75-year-old grandfather scores on professional debut
An Egyptian, Ezzeldin Bahader, has become the oldest professional footballer to ever scored on his debut.
Th 75-year-old man scored from the penalty spot on Saturday for his club 6th October in the third division of Egyptian football.
“I became the oldest professional footballer scoring a goal in an official game,” he said afterwards.
“This is something that was achieved in the last minute of the game that I thought I wouldn’t achieve. I was injured and all what I hoped for was to continue for the full 90 minutes and play the next game.”
The father of four and grandfather of six needs to play two full games to qualify as an entry in the Guinness World Records book.
His goal was an equalizer for his team, as 6th October drew 1-1 with rivals Genius.
He must now play another full 90 minutes in a second game, which is due to take place on 21 March, to be officially recognised as the world’s oldest footballer by Guinness World Records.
Should Bahader play the next game, he will be claiming Israel’s Isaak Hayik record.
Hayik, a goalkeeper, is world’s oldest professional Football player when played for Ironi Or Yehuda at 73 years and 95 days.
In January, the Egyptian FA announced the registration of a septuagenarian player who had never previously appeared in professional football.
Having first started playing football in the streets of the Egyptian capital Cairo as a six-year-old, it was only seven decades later that he started to write to teams in the unlikely dream of joining a club.
Cairo-based October 6 were the club that took him, with an eye on getting their place in the record books.
“It is very good for Egypt to have someone in the Guinness Book of Records and for us to have him in the October 6 club,” said club coach Ahmed Abdel Ghany.
“Honestly, we won’t benefit from him 100% on the technical side but we rehabilitated him in the previous period so that he would be able to play the required 90 or 180 minutes (to qualify for the Guinness World Records book).”
Bahader has recently been training both with the club and at home with a personal trainer in a bid to make his mark.