BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer was delighted to give teenager Connor Mahoney the opportunity to write his name into the club’s history books.

When Mahoney stepped off the bench in Wednesday’s FA Cup third-round replay defeat at Manchester City he became the third youngest player, at 16 years and 337 days, to represent Rovers after Harry Dennison (16 years and 155 days) and Ronnie Clayton (16 years and 263 days).

Mahoney’s senior debut capped a remarkable rise which started when he signed from Accrington Stanley last month.

The former Witton Park High School student, who was born in Blackburn and has supported Rovers all his life, has made a massive impression at Rovers’ Brockhall training base.

Bowyer said: “We can’t get carried away as he doesn’t turn 17 for a couple of weeks but since he has come into the building he’s trained with us and showed a good mentality and work ethic. He’s a lovely lad too.

“We brought him on when the game was out of our reach. It was a great place for him to make his debut and to become the third youngest player in Blackburn Rovers’ history.

“I was delighted with the response of our others lads as they gave him the ball.

“He wanted the ball, too, and when he got it his mentality was outstanding – he had a right good go.

“He’s competitive and he went on there with no fear.”

Mahoney was yesterday on target for Rovers in a behind-closed-doors encounter with Preston North End, which ended 3-3.