Billy Gilmour claims Scotland record from another one-time Rangers player - but current Ibrox performer could yet usurp him
The word exceptional rightly has been fused to Billy Gilmour’s showing in Scotland’s deft draw with England.
The Chelsea midfielder’s competitive debut for his country demands the term for more than his command and craft at Wembley, though. Gilmour only turned 20 a week ahead of Friday’s encounter. As a result, he is the youngest player ever to represent Scotland at a major finals – Euro 2020 the 11th the nation have contested, stretching back to the World Cup in 1954.
The product of Rangers’ academy assumes that mantle for another performer who counts the Govan club as a former home: Duncan Ferguson. The lanky, larky, striker was with first club Dundee United, and 20 years and 168 days old, when he appeared as a 76th substitute for Scotland’s 1-0 defeat by the Netherlands in their June 12 group opener at Euro 1992.
As with Gilmour, the forward – who moved to Rangers little more than month later for a record British fee of £4m - only earned his first cap in the build up to the tournament. Unlike Gilmour, Ferguson was the youngest player among any of the squads at Swedish finals, which contained only eight teams.
Gilmour, of course, isn’t even the youngest player in Steve Clarke’s 26-strong squad for the 24-team extravaganza. That honour goes to Nathan Patterson. And should the Rangers right-back feature in Tuesday’s crunch final Group D confrontation against Croatia at Hampden – or, dare it be said, at further point in the tournament – he will become the first teenager to represent Scotland at a major finals, the player not turning 20 until October 16 this year.
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