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10-Mar-2020, 02:56 am

Egypt's world record-chasing 75-year-old scores on professional debut

Ezzeldin Bahader

A 75-year-old Egyptian aiming to play two matches in order to be classed by the Guinness World Record books as the oldest ever professional has scored on his debut.

Ezzeldin Bahader, who is a father of four and grandfather of six, needs to play one more game if he is to be recognised as the game's oldest player.

He scored in his first game, a late penalty for his team 'October 6' against their great rivals Genesis, as the teams drew 1-1, playing 90 minutes despite the fact he was carrying an injury.

He must now wait for the team's next game on March 21 in order to pass the record set by Israeli goalkeeper Isaak Hayik, who played last year for lower-league side Ironi Or Yehuda at the age of 73 years and 95 days.

"I became the oldest professional footballer scoring a goal in an official game," Ezzeldin said afterward the match.

"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 that I hoped for was to continue for the full 90 minutes and play the next game."

The forward, who played despite struggling with a knee injury, used to play amateur football as a younger man during his career as a civil engineering consultant and then a land cultivation expert.

"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 an attempt to make his mark.

He wrote to a number of clubs around Egypt in a bid to claim the record, with October 6 taking him on in a willing effort to join him in the record books.

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