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14th Sep 2022

Northern Ireland teenager breaks record as UK’s youngest senior footballer

Lee Costello

He’s only 13 years old.

Christopher Atherton has become the youngest footballer in the history of United Kingdom to play at senior level.

The schoolboy from the north of Ireland made his debut for Glenavon last night in the Northern Ireland League Cup.

It didn’t take the 13-year-old long to make an impact either as he grabbed an assist in Glenavon’s 6-0 win over Dollingstown.

“He is a great kid. I’ve had the pleasure watching him every other week for the last eight years because he plays in the same academy team as [Hamilton’s son] Callum,” he said on Glenavon’s YouTube channel.

“He is a joy to watch and is a great kid but the work he does away from training at Glenavon, and the dedication that he has to becoming a professional footballer, is unbelievable.

“That is what separates him from a lot of the kids at the academy. He works night and day at his game, he eats the rights foods and he goes to bed at the right time.

“He does everything that he can to become a better footballer and to give himself the best opportunity of becoming a professional footballer. I have been watching him for years and for a long time I’ve said he is the best player I’ve seen at his age.”

The record was previously held by Eamon Collins, who played for Blackpool aged 14 years and 323 days.

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