Retro: Man Utd ‘Keeper Nick Culkin Sets Record For Shortest Premier League Career By Coming On For Two Seconds Against Arsenal, 1999 (Photo & Video)

Chris Wright

29th, January 2019


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While longevity is routinely revered in football, there is something to be said for notable brevity too.

Three players have tallied 600 or more appearances in the Premier League since the league’s 1992 inception. Another 10 can claim to have breached the 500-match mark, and 25 more have made it past 400.

However, only one man can claim to have enjoyed a top flight career that lasted less time than it takes to pronounce the name of the teammate he came on to replace while making his incredibly concise debut for Manchester United in 1999.

United were 2-1 up against Arsenal at Highbury when, with the match just about to tick over into stoppage time, a burly Martin Keown lunge saw ‘keeper Raimond van der Gouw have to leave the pitch on a stretcher.

On came 20-year-old understudy Nick Culkin to make his senior debut. He took the resulting freekick and the referee blew for full time.

That was that.

Culkin never made another appearance for United and soon left the club on loan to Hull, then on to Bristol Rovers and Livingston.

He moved down the leagues until, in March of 2014, he signed for FC United of Manchester for one last tour of duty, thus becoming the first ever player to have represented both United and FC.

Since formally retiring, Culkin has taken to playing for United once again, though only in a semi-official capacity as part of the legends team that faced Liverpool at the ‘Battle of the Reds’ tournament in Singapore in 2015.

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His Premier League involvement may have only extended to a couple of seconds, but Culkin’s name is still forever etched in the English (and quite probably, world) football record books.

At the very least, he’s got one hell of an anecdote tucked up his sleeve should he be presented with an occasion to tell.

Posted in Man Utd, Retro, Videos

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  1. jackie wilshere says:

    neat tidbits, the 2sec Premier League career but also turning out for MUFC and FCUM. good article

  2. Rob says:

    2 seconds and now he’s a Man U legend!

  3. Yas says:

    Think about it this way, it’s much better to be third choice keeper at United and to play two seconds in the Premier League than to have our ordinary-not-well-paid jobs. I guess.

  4. maria says:

    Play for Man Utd for two seconds, be considered a legend :D

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