Petr Cech in Chelsea squad: Ranking the 20 oldest players in Premier League history

Teddy Sheringham and Ryan Giggs

Whenever Premier League clubs announce their squad list for the current season, it’s never a particularly exciting time.

The names put together are usually nothing but a formality, a piece of paper with all the normal faces included.

However, this season’s was a little bit more interesting than that.

Mesut Ozil was left out of Arsenal’s squad and looks to have played his final match for the club but in more surprising news, Petr Cech was named on Chelsea’s list.

The goalkeeper hasn’t played a game since retiring in 2019 after playing for Arsenal in the Europa League final but could make his return at some point in 2020/21.

Because of the ever-changing nature of COVID-19, the Blues have named Cech as an emergency ‘keeper. He is currently Chelsea’s technical and performance advisor and will take up a playing role on a non-contract basis. 

At the age of 38, he is no spring chicken and if he gets the opportunity to play this season, he will become one of the oldest to do so in the Premier League. 

Petr Cech

However, there is a lengthy list ahead of him if he wants to become the oldest the English top-flight has ever seen. 

Who makes this crop of names, though? GIVEMESPORT reveals all…

20. Jussi Jaaskelainen – 39 years 09 months 23 days

One of the latest names to make the top 20 is the Finnish goalkeeper. Jaaskelainen last made a Premier League appearance for West Ham against Southampton in 2015, keeping a clean sheet in the process. 

19. John Lukic – 39 years 11 months 00 days

Unsurprisingly, this list is made up of lots of goalkeepers but you have to go back 20 years to the last time Lukic featured for Arsenal in the top-flight. Like Jaaskelainen, he kept a clean sheet during a 0-0 draw with Derby County.

18. Dave Beasant – 39 years 11 months 00 days

Another ‘keeper? Yep, you guessed it. Beasant was very nearly 40 when he shipped three goals during Nottingham Forest’s defeat to Chelsea in 1999. He didn’t quite have the same fortunes as Lukic and Jaaskelainen. 

17. Bryan Robson – 39 years 11 months 21 days

The first outfield player to feature on this list, Robson last played in the Premier League for Middlesbrough all the way back in 1997. Unfortunately, that came during a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal. The midfielder made 461 appearances for Manchester United before that. 

Bryan Robson

16. Steve Harper – 40 years 02 months 10 days

We’re now into the 40s with Harper who is one of the newest names to make his way onto this list. He played in goal for Newcastle during a 0-0 draw with Man United in May 2015. 

15. Gordon Strachan – 40 years 02 months 24 days

The Scot may now be a successful manager and pundit, but he was a pretty handy player back in the day and featured in the Premier League at the age of 40 for Coventry City. That was all the way back in May 1997 when the Sky Blues lost to Derby.

14. Kevin Phillips – 40 years 02 months 26 days

One of the finest goalscorers the Premier League has ever seen, Phillips’ last top-flight game was back in 2013 when his Crystal Palace side lost 4-1 against Fulham. Also in the Eagles’ side that day was Marouane Chamakh – remember him? 

Kevin Phillips

13. David Seaman – 40 years 03 months 22 days

A bonafide Premier League legend, Seaman’s last game at this level came for Manchester City in 2004. The Citizens weren’t the powerhouses they are now and lost 4-2 to Portsmouth. Not great.

12. Shay Given – 40 years 04 months 29 days

Like we said, this list is full of goalkeepers, mainly because the fitness levels don’t need to be as huge when you’re standing between the sticks. Given is a player with 451 Premier League appearances to his name, though, the last of which came in 2016 when his Stoke team were battered 4-1 by Palace.

11. Ryan Giggs – 40 years 05 months 07 days

Giggs is probably one of the best players on this list and it was remarkable that at the age of 40 he was still playing for Man United. His last match for the Red Devils was in 2014 when they beat Hull City 3-1 at Old Trafford.

Ryan Giggs

10. Edwin van der Sar – 40 years 06 months 23 days

There’s something about Man United players featuring in their 40s and the great Dutch ‘keeper Van Der Sar is another. He last played in the Premier League in 2011 during a 4-2 win for United over Blackpool.

9. Teddy Sheringham – 40 years 08 months 28 days

Sheringham was the striker that just kept on giving, not retiring until he was 42 and at Colchester United. However, just a few years earlier, he was still whacking in goals at the top-level, last appearing in the Premier League for West Ham in December 2006. He is one of a few players to play in 700 career games. He also played international football until he was 36.

8. Jens Lehmann – 41 years 05 months 00 days

The German stopper thought his Premier League career was over when he left Arsenal for Stuttgart in 2008 and retired in 2010. However, he had to return to the Gunners’ set-up in 2011 as emergency injury cover, playing against Blackpool in a 3-1 win at Bloomfield Road. 

Jens Lehmann

7. Kevin Poole – 41 years 05 months 11 days

The Englishman is now working as a goalkeeper coach at Kidderminster Town and has just 48 appearances to his name in the Premier League. However, the fact he was still playing at the age of 41 is mightily impressive. Poole last featured for Bolton in January 2005.

6. Neville Southall – 41 years 05 months 25 days

Remember when Bradford were in the Premier League? Well, Neville Southall made the last of his top-flight appearances when that happened all the way back in 2000. That came during a 2-1 defeat against Leeds.

5. Mark Schwarzer – 42 years 05 months 08 days

To be quite honest with you, playing professional football at the age of 42 nearly defies belief. Schwarzer may have been a goalkeeper and thus, not required to run around so much, but he played for Leicester the year before they won the Premier League title. His last game for the Foxes was in a 0-0 draw with Hull in March 2015. 

Mark Schwarzer

4. Brad Friedel – 42 years 05 months 23 days

The American has a colossal number of Premier League games to his name – 450 – the last of which happened in 2013 when he was playing for Spurs. Friedel’s final outing came in November 2013 when Tottenham lost to Newcastle.

3. Steve Ogrizovic – 42 years 07 months 24 days

The second Coventry player to feature on this list, Ogrizovic made the last of his 191 top-flight appearances in 2000 during a 4-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. 

2. Alec Chamberlain – 42 years 10 months 23 days

The penultimate name, Chamberlain only ever played in the Premier League on 28 occasions. However, he managed to play while very nearly 43 when he turned out for Watford in 2007. 

Alec Chamberlain replaces Ben Foster for Watford in 2007

1. John Burridge – 43 years 05 months 11 days

This is utter madness. Burridge was 43 when he made the last of his outings at this level, playing for Manchester City all the way back in 1995. They lost 3-2 to QPR on that day, but it will forever go down in history. It would be surprising if anyone broke this record. 

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