Age Is Just A Number
Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier became the youngest goalkeeper in Premier League history to reach 50 Premier League appearances as his side drew 2-2 with Brentford last weekend.
Meslier is breaking all kinds of records at the tender age of 21. But what about those who have broken records before him?
We look back to the previous youngest and oldest record holders in the Premier League and where they are now.
Broke record of youngest goalkeeper to reach 50 appearances at Manchester City in 2009 - now at Celtic
Joe Hart was a mere nine days older than Meslier when he reached the same appearance milestone in a 1-0 defeat at Stoke in 2009.
Even though he was tipped for great things, Hart was sent on loan to Birmingham City shortly after playing his 50th Premier League game for Manchester City. Considering it was his 5th season in professional football at the age of just 21, Hart was way ahead of the trajectory in his development.
After returning from St Andrew’s in the summer of 2010, Hart would win two Premier Leagues, two League Cups and an FA Cup at City and amassed 75 caps for England.
Following a difficult few years since leaving City, he seems a lot more settled at Celtic where he currently plies his trade.
Broke the record of youngest goalkeeper to ever play in the Premier League at West Ham in 1996 – Now unknown
The youngest goalkeeper to ever appear in the Premier League, Neil Finn started for West Ham at Manchester City on New Year’s Day on 1996 just three days after his 17th birthday.
Finn, who was drafted in as a late replacement to both Ludek Miklosko and Les Sealey, put in a respectable display for one so young as him despite going down 2-1 at Maine Road.
Part of the fabled West Ham set-up that produced Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand, Finn’s only ever Premier League appearance was one that has set a record yet to be broken. He left for Aldershot town in 1998 before spending six years at Romford Town. Now aged 42, very little is known about the West Ham academy graduate.
Broke the record of oldest goalkeeper to ever play in the Premier League for Manchester City - Now working in Oman
Given his innovative approach to nutrition and unorthodox warmups, it’s no surprise that the maverick John Burridge amassed nearly 800 appearances in a career spanning just short of 30 years.
In 1995, at the age of 43, Burridge joined relegation threatened Manchester City in amidst of a goalkeeping crisis.
Burridge not only became the oldest goalkeeper to play in the Premier League, but the oldest player full stop.
He broke his own record in each of the four occasions he played for City. His final game and still the record came at home to QPR in a 3-2 defeat at the age of 43 years, four months and 26 days.