2012 when he was benched at Tottenham Hotspur in favour of Hugo Lloris. His appearance on Saturday in a 1-0 loss to Newcastle makes him the fourth oldest player ever to play in the Premier League.

3. Steve Ogrizovic (Coventry City – 42 years, 7 months, 24 days)

A regular for Coventry City since they signed him from Shrewsbury Town in 1984, Steve Ogrizovic was the Sky Blues’ first choice goalkeeper for their first six seasons in the Premier League. He eventually surrendered his spot to Magnus Hedman before retiring at the end of the 1999-2000 season.

In the penultimate game of that season, on 6 May 2000, Steve Ogrizovic played his last professional match as a footballer, in goal for Coventry City for their 4-1 home win against Sheffield Wednesday to get his sign off from the fans at Highfield Road. The following season they were relegated.

Steve Ogrizovic was the backup goalkeeper for Liverpool in their 1978 and 1981 European Cup successes.

2. Alec Chamberlain (Watford – 42 years, 10 months, 23 days)

Alex Chamberlain had previously been Watford’s first choice goalkeeper during their first Premier League campaign of 1999-2000, but played backup to Ben Foster and Richard Lee during their second spell in the Premier League; the 2006-07 season.

On 13 May 2007, Alex Chamberlain got his first game of that season and what would turn out to be his last in professional football, less than two months short of his 43rd birthday, in a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle United.

Alex Chamberlain was a League Cup winner with Liverpool in 1995, despite never making an appearance for them whilst on loan from Sunderland as a substitute. That makes his record as nearly as impressive as Pegguy Arphexad…

1. John Burridge (Manchester City – 43 years, 5 months, 11 days)

The oldest player to make their debut in the Premier League and the oldest player to ever play in the Premier League, John Burridge was 43 years, 5 months and 11 days old when he made his fourth and final appearance in the English top flight on 14 May 1995 in a 3-2 loss at home to Queens Park Rangers as Manchester City.

Brian Horton was the coach and Tony Coton had been the first choice goalkeeper until an injury cut his season short and saw Burridge in between the sticks for the final few games.

John Burridge’s professional career began with Workington in 1969, playing for a very large number of clubs during his career before hanging his boots up at the age of 45 whilst at Blyth Spartans.

One Reply to “The 10 Oldest Players in Premier League History”

  1. It’s surprising (but also not surprising at the same time) that Teddy is the only outfield player in the list. Perhaps Giggs will catch up with him…?

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