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The Shortest Premier League Players: Now & Throughout History

Look at the league’s top scorers and you’ll find that nearly half of them are 5’9″ or smaller.

Tariq Lamptey, Ryan Fraser, and the shortest Premier League players ever – now and in league history.
Credit-AP/Premier League/Joker Mag

As the highest level of the English football league system, the Premier League is the most-watched pro sports league on the planet.

But do you need to be a certain height to reach the top of the sport?

While the average height of a Premier League player is 5 feet 11.95 inches (182.75 centimeters), there is plenty of hope for those on the smaller side.

As of 2024, players under 6 feet tall make up 39% of the league. And just look at the top scorers – nearly half of them are 5’9″ or smaller: Phil Foden (5’7″), Jarrod Bowen (5’9″), and Mohamed Salah (5’9″).

If you’re looking for more evidence, it’s time to learn some history. Here is our breakdown of the shortest Premier League players ever.

Table of Contents

The Shortest Premier League Players Ever

Tariq Lamptey (5’4″)

At 5'4" and 119 pounds, Tariq Lamptey is the smallest player in the Premier League.

Listed at 5’4″ and 119 pounds, Tariq Lamptey is the shortest and smallest active Premier League player.

The Brighton & Hove Albion right-back grew up in the Greater London area and joined the Chelsea academy at just 8-years-old.

Despite never growing past 5 feet 4 inches, Lamptey’s work ethic helped him reach the highest level of English football.

“I just have to keep working hard because there are things in my game I can improve,” he said in 2021. “The way to do that is to keep playing games and learning from the great coaches and players around me.”

Ryan Fraser (5’4″)

Ryan Fraser quote: "I’ll fight for the club. I’ll fight for the badge. I’ll fight for my teammates...I’ll fight for the manager and the fans."

Standing at 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m), Ryan Fraser is tied in height with Lamptey but weighs a fair bit heavier (152 pounds).

The Scottish left winger got his start with Aberdeen F.C. at just 16 years old.

Once described as a “little pocket dynamo”, Fraser won AFC Bournemouth Players’ Player of the Year for the 2018–19 season.

Alan Wright (5’4″)

Alan Wright, one of the shortest Premier League players ever, says "When you look at my height, I shouldn't really be playing against guys that are over six foot. What I had to do was compete and offer something different."

With a career that spanned 750 professional games, 5’4″ Alan Wright spent eight years in the Premier League with Aston Villa.

The Lancashire-born defender kicked off his career as a trainee for Blackpool and came to be known as “The Mighty Atom”. He later caught the eye of Kenny Dalglish, who signed him for £500,000.

“When you look at my height,” he wrote in 2013, “I shouldn’t really be playing against guys that are over six foot. What I had to do was compete and offer something different.”

After a decorated playing career with multiple honors and individual awards, Wright entered the coaching side in 2011.

“As a player, I had to be ultra determined,” he told BBC.com, “and I will be the same as a manager.”

Billy Gilmour (5’5″)

At 5'5", Billy Gilmour is one of the shortest midfielders in the premier league.

Billy Gilmour stands just 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds, making him the shortest and smallest active midfielder in the Premier League.

The Scottish midfielder represented his native country at every youth level – from under-15 through under-21 – before making his senior debut in 2021.

Now at the highest level of English football, the youngster is poised for a long and prosperous career.

“I just need to keep working hard and see what it takes,” Gilmour told Sky Sports.

Ethan Nwaneri (5’5″)

A photograph of Ethan Nwaneri next to text that reads: At 15 years and 181 days old, Ethan Nwaneri became the Premier League's youngest ever player in 2022.

At 15 years and 181 days old, Ethan Nwaneri became the Premier League’s youngest-ever player in 2022.

He signed his first professional contract with Arsenal in March of 2024 and is part of an exciting crop of young talent emerging across the league.

“It was the dream to get to this stage,” Nwaneri said.

“I’ve always thought about when this day would come and I’ve been looking forward to it, so I’m happy it’s finally here. I didn’t have to think about it – this is my family and it feels like home here.”

Jody Morris (5’5″)

A picture of Jody Morris in his Chelsea uniform next to a quote from him that says "To actually play for the team that I’d been at since eight years old and supported as a boy was a special feeling."

Growing up less than two miles from Chelsea’s home stadium, Stamford Bridge, Jody Morris always dreamed of playing under the bright lights.

Despite his diminutive stature (5’5″), the midfielder became known as “the best schoolboy footballer in London”.

He debuted with his childhood team, Chelsea, just six weeks after his 17th birthday.

“To actually play for the team that I’d been at since eight years old and supported as a boy was a special feeling,” he said in 2020.

Jody Morris won several trophies in his 17-year career, including the UEFA Super Cup in 1998 and the FA Cup in 2000.

Aaron Lennon (5’5″)

Aaron Lennon: This 5'5" right winger had a decorated 19-year pro career.

Across a decorated professional career that spanned 19 years, Aaron Lennon left behind a lasting legacy in the Premier League.

The 5’5″ right winger made his senior debut with Leeds United in 2003 before joining Tottenham Hotspur a few years later – where he is most remembered.

With Spurs, he won the Player and Young Player of the Year awards and scored 26 goals.

More of the shortest Premier League players (past and present):

  • Daniel Podence (5’5″)
  • Julio Enciso (5’6″)
  • Ian Maatsen (5’6″)
  • Ethan Brierley (5’6″)
  • Nampalys Mendy (5’6″)
  • Fabio Vieira (5’7″)
  • Joseph Taylor (5’7″)
  • Darko Churlinov (5’7″)
  • John Fleck (5’7″)
  • Michael Obafemi (5’7″)
  • Julián Álvarez (5’7″)
  • Shola Shoretire (5’7″)
  • Gustavo Hamer (5’7″)

Position-By-Position Breakdown of The League’s Smallest Players

We dove into the data to uncover the shortest active players in each position group:

  • Shortest defender: Tariq Lamptey (5’4″)
  • Shortest midfielders: Billy Gilmour (5’5″) and Ethan Nwaneri (5’5″)
  • Shortest forward: Julio Enciso (5’6″)
  • Shortest goalkeeper: Joseph Whitworth (5’10”)

Editor’s Note: Is there a player I missed? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get them added.

Written By

Division III baseball alum (McDaniel College) and founder of Joker Mag. Sharing underdog stories to inspire the next generation.

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