Christopher Atherton set the UK record for youngest senior player on Tuesday. At just 13 years and 329 days old, the youngster broke the previous mark by 227 days. He made a substitute appearance for Glenavon FC in the Northern Ireland League Cup.
The Northern Irish forward was used a second-half substitute in Glenavon’s League Cup matchup with Dollingstown. In fact, it did not take long for Atherton to make an impact for his club. With his first touch of the game, Atherton collected an assist. In the end, Glenavon won the game 6-0.
Unfortunately, Atherton missed out on the world record by a mere 10 days.
Togo’s Souleymane Mamam currently holds the record for youngest senior player in the world. He was 13 years and 319 days old when he featured in a World Cup qualifier against Zambia in 2001.
Atherton breaks UK record for youngest senior player
Glenavon’s manager Gary Hamilton claimed that Atherton prepared to break the world record in April. Nevertheless, the kid instead attended a Celtic match with his father. “I had no doubt that if we got ahead in the game then I could bring him on because he was comfortable to train with the first team before the last match of last season,” Hamilton stated on his team’s official YouTube channel.
“Only he had to go to watch Celtic with his dad he would have played in that match as well, as it was the last match of the season and at that stage there was nothing to play for with seventh place already secured.”
“We were planning on giving him his debut then which would have made him the youngest player in the world, but unfortunately he is just going to have to settle with being the youngest player in the U.K.“
Hamilton has even suggested that the teenager is already garnering interest from around the United Kingdom. “He is just such a special talent,” continued the coach. “There is a lot of interest in him from cross-channel clubs and I am not one bit surprised.”
Glenavon, currently sitting eighth in the NIFL Premiership, next host Cliftonville on Saturday.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Inpho Photography
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