Celebrating athletes who defied the ageing process
Tom Brady is regarded by many as the greatest quarterback in history, having won more Super Bowls than any other player and setting an impressive number of records. Brady may yet break a few more: he recently signed a contract extension to the end of the 2022 NFL season - at which point he will be 45 years old.
Data correct up to end of 2020 season
43 (still active)
Most Super Bowl wins
Only two players in the history of the NFL have won more than four Super Bowls: Charles Haley with five and Brady with seven.
34 other players
Six of Brady’s Super Bowl wins were with the New England Patriots, whom he represented from 2000 to 2019. In 2020, he won his seventh championship with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during his first season in Florida.
Most career wins by a quarterback
Brady is one of the most successful players in the history of the NFL, having won far more regular season games than any other starting quarterback.
Oldest player to win an MVP award
Y. A. Tittle
Brady is the oldest player to win the season’s Most Valuable Player award and the only player to do so after turning 38. When he won the most recent of his three MVP awards in 2017, he was nearly three years older than the previous record holder Peyton Manning had been.
40 years 184 days
37 years 270 days
37 years 50 days
37 years 25 days
37 years 8 days
Most passing touchdowns
Brady’s passes have resulted in more touchdowns than those of any other player in NFL history.
Evergreen sporting legends:
After winning a gold medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics, Foreman turned professional the following year and took just three and a half years to become world heavyweight champion.
He retired suddenly in 1977 but returned to the sport a decade later, culminating in a shock win over 26-year-old Michael Moorer in 1994 at the age of 45.
This victory saw him regain the WBA belt he had lost to Muhammad Ali over two decades earlier.
Age at retirement: 48
Second fastest knockout by a heavyweight challenger
Liston vs. Patterson
Foreman vs. Frazier
When Foreman knocked out the previously undefeated Joe Frazier to win the WBA and WBC heavyweight titles in 1973, he needed just two rounds to do so.
Only Sonny Liston has knocked out a reigning heavyweight champion in a title fight more quickly.
Jersey Joe Walcott
46 years 5 months 18 days
42Y 2M 26D
38Y 7M 23D
39Y 8M 3D
Oldest heavyweight champion
Foreman remains the oldest boxer ever to win a world heavyweight title, relinquishing the belt he won from Moorer at the age of 46.
Last day as champion
29 Jun 1995
16 Dec 2013
28 Nov 2015
8 Mar 2008
23 Sep 1952
22 Nov 1986
30 Nov 1956
25 Feb 1964
22 June 1937
4 July 1919
22 Feb 1973
One of the youngest heavyweight champions
Foreman is also one of the youngest heavyweight champions of all time, with only five boxers having held a major belt at a younger age.
20Y 4M 23D
21Y 10M 26D
23Y 1M 9D
25 Sep 1962
22 Jan 1973
5 minutes 26 seconds
Gordie Howe attended a training camp with the New York Rangers during World War II and was still playing at the top level in the 1980s.
At the time of his retirement he was the all-time leader for appearances, goals and assists in the NHL.
Howe’s career lasted so long that he was able to play alongside two of his sons in his final season.
The 800 club
Howe remains one of only two players to score 800 goals in his NHL career, the other being the great Wayne Gretzky.
Age at retirement: 52
Oldest player to score 100 points in a season
Not only is Howe the oldest player to make an appearance in the NHL (doing so a month shy of his 53rd birthday) he is also the only player to ever score 100 points in a season after the age of 40.
40 years, 6 months & 10 days
37Y, 2M, 27D
35Y, 4M, 27D
35Y & 4D
34Y, 8M, 10D
Age at start of season
In a fitting passing of the torch, Howe’s final all-star game in 1980 was Gretzky’s first.
A forty-year record
Howe’s appearance record stood for over forty years until finally being bettered by Patrick Marleau in April 2021.
When Phil Mickelson turned 33, he didn’t have a single major to his name but now, aged 50, he has six of golf’s top honours in his trophy cabinet, leaving him one win outside the all-time top 10.
50 (still active)
Oldest major winner
Mickelson made history at the 2021 PGA Championship, becoming the first golfer to win a major in his fifties.
Longest PGA winning span
Davis Love III
Despite not winning a major until 2003, Mickelson clocked up his first win on the tour in 1991 as a 20-year-old amateur.
His triumph at the PGA Championship in 2021 made him the first golfer to win PGA tournaments across a 31-year span.
Tom Morris Sr.
50 years, 11 months, 8 days
48Y, 4M, 18D
46Y, 3M, 10D
46Y, 2M, 23D
45Y, 3M, 6D
2021 PGA Championship
1968 PGA Championship
1867 The Open Championship
1986 Masters Tournament
1961 PGA Championship
Charles Howell III
Since his first full tour in 1993, Mickelson has driven over 690 miles, which is more than any other player in that time and further than the length of Great Britain. His average of 292.4 yards across those 29 years is better than any player had ever recorded in a single season before his debut
694.0 miles in 4,177 drives
665.2 miles in 4,036 drives
651.2 miles in 4,189 drives
645.0 miles in 3825 drives
585.9 miles in 3,742 drives
Martina Navratilova was already the most-decorated player of the Open Era when she first retired in 1995, aged 38.
Not content with the contents of her glittering trophy cabinet, she returned in 2000 and went on to add a further three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles to her name.
Her victory in the 2003 Australian Open mixed doubles made her just the third player in history to complete a "boxed set" of major titles by winning the singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles at all four majors.
This victory also made her the oldest major champion in tennis history, a record she extended by winning the 2006 US Open, just over a month before her 50th birthday.
Most titles in the Open Era
Navratilova has won more titles in the open era than any other player in singles, doubles and mixed doubles
Most WTA Championships in both singles and doubles
Navratilova has won more WTA Championships than any other player in both singles and doubles.
Age at retirement: 49
She has won a staggering 354 titles in total, which is 165 clear of her nearest rival, Chris Evert
Billie Jean King
Over 50 major titles
Billie Jean King
Margaret Osborne duPont
Only Margaret Court has won more major titles than Navratilova, who is 20 clear of Serena Williams and Billie Jean King in joint third place.
Torres first represented the United States at the 1984 Olympic Games aged 17, winning a gold medal as part of the 4x100 metres freestyle team.
She would end up becoming the first American swimmer to qualify for five iterations of the games and narrowly missed out on a sixth in 2012 at the age of 45.
Over the course of her career she set world records in three events and won a total of 12 Olympic medals.
A glittering Olympic career
Returning from a seven-year absence from competitive swimming, Torres won five medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics, including two golds.
This made her the oldest woman to win an Olympic medal in swimming, at the age of 33.
Age at retirement: 45
She also won three silver medals at the age of 41 in the 2008 games in Beijing.
Inge de Bruijn
No female swimmer has won more Olympic medals than Torres - she is one of only two to have reached double figures.
One of the most successful swimmers ever
A world record holder
Torres has held world records in three events:
50 metre freestyle
4x100 metre freestyle relay
4x100 metre medley relay
Two of the medley records were set at the 2000 Summer Olympics and both saw her complete her leg in the fastest time despite being the oldest member of her team.
Amy Van Dyken