Ayr United Youngster Mark Shankland Makes Club History as Youngest Ever Player

Marc Roseblade@myscottishfitbaContributor IIIMay 10, 2011

Mark Shankland, Ayr United History Maker

Saturday saw a historic day for Ayr United, Ayr United Football Academy and one young man in particular.

AUFA under 16’s striker Mark Shankland, who has attracted interest from several top flight senior teams recently, became the youngest signed Ayr United player ever to take to the field for the senior squad.

With a birth date of 11/7/95, the appearance made the player 15 years and 300 days old, a day never to be forgotten by the player or his watching family. The closest rival he has to this title was Stewart Kean who made his debut when 17 years and 56 days old.

There has been some speculation that back in March 1953, Sam McMillan made his debut whilst younger (15 years 212 days old) than Mark but on closer inspection, it seems that McMillan played a one off game as a trialist under the guise of a pseudonym, Newman, but didn’t actually sign for the club until two years later. So, as the record books stand, Mark Shankland holds the title as youngest ever signed player to play for Ayr United.

As well as young Mark, other stars from the Football Academy have also been forcing their way into the team more often of late with Roddy Paterson having made the field in the previous two matches and on Saturday Gareth Armstrong also made his debut rounding off a great season for the Academy in terms of first team appearances.

Robbie Crawford, Sean Kelly, Cammy Marlow, Daryl Jones, Dale Moore have all also been chapping at the door looking for some playing time in the first team making the future look bright for the team and showing the potential that the Football Academy is producing.

Saturday, though, belonged to Mark Shankland. He looks to have a great future ahead of him. Well done young man, well done.

View images of Mark in action here.