Albion's seven youngest appearance makers

Can you name all the 16-year-olds to have played for Albion?

By Charlie Hanson • 07 September 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Evan Ferguson is Albion's fifth youngest appearance maker in the post-war era.

Last month Evan Ferguson became one of the youngest players to have pulled on an Albion jersey in a competitive match.

The 16-year-old came on for the final ten minutes as Albion defeated Cardiff City 2-0 in the Carabao Cup second round, raising the question as to where he ranks on the list of Albion’s youngest players.

We take a look at the seven 16-year-olds who have pulled on an Albion shirt in the post-war era. Without looking, can you name Albion’s youngest appearance maker?

7. Jake Robinson – 16 years, 336 days

Debut: Middlesbrough 1-0 Albion, 24th September 2003

By Bennett Dean
Jake Robinson has scored three goals in four appearances so far this season for Dartford.

For those who saw Robinson’s debut at Middlesbrough in the League Cup, it might come as a slight surprise to learn he is only 35 next month.

The striker came on in extra time as Albion trailed 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium, and while he wasn’t able to stop their second round exit, he would become the club’s youngest ever scorer a few weeks later in the LDV Vans Trophy when he scored against Forest Green Rovers.

He’s gone onto play for the likes of Shrewsbury Town and Northampton Town and has got this season off to a flyer in National League South with Dartford, with three goals in his first four games.

6. James Tilley, 16 years, 323 days

Debut: Middlesbrough 0-0 Albion, 2nd May 2015

By Paul Hazlewood
James Tilley scored once for Albion - a winner against Barnet in the EFL Cup.

The attacker was brought on as a late substitute in Albion’s final game of the 2014/15 campaign – his only league appearance for the club.

He would go onto play in cup competitions and scored in an EFL Cup match against Barnet.

He left Albion in 2020 for Grimsby, before returning south earlier on this year when he signed for Crawley Town. He is currently on loan at Conference South Dorking Wanderers.

5. Evan Ferguson – 16 years, 308 days

Debut: Cardiff City 0-2 Albion, 24th August 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Evan Ferguson came on for the final ten minutes against Cardiff City last month.

Ferguson arrived from Bohemians in January 2021 and signed his scholarship with the club in the summer.

He has played for the Republic of Ireland at under-17 level and is currently with their under-21s. The striker’s rich form for Albion under-23s was rewarded at the end of August when he was introduced with ten minutes to play as a very youthful team – with an average age of just 20.5 – defeated Cardiff in the Carabao Cup.

He has three goals in three Premier League 2 appearances so far this campaign.

4. Chris McPhee – 16 years, 273 days

Debut: Swansea City 2-0 Albion, 18th December 1999

By Geoff Penn
Chris McPhee departed Albion in 2006, joining Torquay United.

The five-hour trip back from South Wales probably flew by for Chris McPhee despite the 2-0 defeat after he made his debut for Albion in front of a crowd of just over 4,500. It would prove to be a tough season for the club, who finished seven points clear of the relegation zone.

McPhee later played for the likes of Ebbsfleet United and Kidderminster Harriers and now works as a youth development coach with Exeter City.

3. Ian Chapman – 16 years, 259 days

Debut: Birmingham City 2-0 Albion, 14th February 1987

By The Argus
Albion supporter Ian Chapman made his debut on Valentine's Day in 1987.

A Valentine’s Day defeat at St Andrew’s did at least mark the start of a long Albion career for Seagulls fan Ian Chapman.

The full-back had been attending games at the Goldstone since the age of three, and would go onto make nearly 300 appearances in nine seasons at the club.

2. Simon Fox – 16 years, 238 days

Debut: Albion 2-0 Fulham, 23rd April 1994

By The Argus
Simon Fox went onto play for the likes of Hastings Town and St Leonards.

Fox got his Albion career off to a winning start but he went on to only make a handful of appearances.

After he was released in 1997, he spent the rest of his playing career in non-league.

His older brother Mark also turned out for the Albion during the mid-1990s.

1. Jake Forster-Caskey – 16 years, 13 days

Debut: Albion 1-0 Yeovil Town, 8th May 2010

By Geoff Penn
Jake Forster-Caskey is Albion's youngest ever appearance maker.

Having put in a superb performance in the Sussex Senior Cup final a couple of weeks before, Forster-Caskey would become Albion’s youngest ever competitive appearance maker, coming on for the final 15 minutes against the Glovers. Elliot Bennett scored the only goal of the game.

Forster-Caskey would make one appearance the following season when Albion were promoted to the Championship. He spent time out on loan with MK Dons and Rotherham, before joining Charlton Athletic in 2017.

He helped the Addicks to promotion from League One in 2019, but after one season in the Championship fell back into the third tier.