A 13-year-old boy has become the youngest senior footballer in the UK after coming on as a substitute for his team in a cup match to break a 42-year-old record.
Northern Irish schoolboy Christopher Atherton appeared for Glenavon – and had an immediate impact by setting up his side’s final goal with his first touch in senior football.
His club called Atherton’s contribution “an amazing debut” as he helped his side secure a 6-0 victory over Dollingstown in the Northern Ireland League Cup.
The academy player’s debut in the 75th minute came at the age of 13 years and 329 days.
Atherton’s opening contribution was a cross for Matthew Snoddy to net their team’s sixth goal.
His appearance at Mourneview Park in Lurgan breaks a record set on 9 September 1980 by Eamonn Collins.
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Collins made his debut for Blackpool at the age of 14 years and 323 days in an Anglo-Scottish Cup tie against Kilmarnock at Bloomfield Road.
His senior career saw him go on to play for Southampton, Portsmouth, Colchester and Exeter.