“And it’s gone in on off his colostomy bag”
After taking on a twist of the dirtiest Premier League players last week, and in the process of which aiming to persuade you that Kieran Richardson should be amongst them, this week we thought that we would bring a twist to a Premier League goalscorers list, and look back at some of the golden oldies.
After genuinely allowing a football obsessed housemate to have a guess at a few names and him only getting five of the top ten, it would be fair to say that this is a ‘who is he’ rather than ‘who’s who’. However, these are players that should be celebrated. Are they the real ‘golden (sepia) generation?’
Oh and for people thinking that I have forgotten Giggsy, the moment he scores from now on he will jump into position number 10.
10. Les Ferdinand – Bolton Wanderers
We open and close our list with an old warhorse of a striker, and the abiding memory of Ferdinand’s career was seeing him hang high above defenders before powering a header beyond a hapless keeper.
After the glory days at QPR, Newcastle and Spurs Les drifted through five more clubs, but his last Premier League stop was Bolton Wanderers. Aged 37 he memorably scored for Bolton a goal that looked like a winner against Manchester United, only for David Bellion to equalise.
To fans of more than one of his clubs, he will always be remembered Sir Les.
9. Peter Schmeichel – Aston Villa
The sort of stat you bring up that you try and ctrl + s somewhere in your brain for football pub quizzes. In October 2001 the Big Dane went up and scored from a corner against Everton to grab an equaliser for Villa. A minute later and he had conceded as the Villains somehow still managed to lose the game.
The goal was the last of an impressive nine league goals in Schmeichel’s career, and in doing so gains a bizarre place in our countdown, although he left Villa shortly after, after they failed to adhere to his contract that stated that the keeper must be picked for every game for which he was fit.
8. Gary Speed – Bolton Wanderers
Mr Premier League? 535 games for Leeds, Everton, Newcastle and Bolton, Speed shines as the beacon of consistency. He had little flair, but a desire to retain fitness allowed him to prolong a solid club and international career, and his last goal was for Bolton Wanders on 25th August 2007.
Unfortunately his managerial career has remained fairly stagnant until now, having only won six of his nineteen games with Sheffield United and Wales.
7. Graham Alexander
In recent seasons, there has been a spate of players that have come up with promoted teams and surpassed expectations massively. Take DJ Campbell and Charlie Adam, for example.
Alexander is the epitome of this. In fact, there must be a modicum of regret that he did not manage to make the jump to Premier League level earlier; he made his bow at 37 years of age, becoming the oldest Premier League debutant (I would check that fact on the basis that I have been unable to check it whatsoever!) Impressively scored eight penalties in Burnley’s maiden Premier League season, the last of which propelled him to seventh in this list.
6. Mick Harford – Wimbledon
There are a few genuine mysteries in the footballing world. Just how does Gary Megson keep getting jobs? Why is Michael Carrick? And how in the name of Jesus was Mick Harford still scoring in the Premier League in 1997? This is a player that started his career before Forest had even won a single European Cup.
Since retiring, has managed at several clubs, often on a caretaker basis, but is best remembered for his tenure at Luton Town, where despite incredible restraints he led them to the Football League Trophy.
5. Tugay – Blackburn Rovers
Look in the footballers’ dictionary under Lancashire Foreign Cult Heroes (a specific entrant I grant you) and you will find this man, probably sat chatting to Jay Jay Okocha.
Tugay was the antidote to a current crop of certain foreign imports, throwing himself wholeheartedly into a mid table Premier League battle in the twilight of his career, staying in Lancashire for 9 years, before eventually retiring at the age of 39.
Tugay’s success can be epitomised by the following quote and retort:
Fergie: “If he were ten years younger, Tugay’s ability would make him an ideal player for the Old Trafford team.”
Mark Hughes: “I do not wish he was ten years younger because if he was, he’d be playing in a Barcelona shirt.”
4. Mark Hughes – Blackburn Rovers
Whilst the early stages of Hughes’ career was intrinsically linked with success, his longevity should also be applauded. Hughes’s last Premier League goal came in 2002, and yet he played in every year of the 1980s.
His last spell was at Blackburn, where even at a ripe old age he played an integral part in Rovers’ promotion back to the Premier League. Although he was used in a more peripheral role in the top division, his one league goal propels him up our list, and he lifted the League Cup at the age of 38.
3. Stuart Pearce – West Ham United
I have a rule to never write a long opinion piece on Nottingham Forest, because I feel that I would struggle to be unbiased and unemotional. Opportunities to wax lyrical about Psycho, therefore, are not to be sniffed at.
The man is a giant, a throwback to the days of proper challenges, hard bastards and bite yer legs full backs. The man bled Forest, and bled England. Quite how he watches Premier League football (as England Under 21 manager) without running on the pitch to scream at the divers and play actors is beyond me.
Just watch the video at the top of the page, and try and tell me you don’t love him.
Scoring goals aged 38? Pahhh, this man has been on stage with the Sex Pistols.
2. Dean Windass – Hull City
I think that this is the only time you will find Dean Windass second on a list, as he would p*ss all over the competition in the Academy Award for Worst Pundit.
Possibly the epitome of working class footballing hero, with his low intellect and skills base juxtaposed with pure passion and determination, Windass deserved his pop at the Premier League, after scoring a quite wonderful winner in the Playoff final to secure Hull City’s place in the big time.
Although Windass was considered unfit or inadequate for significant Premier League action, on the 22nd November 2008 he scored the equaliser against Portsmouth, eventually given to him by the dubious goals panel, at the age of 39.
1. Teddy Sheringham – West Ham United
The ultimate underrated striker? Edward Sheringham didn’t have a great deal of pace in his Milwall days starting in 1983, so by the time he scored for West Ham in December 2006, at the age of 40 years and 270 days, Sheringham was positively going backwards.
In fact, with only five players having played Premier League football in their forties (and three of these being goalkeepers) it is a huge compliment to the England striker. In fact, given that he was criticised as an England party boy in 1996, a record of 365 goals in 949 career games (and over 600 of these at the highest level) is an incredible achievement. Quite frankly, could have been England’s greatest ever striker.