The remarkable Tom Brady could become the first quarter back to win the Super Bowl at 40 when the New England Patriots chase yet another title, against the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis on February 5.

And there may be more to come - Brady believes he can "decelerate the ageing process" and wants to keep chucking until he is 45.

Here are other 40-plus champions.

1) The golf majors have been won 38 times by players in their 40s, the most famous of recent times being Jack Nicklaus who was 46 when he won the 1986 Masters. The oldest winner though was Julius Boros, who took out the 1968 PGA Championship at the tender age of 48. Boros definitely got better with age, half of his 18 tour wins coming after he turned 40. At the age of 53, he shared the lead in the US Open with 10 holes to lay before fading. Boros died at the age of 74, on a Florida golf course. Feeling unwell, he drove a golf cart to his favourite spot where he suffered a heart attack.


2) Six years ago, Colorado Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer threw a winning major league game at the age of 49 years and 151 days, beating the record set by a Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher in 1932. He had won a world series with the Phillies in 2008, being the oldest player in Major League baseball at the time. Moyer's moderate "fast ball" was down to a pedestrian 130kph in the latter years, but he made up for that with variety.

Moyer once said: "I came to realise in my late 20s that my velocity is not going to grow so I had to learn to utilise what I had."

3) Southlander Ned Hughes was 40 when he became the oldest ever All Black, playing tests against South Africa in 1921 after an astonishing 13 year gap since his previous appearance. Maybe the best yarn about Hughes came from his Southland club days. A former opponent recalled that Hughes and his wife had missed a train in Invercargill, so they apparently walked over 30km to get to Winton which "showed the keenness and commitment by the players and their families".

4) George Foreman, among the hardest punchers in boxing history, was 45 when he knocked out previously undefeated Michael Moorer in Las Vegas to become the world heavyweight champion again. A tiring Foreman's big right hand, which smashed Moorer's mouth guard before he collapsed to the canvas, was one of those sports shots heard around the world.

That 1994 shot may be the biggest ever blow struck for the over-40 sports brigade.
Foreman had started his comeback seven years earlier, overweight and so far removed from his former menacing persona that he no longer enjoyed hurting opponents, apparently. He got over that to reclaim the title he had lost when famously out-foxed by Muhammad Ali in Zaire 20 years earlier.
"I've exorcised the ghost once and forever," Foreman said.

5) Moving on...a long way on past 40...
Brit Lorna Johnstone was a tender 70 years old when she competed in the 1972 Olympics dressage where she was called The Galloping Granny. Japanese dressage rider Hiroshi Hoketsu was 71 at the 2012 London Olympics, 48 years after his first Games appearance, and almost made it to Rio four years later but his horse took ill. "The Olympic Games itself has changed a little bit...I think medals are much more important, not only for athletes but also even for politics," he observed.

For Hoketsu, participation went a long way to defining a champion.

6) Formula One legend Juan Manuel Fangio was 46 when he claimed the fifth of his F1 titles in 1957. What made this feat even more remarkable was that F1 racing was something of a death wish in his day — about 30 fellow drivers died during his career.


Alicia Ashley became the WBC female super bantamweight title holder aged 48, when the Jamaican-American beat undefeated Christina McMahon in the 2015 "Brooklyn Brawl". Her best advice for longevity: "Don't get hit".

American star Bernard Hopkins was also 48 when he claimed the IBF light heavyweight belt.

"I don't want to be a circus act," Hopkins said afterwards. "I'm a very proud man. They say fighters get old in the ring. No, fighters get old in the gym when no one's honest enough to tell them they're old." He finished up with a couple of losses.

8) Welshman Ray "Dracula" Reardon won his sixth and final world snooker title at the age of 45 and 203 days, in 1978. He made the final again four years later, and kept going for another dozen years."I retired when I knew I couldn't win, my nerve had got a bit fragile. I wasn't winning and I stopped believing I could," he said.

9) The brutal UFC's oldest champ is Randy "The Natural" Couture, who was a champion well into his 40s when he won the heavyweight title for the third time.

10) Honorable mention - Kelly Slater

The wave legend just missed the 40 cut, but winning his 11th world surfing title at the age of 39 is too hard to overlook. He was also surfing's youngest champion, aged 20.

"For a surfer, it's never ending. There's always some wave you want to surf," the American said.