4 Oldest Handball Player in the World

Oldest Handball Player in the World

Handball is one of the world’s newer sports. Although it originated in the 19th century in Easter Europe, it’s important to note that games quite similar to it were often played in ancient Greece. The official rules for handball were first written in 1906, and the very first came was played in Berlin in 1917.

Since this game hasn’t been around for very long, it’s safe to say that its oldest players are bit younger than you might expect! In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the oldest handball players in the world. Let’s get into it.

4 Oldest Handball Players

4. Hans Lindberg

Age: 42
Country: Denmark
Playing position: Right wing

Hans LindbergPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hans Lindberg is one of the oldest handball players in the world. He is a part of Füchse Berlin, a prolific handball club based in Germany, and is also a part of Denmark’s national team. His interest in handball began when he was a child, and he has since played for a number of notable clubs. These include Team Helsinge, Viborg HK, HSV Hamburg, Füchse Berlin, and HØJ Elite.

Lindberg is of Icelandic origin, and his parents were also handball players. They played with the sports club Fimleikafélag Hafnarfjarðar.

Did you know? 

Hans Lindberg was named the highest-scoring handball player in 2023.

3. Anja Andersen

Age: 55
Country: Denmark
Playing position: Back

Anja AndersenPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

Anja Andersen is another one of the oldest handball players in the world. After retiring from playing handball, she went on to become a coach for Danish Women’s Handball League. In terms of her skills as a player, Andersen has widely been considered to be one of the best female handball players in the history of the sport.

She has often said that she was greatly inspired by the Harlem Globetrotters and the sport of basketball. As a result of this inspiration, she developed her playing style by focusing more on the audience and less on the opposing team. She won a gold Olympic medal in 1996 in Atlanta.

Did you know? 

Anja Andersen was forced to quit playing handball because of a heart defect. She quit playing the sport in 1999.

2. Gheorghe Gruia

Age: 75, deceased
Country: Romania
Playing position: Right back

Gheorghe GruiaPhoto Source: Wikimedia Commons

At the time of his death, Gheorghe Gruia was the oldest handball player in the world. He was a successful player that was known for his skills as a scorer.

Gruia’s entire professional career was spent playing for Steaua Bucharest. His team competed at the Olympics in 1972, and won bronze. He scored 37 goals at those Olympics!

Did you know? 

Gheorghe Gruia was named The Greatest Handball Player of All Time by the International Handball Federation in 1992.

1. Josefine Meerkamp

Age: 80
Country: Germany
Playing position: Unknown

Josefine MeerkampPhoto Source: Solingenmagazin.de

Josefine Meerkamp is the oldest handball player in the world! Although she is not a professional handball player, she has played this sport for over 60 years. She has often stated in interviews that there were no teams or coaching options available for women when she was interested in learning how play this sport.

One day, when walking through her city, she came across a poster advertising handball coaching for young women. On the day that she went to go try out for the team, she realized that she did not have the correct sports gear or adequate shoes for playing. Her teammates kindly put together a kit for her, and she was able to try out for the team.

Did you know? 

Josefine Meerkamp won the Guinness World Record in 2020 for being the oldest handball player in the world.


In this article, we took a closer look at some of the oldest handball players in the world. All of the men and women on this list have made significant contributions to the world of handball, and have definitely made their mark on the world. We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you learned something new from it. 

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