In taking to the field, Arendse overtook Bruce Grobbelaar, who played for Hellenic aged 44, against Kaizer Chiefs, in 2002.
Arendse stretched that record to 45 years, 10 months and four days after being forced to come out of retirement owing to a spate of injuries at Wits.
The lanky Arendse is actually older than six PSL coaches, namely Craig Rosslee, Abel Makhubele, Clinton Larsen, Steve Komphela, Manqoba Mngqithi and Steve Barker.
It has been four years since Arendse last did duty in the professional ranks, playing his ‘last’ match in the colours of SuperSport United on May 9, 2009 in the season’s last match against Santos, keeping a clean-sheet as the former Bafana Bafana keeper won his second League medal with Matsatsantsa.
Arendse’s job at Wits is goalkeeper coach, but with the club’s four goalkeepers – Emille Baron, Ryan Harrison, Steven Hoffman and Jackson Mabokgwane – all injured, he has had to bring himself back into the fold as the only other keeper registered by the club was 17-year-old schoolboy Jethren Barr.
Barr was thrown into the lion’s den last week when he replaced the injured Baron in injury-time, only to then concede the solitary goal that made the difference against Pirates.
With the goalkeeping crisis that has befallen Wits, the club has been forced to sign 35-year-old keeper Tyron Damons as cover. He was on the bench last night.
Arendse – who made his professional debut in the NSL era in 1991 while at Cape Town Spurs – also won 67 caps for Bafana.
Kaizer Chiefs’ reserve goalkeeper Arthur Bartman – who is 41 years and two months old – has spent the past few years sitting comfortable as the oldest player still active in the PSL.
Hans Vonk also played past his 41st birthday before retiring at the end of the season (2010-11) when he was five months past his 41st birthday.