CHRISTOPHER ATHERTON is the UK’s youngest-ever footballer after making his Glenavon debut aged just 13 years and 329 days.
The teenage schoolboy was introduced as a 75th-minute substitute during a Northern Irish League Cup tie against Dollingstown last night.
It didn’t take long for Atherton to make an impression either, laying on an assist as Glenavon rounded off a 6-0 victory.
He beats a previous record understood to have been set by Scottish striker Jordan Allan in 2013.
The East Lanarkshire-born ace, who now plays for Clyde in Scottish League One, made his debut for Airdrieonians aged 14 years and 189 days in a 2-0 defeat to Livingston.
Nicknamed “Christo”, Atherton could be set for a bright future.
According to the Belfast Telegraph he has already been on trial with Scottish Premiership side Dundee United.
After his special first outing, the Northern Irish Football League took to Twitter to celebrate his achievement.
While his club added: “Tonight, Glenavon Academy player Christopher Atherton made his first team debut against Dollingstown in the League Cup. At 13 yrs and 329 days old, he became the youngest player in the UK to play in a first-class match.
Harvey Elliott is currently the Premier League’s youngest-ever player.
The Liverpool star made his top flight debut for Fulham aged 16 years and 30 days in May 2019.
Elsewhere, Reuben Noble-Lazarus played for Barnsley in the Championship aged 15 years and 45 days in October 2008.