Friday, September 30, 2022

Schoolboy, 13, breaks 42-year-old record to become youngest senior footballer in UK

Former Southampton player Eamonn Collins held the record for more than four decades.

• September 15, 2022
Christopher Atherton and Glenavon FC
Christopher Atherton and Glenavon FC

Christopher Atherton, a 13-year-old boy, broke a record that stood for more than four decades to become the youngest footballer to play an official senior match in the United Kingdom.

Atherton, still a student, achieved the feat on Tuesday when he came on as a 75th-minute substitute for Glenavon FC in their 6-0 win against Dollingstown in the Northern Ireland League Cup.

The youngster immediately made an impact just one minute in his senior career debut when he assisted Matthew Snoddy in the build-up to Glenavon’s sixth goal in the match to help his club secure the emphatic win.

Atherton broke the 42-year-old record held by former Southampton and Portsmouth man Eamonn Collins since 9 September 1980.

Collins was 14 and 323 days old when he made his senior career debut for Blackpool against Kilmarnock in an Anglo-Scottish Cup.

The newest record now stands at 13 years and 329 days, and Atherton can only hope to develop into a more mature footballer.

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