13-year-old schoolboy Christopher Atherton makes history as he becomes the UK’s youngest ever player when he comes on for Northern Ireland side Glenavon in their League Cup tie… and gets an assist with his first touch!
- Atherton was 13 years and 329 days old when he played for Glenavon on Tuesday
- Came on as a substitute in the first round of the Northern Ireland League Cup
- Atherton scored a goal with the first touch of the ball in a 6-0 to Glenavon
- The previous UK record holder was 14-year-old Eamon Collins from Blackpool
A 13-year-old schoolboy has made history by becoming the youngest footballer in the UK.
Christopher Atherton came on as a second half substitute for Northern Ireland side Glenavon against Dollingstown in the League Cup aged 13 years and 329 days.
Not only did the teenager set a new record, but he made an immediate impact, providing an assist with his first touch for Glenavon’s sixth goal.
Christopher Atherton (right) became the youngest footballer in the UK when he played for Northern Ireland side Glenavon against Dollingstown aged 13 years and 329 days
Atherton broke a 42-year-old record when they entered the League Cup tie on Tuesday
Atherton breaks a 42-year-old record set by Eamon Collins, who played for Blackpool on September 9, 1980 aged 14 years and 323 days.
It is claimed that the world record for the youngest professional player was set by 11-year-old Eric Godpower Marshall last year when he played for Liberian side Gar’ou against Haifa FC.
He surpassed the record previously held by 12-year-old Bolivian Mauricio Baldivieso, who played for Club Aurora against La Paz in July 2009.
Glenavon won their first round tie against the third division 6-0 with Atherton getting the assist for their sixth and final goal
Atherton’s substitute appearance broke a record that had stood for 42 years
On Atherton’s debut, Glenavon’s Twitter account wrote: “Also, not to mention, first touch of the ball tonight was an assist! What an amazing debut!!’
Fans of various clubs wished Atherton on social media. Michael Thompson said: “Roy of the Rovers stuff!!! Well done Christopher. Tough world and enjoy your football.”
Rory Hale tweeted: “Unbelievable, what an achievement. Great kid.”
David Scully wrote: “Great achievement for the little boy and his family. The debut of the first team so young, must be some talent.’
The Belfast Telegraph reported that Atherton has already been trialled at several clubs, including Scottish Premiership side Dundee United.
NIFL Premiership side Glenavon made light work of their third division opponents with goals scored by Conor Scannell (2), Josh Doyle, Micheal Glynn, Aaron Prendergast and Matthew Snoody.