“With Leon Clarke making his Premier League debut at the age of 34 for Sheffield United against Liverpool, who is the oldest debutant in a top division?” tweets Joe Turner. We’ve unearthed a golden oldie who can beat the ageing Blade by two years. Now-retired Brighton defender Bruno captained the Seagulls to promotion and then made his first appearance in the English top flight at 36 and only two months shy of his 37th birthday. But Tom Aldous points us in the direction of Graham Alexander who, at the ripe age of 37, made his Premier League debut for Burnley in 2009. Italy has always been an accommodating place for footballers who have got a fair few miles on the clock, so it is little surprise that a 39-year-old made his bow in Serie A in 2016. Goalkeeper Maurizio Pugliesi turned out for Empoli against Torino in the last game of the season and ended up on the winning team too, the home side victorious 2-1. Sticking with goalkeepers, the one and only John Burridge was … [Read more...] about Who is the oldest footballer to make their debut in a top-flight division?
Notts county football club
Former English Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore has been appointed special advisor to the A-League clubs and head of league Greg O’Rourke. The appointment comes as the A-League, W-League, Y-League and E-League transition to independence from the FFA. Scudamore played a significant role in transforming the Premier League into the most-watched league in world sports, growing its revenues from £148m in 1997-98 to the current £3.2b for 2019-20. “I am obviously delighted to be involved at such an important and exciting time for the professional game in Australia,” Scudamore said in a statement. “The strategic planning that has taken place is impressive and I believe I can very much help build on that work. “The Australian game has so much potential for growth and global resonance. There is clearly the necessary commitment from the Clubs to realise that potential as quickly as possible.” Paul Lederer, chairman of the Australian … [Read more...] about Former Premier League chief Richard Scudamore to assist Australian football
“I recently stumbled upon this article about Tony Hibbert signing for an unbeaten Sunday league team in 2017 and missing a penalty for them in a 1-0 defeat on his debut. Which other former professionals have extended their careers into Sunday league football after retiring,” asks George Jones. The smell of liniment oil and the thrill of almost being cut in two by a hungover centre-back would appear to be quite the draw for ex-pros as there have been a few turning out for Sunday teams over the years. “I remember Julio Arca, formerly of Sunderland and Middlesborough, playing for his local team Willow Pond FC in Sunderland for a period after he retired in 2013,” writes Robert Kelly. “He later played for South Shields at a higher standard.” Ali Tabari can go one better. He has a former Premier League player being managed by a former Premier League player in the pock-marked fields of Warwickshire. “My friend until recently played for a team near … [Read more...] about Which former pros have played Sunday league football after retiring?
Björn, the wicked barman I met in Finland, was cutting. “San Marino is like the Åland Islands having their own league. You only need two barely functional legs and to be aged 18 to 40.” I was now 41, but San Marino was surely my best chance of playing a match on my travels. San Marino was the lowest-ranked league based on club results in European competition over the previous five seasons. Only Kosovo, unable to accrue ranking points until they became a member of Uefa in 2016, had a lower coefficient. My chances of playing were improved further by watching the final round of matches in the regular league season. And I even chose a dead match, Murata against Virtus, involving the worst team in top‑division European football. Murata had drawn one and lost 18 of their league matches and had a goal difference of minus 50. I spoke to Matteo, an Italian follower of my travels who compiles San Marino statistics – appearances, goals and subjective attributes … [Read more...] about A dog, a cat and 22 fans: watching European football’s worst top-flight team
The two-time Olympic 800m gold medallist Caster Semenya appears to be preparing for a career outside of athletics after joining a women’s football club. The 28-year-old is currently appealing against a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport which approved the IAAF’s introduction of a new testosterone limit for female athletes. The governing body introduced the rule change because it argues female athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) – such as Semenya – have “a competitive advantage”. Under the rule, all athletes with a difference in sex development should reduce their blood testosterone to a specific level for at least six months – and then maintain that for the rest of their athletic career – in order to compete in events from 400m to a mile. Semenya has remained “steadfast in her defiance” to do so and, as such, is unable to defend her 800m world title in Doha later this month without taking … [Read more...] about Caster Semenya starts ‘new journey’ after joining football team