The best goalkeepers, it’s often said, dominate their area, fill their goal and impose themselves effortlessly on opposition strikers. The bigger, the better, essentially.
But that’s not to say there isn’t place for some smaller stoppers in English football’s top tier. Small by usual goalkeeping standards, anyway.
So, who is the shortest goalkeeper in the Premier League currently? And who is the smallest goalkeeper in the Premier League ever? Let’s find out the answers to both of these questions and more:
Who is the Smallest Premier League Goalkeeper Currently? [Top 4]
(NOTE: Had to make an PL appearance to qualify. Not included if contracted to a PL club but yet to make PL debut)
Jed Steer (6ft 0in / 183 cm)
Back-up keeper to both Emi Martinez and Tom Heaton at Aston Villa, Steer is the current Premier League smallest goalkeeper at exactly six feet tall.
He only just qualifies for this list, though. Since joining Villa in 2013, Steer has only made merely two top-flight appearances (though, Villa were in the Championship for three seasons) – the second of which, a defeat at Wolves in November 2019, he was substituted off with a freak injury after eight minutes.
Prior to joining Villa, Steer was previously on Norwich’s books, and has also taken in loan spells at Yeovil (twice), Cambridge, Doncaster, Huddersfield and Charlton.
Fabri (6ft 0in / 184 cm)
Another with just two Premier League outings to is name is Fulham goalkeeper Fabri, who stands at just one centimetre taller than Steer.
The Spaniard joined Fulham in July 2018 following their promotion from the Championship, started the first two games (both defeats), and is yet to play for the Cottagers since.
Following Fulham’s relegation straight back to the second tier, Fabri was loaned to RCD Mallorca in September 2019. Now back at Craven Cottage, he has largely acted as third-choice behind Alphonse Areola and Marek Rodak this term.
Mathew Ryan (6ft 0in / 184 cm)
A more prominent short goalkeeper comes in the form of Australian Mat Ryan, who is the same height as Fabri but has far more Premier League appearances to his name.
Ryan left Valencia for Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer of 2017 following the Seagulls’ promotion to the big time, and missed only four league games during his first three seasons at the Amex Stadium.
But he lost his place as Brighton’s number one early in 2020-21 to youngster Robert Sanchez, and is now on loan at Arsenal as Bernd Leno’s back-up.
Jordan Pickford (6ft 1in / 185 cm)
Here’s the one you might have been waiting for. ‘How tall is Pickford?’ you ask. Well, slightly taller than the Premier League’s three smallest goalkeepers is your answer.
Ridiculed by Liverpool supporters for his apparently small physique, Everton and England number one Pickford measures up at 6ft 1in.
After making a £25 million move to the Toffees in June 2017, Pickford was a Premier League ever-present in his first three campaigns on Merseyside, and of course was between the sticks for the Three Lions on their way to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals. Clearly, his height hasn’t been too much of a hindrance on his career so far, then.
Here are the ten shortest currently plying their trade in the Premier League:
|Jed Steer||Aston Villa||6ft 0in / 183 cm|
|Fabri||Fulham||6ft 0in / 184 cm|
|Mat Ryan||Arsenal (on loan from Brighton)||6ft 0in / 184 cm|
|Jordan Pickford||Everton||6ft 1in / 185 cm|
|Alex Runarsson||Arsenal||6ft 1in / 185 cm|
|Kepa Arrizabalaga||Chelsea||6ft 1in / 186 cm|
|Willy Caballero||Chelsea||6ft 1in / 186 cm|
|David Martin||West Ham||6ft 1in / 186 cm|
|Darren Randolph||West Ham||6ft 2in / 188 cm|
|Hugo Lloris||Tottenham||6ft 2in / 188 cm|
Shortest Premier League Goalkeepers Ever [Top 5]
Clive Baker (5ft 9in / 175 cm)
The shortest goalkeeper to ever grace a Premier League net, former Ipswich stopper Baker stands at 5ft 9in.
Though probably best remembered for his time at Barnsley, where he made more than 250 appearances, Baker played 46 top-flight games for Ipswich in the mid-1990s – this, having began his career at East Anglian rivals Norwich.
After his time at Ipswich, Baker retired from professional football, and since moved into the insurance industry. Check out this goal scored against him by Aston Villa’s Dean Saunders in 1993:
Kevin Poole (5ft 10in / 178 cm)
Baker just pips Kevin Poole to the post, a 5ft 10in former goalkeeper who played in the top-flight for both Leicester and Bolton.
After helping them to promotion in 1994, Poole was Leicester’s first choice in their debut Premier League campaign, but they were relegated and then came straight back up, he soon lost his place to Kasey Keller.
He made a further five Premier League appearances with Bolton in the early 2000s. Since retirement, he has worked as a goalkeeping coach under Gary Rowett at Burton, Birmingham and Derby, before taking up the same role at Solihull Moors in September 2020.
Fabian Barthez (5ft 11in / 180 cm)
Perhaps a more recognisable name, 5ft 11in Barthez is next up, having been Sir Alex Ferguson’s first choice at Manchester United in the early 2000s.
Barthez, already a Champions League and World Cup winner, joined United for £7.8 million in 2000, and soon garnered a reputation as one of the Premier League’s most flamboyant goalkeepers – including step-overs past opposition strikers.
A shaky third season reached its nadir, though, when Barthez was widely criticised for United’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid in 2003. He never played for United again, returning to Marseille before seeing out an illustrious career at Nantes.
After retiring, Barthez then moved into motorsport, and also worked as goalkeeping coach for the French national team under Laurent Blanc.
Hans Segers (5ft 11in / 180 cm)
Matching Barthez for height is Dutchman Segers, best remembered as Wimbledon’s goalkeeper in the early years of the Premier League.
Segers moved to Wimbledon in 1988 and would go on to make more than 250 league appearances for them, both in the First Division and then the Premier League when it came into being in 1992.
In eight seasons at the club, Wimbledon never finished lower than 14th, and finished as high as sixth in 1994. He later played a single top-flight game for Tottenham during 1998-99, before retiring in 2001, shortly before he turned 40.
Ben Amos (5ft 11in / 180 cm)
Last but not least (or smallest) is another 5ft 11in goalkeeper – the lesser-spotted former United man Amos.
Despite a seven-year assocation with the club between 2008 and 2015, Amos made only seven United first team appearances. Just one of those was in the Premier League – a 2-0 win over Stoke in January 2012.
Amos, who signed for Bolton in 2015 and then his current club, Charlton, in 2019, has had nine loan spells during his career, and has only spent three seasons as a club’s outright first-choice goalkeeper.