DEAN CAMPBELL, 16 years, one month and 23 days old, made history last night when he came on a late substitute in the exciting match at Pittodrie, to become the youngest player ever to play for Aberdeen.
The school-boy is still studying for his exams and earlier in the day sat his SQA exam in English before swapping his school uniform for the red first team kit of the Dons.
And his arrival onto the pitch in the last few minutes, as Aberdeen tried in vain to pull back Celtic’s 3-1 advantage, also produced a second point of note in Aberdeen’s recent history. One of their finest players in recent years, Niall McGinn, was the player who made way for Campbell and this was the Irish winger’s final appearance for the Dons at Pittodrie before his move to the English Championship.
Derek McInnes was full of pride after the match when speaking about the young talent.
“Dean Campbell is one of the biggest Aberdeen fans at the club. His family are all massive fans. It meant a lot to them. We are stretched at the moment because of injuries so he might not have been given that opportunity but his position on the bench was merited after some of his performances,” McInnes said.
“He was a school today. It is a good story and hopefully it will be the first of many for him. He is a boy we think a lot of. There are few others at that age who are coming through. He may well get more opportunities before the end of the season.”
Campbell surpassed the record set by former player Jack Grimmer’s as the youngest Dons debutant. And last week the young star was named as Aberdeen’s Youth Academy player of the year.
Tomorrow Campbell will play for Aberdeen U17 side against Ayr United as the young Don battle for the league title with Celtic. The two young sides meet on 24 May in what could be a league decider.