Renton enters the history books

A year ago, Kris Renton was playing for a Sunday League side in Musselburgh - today he wakes up with a place in the history books as the youngster player to have ever pulled on a Norwich City shirt for a senior game.

By CHRIS LAKEY

A year ago, Kris Renton was playing for a Sunday League side in Musselburgh - today he wakes up with a place in the history books as the youngster player to have ever pulled on a Norwich City shirt for a senior game.

Renton was 16 years and 276 days old on Saturday when, at around 4.45pm, he was sent on as an injury-time substitute for Lee Croft - breaking Ryan Jarvis' record by six days.

A minute or so later his record-breaking debut was over, but the Academy youngster was still dazed by it all after the game as he helped load the players' kit back into the team coach before heading for home.

“It is just amazing for me,” said Renton, who was brought to the club only last summer having been first spotted by Academy youth scout Terry Harvey. “I never ever in my life expected that I would set a record like this. It has just been brilliant.

“I was just playing in a Sunday team back in Scotland this time last year - back then I wouldn't have expected this at all. It is excellent, brilliant, just what I have dreamed of and what I have wanted since I was a young boy.”

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Renton has been on the bench for the last three City games and admitted he was wondering if his chance would ever come.

“It was at the back of my mind that it would never happen, but as long as I was getting the chance to be on the bench there was always the possibility it would come any minute and I just had to be ready for it.

“It happened so quickly. I was sitting watching the game - I had just come back from warming up and took my seat - and they said 'get your shirt on'. I was shown the set pieces and told everything and all the jobs I had to do and on I go.

“Being on the bench for three games gave me all the experience to see what it would be like and it built it up perfectly for me to come on.”

Renton had some fellow teenagers for company, with Chris Martin, 16, starting up front and 18-year-old Michael Spillane in midfield, while fellow Academy players Patrick Bexfield, 18, and Bally Smart, 17, were also in the travelling party.

“Some of them have been in for a while and I have asked them a few things,” said Renton. “They have had a little bit of fun with me but I just try to keep my feet on the ground.

“Now, hopefully I can get more games under my belt.”

Renton's parents had waited patiently at Hull and then at Carrow Road on Monday when West Brom visited to see their son make history but were back in Scotland on Saturday - meaning a busy night making telephone calls.

“Everyone back home is going to get a phone call tonight to let them know,” said the Scotland Under-17 international.

Manager Peter Grant, who had three times resisted the temptation to field Renton, said Saturday's debut was all about tactics, not history books.

“Kris Renton gets on because he deserves to be on,” said Grant. “I just felt late in the game he would have those extra legs and it was a great day for him - to remember his debut and being the youngest player ever to represent the club and also to remember it as a winning debut as well.”