Celebrating the 23 Oldest Professional Athletes From Every Sport

In the world of sports, where youth and vitality often take center stage, there exists a group of remarkable individuals who defy the conventional timeline of athletic careers. These athletes, in the twilight of their years, continue to lace up their boots, step onto the field, and compete at the highest level in their respective sports. From baseball diamonds to soccer pitches, boxing rings to tennis courts, they have not only challenged age-related expectations but have also inspired countless sports enthusiasts with their enduring passion and skill. Join us as we discuss the 23 oldest professional athletes from every sport, each with their own incredible story of perseverance and longevity in the world of athletics.

The List of the 23 Oldest Professional Athletes From Every Sport

1. Kazuyoshi Miura

56 years old

Sport: Association football (Soccer)
Year Retired: Active
Age: 56 years old

Kazuyoshi Miura, often known simply as Kazu, is a Japanese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Liga Portugal 2 club Oliveirense, on loan from J1 League club Yokohama FC. He is regarded as the oldest professional footballer in history and the oldest player to score in a professional match

An association football (soccer) player who defied age expectations by continuing to play professionally well into his senior years.

2. Sampson Hosking

48 years old

Sport: Australian rules football
Year Retired: 1936
Age: 48 years old

Sampson Hosking was an Australian rules footballer who played for the Port Adelaide Football Club in the South Australian Football League. He was twice a recipient of the Magarey Medal, an individual award given in recognition of being the best and fairest player in the SAFL.

An Australian rules football athlete known for his impressive performance in his later playing years, showcasing his enduring athleticism until the age of 48.

3. Sobiesław Zasada

91 years old

Sport: Auto racing (Rallying)
Year Retired: 2021
Age: 91 years old

Sobiesław Jan Zasada, a Polish rally driver and economist, achieved remarkable success in the sport. He clinched the European Rally Championship titles in 1966, 1967, and 1971, while securing the runner-up position in 1968, 1969, and 1972.

In recognition of his achievements, he was honored as the Polish Sports Personality of the Year in 1967. Remarkably, Zasada continued his auto racing career until the extraordinary age of 91, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.

4. Satchel Paige

59 years old

Sport: Baseball
Year Retired: 1966
Age: 59 years old

Leroy Robert “Satchel” Paige, a prominent American professional baseball pitcher, left an indelible mark on both Negro league baseball and Major League Baseball. His illustrious career spanned an astonishing five decades and ultimately led to his well-deserved induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Satchel Paige’s legendary status in baseball is underscored by his remarkable feat of playing professionally until the age of 59, a testament to his enduring talent and unwavering passion for the game that he demonstrated over many years.

5. Pierluigi Marzorati

54 years old

Sport: Basketball
Year Retired: 2006
Age: 54 years old

Pierluigi Marzorati, widely known as “Pierlo,” is a former professional basketball player hailing from Italy. He has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of Europe’s finest point guards, achieving the prestigious title of Mister Europa in 1976. Notably, he was also honored by being included in FIBA’s 50 Greatest Players list in 1991.

Marzorati’s career as a basketball athlete is marked by his extraordinary skill and endurance, as he continued to excel in the sport until the remarkable age of 54 years old.

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6. Albert Beckles

53 years old

Sport: Bodybuilding
Year Retired: 1991
Age: 53 years old

Albert “Al” Beckles, renowned as an IFBB pro bodybuilder and Mr. Universe, boasts an impressive record of three New York City ‘Night of Champions’ victories. His remarkable feat lies in his ability to remain competitive at the highest echelons of bodybuilding well into his fifties.

This bodybuilder’s journey is defined by his extraordinary achievements in bodybuilding competitions during his later years, challenging preconceived notions about age limitations in the sport by competing until the age of 53.

7. Carmen Salvino

86 years old

Sport: Bowling
Year Retired: 2020
Age: 86 years old

Carmen Salvino, a prominent figure in professional ten-pin bowling, is not only a skilled bowler but also an inventor, author, and ambassador for the sport. As one of the founding members of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), he earned the nickname “PBA’s Original Showman.” Salvino’s bowling career is marked by numerous achievements, including 17 PBA Tour titles.

Remarkably, Salvino’s legacy extends beyond his competitive success. He is celebrated for his enduring talent and dedication to bowling, with a career that extended into his senior years, competing actively in the sport until the age of 86.

8. Albert Hughes

70 years old

Sport: Boxing
Year Retired: 2019
Age: 70 years old

Albert Hughes, a former professional boxer, made a remarkable return to the ring in 2019, marking his comeback after an absence from boxing since 1983. In a memorable match held at the Tyndall Armory in Indianapolis, Indiana, Hughes, at his age, defeated Tramane Towns, who was 43 years old at the time, via a second-round knockout.

What makes Hughes’ return even more inspiring is his motivation. He chose to step back into the ring in honor of his late son, a touching testament to the enduring spirit and dedication of senior athletes who continue to pursue their passion for sports.

9. Raja Maharaj Singh

72 years old

Sport: Cricket
Year Retired: 1950
Age: 72 years old

Raja Sir Maharaj Singh, who served as the inaugural Indian Governor of Bombay from May 17, 1878, to June 6, 1959, achieved a unique distinction in the world of cricket. At the remarkable age of 72, Maharaj Singh took on the role of captain for the Bombay Governor’s XI in a cricket match against a touring Commonwealth XI.

This remarkable feat earned him the distinction of being the oldest cricketer to debut in first-class cricket and the oldest player ever to participate in a first-class game, achieving this incredible milestone at the age of 72.

10. Lex Nederlof

52 years old

Sport: Cycling
Year Retired: 2018
Age: 52 years old

Leendert Arie Nederlof, a retired Dutch cyclist, made a name for himself with his remarkable longevity in professional cycling. His career spanned several notable achievements, including securing 1st place in the 1993 Flèche du Sud, a 3rd place finish in the 2001 Dorpenomloop Rucphen, an impressive 2nd place overall in the 2006 Tour of Hong Kong Shanghai, a 7th place finish in the 2007 Tour of Siam, a remarkable 1st place in the 2013 Melaka Governor’s Cup, and a commendable 10th place overall in the 2013 Jelajah Malaysia.

Nederlof’s ability to compete at such a high level until the age of 52 defied conventional expectations related to age in his sport.

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11. Gary Player

73 years old

Sport: Golf
Year Retired: 2009
Age: 73 years old

Gary James Player DMS, OIG is a celebrated retired South African professional golfer, renowned as one of the preeminent figures in golfing history. Throughout his illustrious career, Player clinched an impressive nine major championships on the regular tour and an additional nine major championships on the Champions Tour.

His enduring talent on the golf course remained evident as he continued to excel in the professional golfing arena well into his senior years, a testament to his remarkable skills that persisted until the impressive age of 72.

12. Oksana Chusovitina

48 years old

Sport: Gymnastics
Year Retired: Active
Age: 48 years old

Oksana Aleksandrovna Chusovitina, an accomplished artistic gymnast hailing from Uzbekistan, boasts a gymnastics career that has endured for over three decades. Her journey to excellence commenced with a victory at the USSR Junior Nationals in 1988, and she entered the international gymnastics arena in 1989, long before many of her present-day competitors had even begun their careers.

Chusovitina is celebrated for her remarkable and enduring career in gymnastics, consistently competing at an elite level, a feat she accomplished with unwavering dedication and skill until the remarkable age of 48.

13. Gordie Howe

52 years old

Sport: Ice hockey
Year Retired: 1980
Age: 52 years old

Gordon Howe OC, a revered Canadian professional ice hockey player, graced the rink from 1946 to 1980, amassing an impressive 26 seasons in the National Hockey League, along with six seasons in the World Hockey Association. Notably, he devoted the initial 25 seasons of his illustrious career to the Detroit Red Wings.

This legendary ice hockey player displayed an enduring passion for the game, competing at the professional level well into his senior years, a testament to his remarkable talent, until reaching the age of 52.

14. John Magowan

72 years old

Sport: International Darts
Year Retired: 2013
Age: 72 years old

Johnny Magowan, also affectionately known as John, hails from Northern Ireland and is a retired professional darts player. His darting journey saw him participate in events hosted by both the Professional Darts Corporation and the British Darts Organisation.

Magowan stands as a testament to unwavering dedication and skill in his chosen sport, persisting in competition until reaching the age of 52.

15. John Tavares

47 years old

Sport: Lacrosse
Year Retired: 2015
Age: 47 years old

John Tavares, a native of Canada, is a retired professional box lacrosse player who has transitioned into a coaching role. He currently serves as the head coach for both the Buffalo Bandits in the National Lacrosse League and the Six Nations Chiefs in the Major Series Lacrosse League.

Tavares stands out as an athlete who maintained a high level of performance well into his later years, showcasing his unwavering talent and dedication to his sport until he reached the age of 47.

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16. John Williams

70 years old

Sport: Mixed Martial Arts
Year Retired: 2010
Age: 70 years old

John Williams, a retired mixed martial artist from Canada, achieved a remarkable feat in his later years by becoming the oldest active professional in the sport. At the age of 70, he made his professional fight debut, stepping into the cage against Larry Brewbaker on July 24th, 2010.

This achievement wasn’t handed to Williams; he had to undergo a battery of rigorous physical and medical tests to demonstrate his readiness for professional mixed martial arts competition. Williams successfully cleared all these tests, proving that age was no barrier to his passion for the sport, and he competed as a senior in the world of mixed martial arts.

17. Billy Wilson

40 years old

Sport: Rugby league
Year Retired: 1967
Age: 40 years old

Billy Wilson, a representative front-row forward for Australia and New South Wales, demonstrated exceptional leadership on the national team as its captain during two Tests against New Zealand in 1963. Additionally, he took on the dual role of captain-coach for several of his club sides.

His rugby league career extended over an impressive twenty seasons, spanning from 1948 to 1967. Wilson’s remarkable dedication to the sport allowed him to compete at a high level until the age of 40, defying common expectations related to age in his sport.

18. Fred Davis

79 years old

Sport: Snooker
Year Retired: 1993
Age: 79 years old

Fred Davis OBE was a distinguished English player in both snooker and English billiards. His exceptional career was highlighted by an impressive eight-time victory in the World Snooker Championship from 1948 to 1956, coupled with a remarkable two-time win in the World Billiards Championship.

Davis was renowned for his remarkable achievements in these cue sports, serving as a testament to his enduring dedication and remarkable skills. Remarkably, he continued to compete professionally until the remarkable age of 79 years old.

19. Hanakaze Daisaku

51 years old

Sport: Sumo
Year Retired: 2022
Age: 51 years old

Hanakaze Daisaku, a retired professional sumo wrestler hailing from Tokyo, Japan, marked his debut in the sumo world in March 1986 while wrestling for Tatsunami stable. Notably, despite never ascending beyond the fourth division, he etched his name in the annals of sumo history by setting numerous records for his remarkable longevity within the sport.

Daisaku Hanakaze’s enduring dedication and immense talent in the world of sumo allowed him to continue excelling well into his later years, demonstrating his commitment to the sport until the impressive age of 51.

20. Kelly Slater

51 years old

Sport: Surfing
Year Retired: Active
Age: 51 years old

Kelly Slater, the iconic American professional surfer, has secured his place in surfing history by achieving an astounding 11 World Surf League championships, a record yet to be matched. Regarded as the unparalleled titan of professional surfing, Slater boasts an impressive tally of 56 victories on the Championship Tour.

What makes Slater’s journey all the more remarkable is his enduring commitment to the sport. Even in his senior years at the age of 51, he continues to display his remarkable skills on the waves, further solidifying his legacy in the world of surfing.

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21. Martina Navratilova

49 years old

Sport: Tennis
Year Retired: 2006
Age: 49 years old

Martina Navratilova, a Czech-American tennis sensation, has undoubtedly earned her place among the pantheon of tennis greats. With a staggering 59 major titles to her name, including 18 in singles, 31 in women’s doubles, and 10 in mixed doubles, Navratilova’s legacy in the sport is unparalleled, marking her as one of the greatest tennis players in history.

What truly sets Navratilova apart is her enduring dedication to the sport. Even as she gracefully entered her later years, she continued to compete at an elite level, shattering age-related expectations in tennis by competing until the age of 49. Her remarkable career serves as a testament to her unwavering love and commitment to the game.

22. Stanisław Kowalski

105 years old

Sport: Track and Field
Year Retired: 2022
Age: 105 years old

Stanisław Kowalski, a remarkable Polish supercentenarian, achieved something truly extraordinary at the age of 105. He made history by becoming the oldest competing athlete in the newly established M105 age category, participating in sprinting, shot put, and discus throw events.

At 105, the mere act of competing is a remarkable feat in itself. Kowalski’s remarkable longevity in the realm of track and field is nothing less than astonishing, serving as an inspiration to all.

23. Miguel Maia

52 years old

Sport: Volleyball
Year Retired: Active
Age: 52 years old

Luis Miguel Barbosa Maia, a beach volleyball athlete hailing from Portugal, made an impressive mark in his sporting career by participating in three consecutive Summer Olympics for his homeland, beginning in 1996.

Demonstrating unwavering dedication and a high level of skill, Miguel Maia continued to compete professionally in his chosen sport until he reached the age of 52.


As we conclude this journey through the world of sports and salute these extraordinary athletes, one thing becomes abundantly clear: age is just a number when it comes to passion, dedication, and the love of the game. The 23 athletes we’ve celebrated here have not only stretched the boundaries of their respective sports but also the limits of what is possible as we age. Their stories serve as a testament to the enduring spirit of human achievement and the power of perseverance. Through the decades, they’ve proven that the thrill of competition knows no age.

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