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13-year-old Glenavon player Christopher Atherton breaks British record

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13-year-old schoolboy Christopher Atherton makes history by becoming the UK’s youngest ever senior player when he plays for Glenavon from Northern Ireland in the League Cup match…and got an assist on his first touch!

  • Atherton was 13 years and 329 days when he played for Glenavon on Tuesday
  • He came on as a substitute in the first round of the Northern Ireland League Cup
  • Atherton scored with his first touch of the ball in a 6-0 win for Glenavon
  • The previous UK record holder was Blackpool’s 14-year-old Eamon Collins

A 13-year-old schoolboy has made history by becoming the UK’s youngest senior footballer.

Christopher Atherton replaced Northern Ireland club Glenavon in the second half against Dollingstown in the League Cup aged 13 years and 329 days.

As well as setting a new record, the teenager made an immediate impact by providing an assist on his very first touch for Glenavon’s sixth goal.

Christopher Atherton (right) became the UK’s youngest ever senior footballer when he played for Northern Ireland club Glenavon at the age of 13 and 329 days against Dollingstown

Atherton broke a 42-year-old record when he entered the League Cup on Tuesday

Atherton broke a 42-year-old record when he entered the League Cup on Tuesday

Atherton breaks a 42-year-old record set by Eamon Collins, who played for Blackpool on 9 September 1980 at 14 years and 323 days.

It is rumored that the world record for the youngest professional player was set by 11-year-old Eric Godpower Marshall last year when he played for Libya’s Gar’ou against Haifa FC.

He broke the record previously held by 12-year-old Bolivian Mauricio Baldivieso, who played for Club Aurora against La Paz in July 2009.

Glenavon won the opposition's first round 6-0, with Atherton receiving an assist for their sixth and final goal

Glenavon won the opposition’s first round 6-0, with Atherton receiving an assist for their sixth and final goal

Atherton's replacement performance broke a record held for 42 years

Atherton’s replacement performance broke a record held for 42 years

On Atherton’s debut, Glenavon’s Twitter account said: ‘Not to mention, his first touch of the ball tonight was an assist! What a great debut!!’

Fans of various clubs wished Atherton the best on social media. Michael Thompson said, ‘Roy of the Rovers stuff!!! Well done Christopher. World hard and enjoy your football.’

Rory Hale tweeted: ‘Unbelievable, what an achievement. Great boy.’

David Scully wrote: ‘A great achievement for the young child and his family. Debut in the first team so young, he must be a talent.’

The Belfast Telegraph reported that Atherton has already gone on trial with several clubs, including Scottish Premiership side Dundee United.

NIFL Premiership side Glenavon made light work of their third tier opponents with their goals scored by Conor Scannell (2), Josh Doyle, Micheal Glynn, Aaron Prendergast and Matthew Snoody.

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