At the age of just 16 years and 17 days, Daniel Adshead will go down in the history books as Rochdale’s youngest ever debutant.
The young midfielder, who has progressed through the Academy ranks at the club and is currently still at school, started in Dale’s Checkatrade Trophy tie against Bury at Gigg Lane on Tuesday night and completed the full 90 minutes, as Keith Hill’s side recorded a comprehensive 4-0 win over their local rivals.
“I always intended on rewarding Dan for what I believe he can become and for what he’s also doing now because he deserves it,” said Hill.
“He has spent a lot of time training with us and he did a full pre-season with us this summer, so it was always my intention to play him.
“Endurance wise, he could probably play again tomorrow – the data we get off him is pretty special at times. As someone who has only just turned 16, he’s obviously still developing physically, but his brain is light years ahead at times.
“The players love him being on the training pitch and they loved him being out there tonight. Players will run all day for him, they will protect him and they will try to guide him.”
Coincidentally, Tuesday marked exactly 30 years to the day that the record was last broken. On September 19th 1987, Zac Hughes made his Dale debut against Exeter City at the age of 16 years and 105 days.