THE YOUNG ONES: The youngest players ever to wear a Peterborough United shirt

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IF he takes to the pitch tomorrow Jaanai Gordan-Hutton would become the second-youngest Posh player to make a competitive appearance after Matthew Etherington.

Etherington became front page news 14 years ago when Posh manager Barry Fry selected him for the final first team game of the 1996-97 season at Brentford.

The Deacon’s schoolboy interrupted his GCSE studies to play on the left-wing and help Posh to a 1-0 win.

And if Gordan-Hutton goes on to be half as successful as Etherington he will enjoy a terrific career. ‘Mushy’ went on to make 58 appearances and score six goals for Posh before winning a £500,000 move to Spurs at the age of 18.

He’s also played for West Ham and is now a first-team regular at Stoke City in the Premier League. But playing football at a young age is no guarantee of a long and illustrious career . . .


(Age on competitive debut)

1 Matthew Etherington

Posh debut: v Brentford (a, 1997) 15 years, 262 days

Posh apps: 58

Posh goals: 6.

Career: Spurs, West Ham and now Stoke City first-team regular, playing in Europe and occasionally linked with England call-up.

2 Mark Heeley

Posh debut; v Shrewsbury (h, 1976) 16 years, 229 days.

Posh apps: 17.

Posh goals: 3.

Career: Transferred to Arsenal for £50,000 aged 18, but only 15 appearances for ‘The Gunners’ before moving to Northampton and obscurity,

3 Keith Oakes

Posh debut: v Doncaster (a, 1973) 16 years, 235 days,

Posh apps: 193.

Posh goals: 13

Career: Played in Europe with Newport, also played for Fulham and Gillingham, two spells at Posh as player and physio.

4 Andy Furnell

Posh debut: v Bristol City (h, 1993) 16 years, 286 days

Posh apps: 23

Posh goals: 1

Career: Plagued by injuries, left Posh for non-league, now manager of Soham Town.

5 David Billington

Posh debut; v Southampton (a, 1996) 16 years, 338 days.

Posh apps: 7

Posh goals: 0.

Career: £500,000 move to Sheffield Wednesday before injuries caused an early retirement at the age of 22.

6 Steve Zenchuk

Posh debut: v Blackpool (a, 1983) 17 years, 13 days.

Posh apps: 1

Posh goals: 0

Career: A YTS trainee when he replaced David Seaman for one match. Never won a professional contract and only played locally.

7 Richard Sutton

Posh debut: v Aldershot (a, 1982) 17 years, 21 days.

Posh apps: 1

Posh goals: 0

Career: Substituted after 28 minutes and never played in the Football League again.

8 Paddy Rayment

Posh debut: v Sheffield Utd (a, 1982) 17 years, 27 days.

Posh apps: 33

Posh goals: 3.

Career: Moved to Cambridge United for a brief spell before playing non-league football. Now playing for Deeping Vets.

9 Steve Collins

Posh debut: v Blackpool (h, 1979) 17 years, 39 days.

Posh apps: 260

Posh goals: 3.

Career: Great Posh servant who never played for another Football League club.

10 Ryan Semple

Posh debut: v Bristol C (h, 2002) 17 years, 114 days.

Posh apps: 52

Posh goals: 3.

Career: Transferred to Lincoln, but soon dropped out of the Football League. Now at Boston.


ONLY eight players have made their Football League debuts at 15, including Derby striker Mason Bennett who could line up against Posh tomorrow.

Jordon Ibe became the second youngest player ever to score in a League match last weekend.

Reuben Noble-Lazarus (Barnsley): 15 years, 45 days.

Mason Bennett (Derby County): 15 years, 99 days.

Albert Geldard (Bradford Park Avenue): 15 years, 158 days.

Ken Roberts (Wrexham): 15 years, 158 days.

Ronnie Dix (Bristol Rovers): 15 years, 161 days.

Jordan Ibe (Wycombe): 15 years, 244 days.

Matthew Etherington (Posh): 15 years, 262 days.

Lee Holmes (Derby County): 15 years, 268 days.