5 oldest professional footballers to feature in a matchday squad

Stanley Matthews
Stanley Matthews in action

Professional sport is a weird place. Success requires physical fitness and mental agility. A long career in sport is a test of endurance. That is why even the longest sporting careers generally end at most in the late thirties. In football, many goalkeepers end up playing a couple of years into their forties but their reflexes slow down and even the sharpest players fail to sustain the ability to perform at a professional level.

The older the player, the less likely he or she is to compete professionally. Therefore, to be even trusted to be in a matchday squad is some feat. Some of the players on this list did actually play while setting the record but some were forced into it by the circumstances around them. Some were honoured for their contribution and named in the squad for an ovation from the stands and still, others decided to play until their legs gave up!

Let take a look at the oldest footballers to have made a professional matchday squad:

#5 Sir Stanley Matthews (50 years, 5 days)

Sir Stanley Matthews is considered one of the most skilful footballers of all time. The Englishman enjoyed a professional football career for over 35 years. He began playing at the age of 15 and retired at the age of 50.

Sir Matthews believed that he ought to have continued playing for at least two more years but decided to end his playing career. He had two spells at Stoke City, where he also played in the youth teams and had a long spell with Blackpool.

A Ballon d'Or winner in 1956, Sir Matthews won a solitary FA Cup with Blackpool and finished his career with no Top Division titles. His legacy lives on to this day despite a lack of trophies.

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Edited by Amit Mishra
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