On This Day In 1998: Michael Owen Of England Joins Ranks Of Youngest International Debutants (Video)

Martin Cloake

11th, February 2016


It’s Wembley, it’s the 11th February 1998, England are playing Chile in a friendly and, look, there’s spotty little Michael Owen making history.

At 18 years and 59 days old, the nippy Liverpool striker became the youngest player to represent England in the 20th century.

He didn’t score that night (Chile won 2-0 with Marcelo Salas scoring twice, starting with a belter of an opening goal) but Owen did go on to bag 40 goals in 89 international appearances for the Three Lions.

All of which gives us the chance to provide you, courtesy of the Rec. Sport. Soccer. Statistics Association, with some killer trivia for that next pub quiz.

These, we are faithfully assured, are the five youngest men ever to play international football…

• Lucas Knecht, Northern Marianas, 14 years 2 days (1993)
• Aung Kyaw Tun, Myanmar, 14 years 93 days (1986)
• Moussa Latoundji, Benin, 14 years 157 days ((1978)
• Joel Fruit (yes, really), Northern Marianas, 14 years 177 days (1998)
• Macdonald Taylor Junior, US Virgin Islands, 14 years 193 days (1992)

The Pies editor’s request for me to follow this item up with a ‘Where Are They Now?’ feature may take me some time.

Don’t wait up.

You can follow Martin Cloake on Twitter at @MartinCloake and find more about his books and writing at www.martincloake.com