16 Scottish football stars who just kept playing

McCoist played into his late 30s with Kilmarnock after leaving Rangers. Picture: Ian Rutherford
McCoist played into his late 30s with Kilmarnock after leaving Rangers. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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TODAY brought with it the news that former Manchester United striker and current Stevenage manager Teddy Sheringham has registered himself as a player at the grand old age of 49.

Sir Stanley Matthews famously played at the top level until he was 50, but what about footballers north of the border?

Jim Leighton. Picture: Neil Hanna/TSPL

Jim Leighton. Picture: Neil Hanna/TSPL

We run down a comprehensive list of familiar SPFL faces who played well into their advanced years.

David Irons - 49

When Irons originally hung up his boots, in 2005, he was already an aged performer at 43. But Davie wasn’t done there. At the age of 49 he played, with distinction, in Threave Rovers 2-2 draw with Stenhousemuir in the Scottish Cup. Stenny were so impressed with his performance that they offered him the vacant manager’s role a short time later.

John Burridge - 45

John Burridge. Picture: Alan Ledgerwood/TSPL

John Burridge. Picture: Alan Ledgerwood/TSPL

The English goalkeeper played for - wait for it - 29 different clubs in his long career. Hibernian, Aberdeen, Dumfermline, Dumbarton and Falkirk were the Scottish stops included in that long journey. He is the oldest goalkeeper to have ever played in the English Premier League when he pulled on the gloves at Manchester City, in 1995, at 43.

Steve Banks - 41

Scottish football’s lucky charm. Banks has the distinction of collecting three Scottish Cup winners medals with three different non-Old Firm clubs, and he never played a minute in any of the finals. He did, however, feature in St Johnstone’s road to Hampden when they defeated Forfar on the way to their 2014 triumph, his last game as a professional a day before his 42nd birthday.

Ally McCoist - 38

Ray Wilkins. Picture: Graham Hamilton/TSPL

Ray Wilkins. Picture: Graham Hamilton/TSPL

Synonymous with Rangers, it’s perhaps easy to forget that Super Ally finished his career with three seasons at Kilmarnock. He couldn’t quite replicate his goalscoring exploits at Ibrox, netting only nine league goals in his time at Rugby Park before giving up the game.

Rab Douglas - 43

Having played for nine different clubs, including Celtic and two stints at Dundee, Rab Douglas is still adding to his 552 appearances tallied thus far. This term he’ll be looking to add to four SPL titles and three Scottish Cups with a league or play-off final winners medal with Forfar Athletic.

Craig Brewster - 42

Craig Nelson - with one half of his trademark curtains visible. Picture: Robert Perry/TSPL

Craig Nelson - with one half of his trademark curtains visible. Picture: Robert Perry/TSPL

While assisting Derek Adams at Ross County, Brewster mucked in by playing 10 times towards the end of the 2008-09 season. He performed surprisingly well, showing age is a mere number by netting three times, including a last minute winner in a 2-1 win over Dunfermline.

David Weir - 41

When Weir started his career at Falkirk he was already 21 years old. This is perhaps why he was able to perform at such a high level for so long. Scotland’s sixth-most capped player retired in 2012 after time finally caught up with him as he made only one appearance in his final season at Rangers.

Jim Leighton - 42

Scotland Hall of Fame inductee Jim Leighton saw a career out that spanned 23 years. Having made 382 appearances for Aberdeen over two spells, and 151 for Hibernian, the goalkeeper was capped 91 times for the national team. He was Scotland’s oldest ever player until 2010, when he his record was superseded by David Weir.

Andy Millen - 45

The St Mirren defender became the oldest SPL player when he featured for the Paisley club against Hearts in March 2008 at 42 years and 279 days. But he wasn’t done there. Three years later he registered to play for Queen’s Park, making 19 league appearances as a 45-year-old.

Marvin Andrews - 39

Owner of the world’s most cheerful Snapchat account, Andrews is still going strong for Clyde in League Two. Last season he played a pivotal role in deciding the outcome of the first ever pyramid play-off final, when he equalised the tie for Montrose with a second half header. The Gable Endies would go on to win the match 3-1, preserving their football league status.

Colin Cameron - 43

The former Scottish international’s last appearance for Berwick Rangers as player-manager - prior to his sacking - came a couple of weeks after his 43rd birthday. Although, his insistence on playing himself was something which rankled with the Berwick support and may have contributed to his dismissal.

Craig Nelson - 42

Having been a journeyman goalkeeper for most of his 14 career, Nelson wouldn’t have thought much about joining Brechin when he pitched up in 2004 on loan from St Johnstone. Instead, it was to start a nine-year love affair with the Angus club before his eventual retirement last year.

Owen Coyle - 39

The current head coach at Houston Dynamo played 22 times across two season with St Johnstone after taking on the role of player-manager. He wasn’t all that prolific, to put it mildly, scoring zero goals in that time. He soon learned the key to being a good player-manager is knowing when not to play yourself.

Ray Wilkins - 41

In a career reaching 24 years, Ray Wilkins made an eyebrow-raising 695 club appearances, and was capped 84 times for the England national team. He played with distinction for Rangers, though, unfortunately, younger fans will mainly remember him for a ill-advised move to Hibs in his advancing years.

Davie Cooper - 39

Not far behind Wilkins in club appearances is Davie Cooper, making 645 in total. His most notable stints were those at Rangers and Motherwell. It was at the former that he gained the nickname “Super Cooper” for his skilful wing play. Still playing professionally up until he was 39, Cooper unfortunately passed away in 1995 during his second tenure at Clydebank.

Gary McAllister - 39

Lastly is Gary McAllister. With by far the most appearances listed, the former Motherwell and Scotland midfielder chalked up an astronomical 720 club games, scoring 129 goals. He famously enjoyed an Indian summer period to his career when he starred in the Liverpool side that won the cup treble in 2001 - McAllister was 36 at the time. He would retire as player-boss of Coventry.