Tarbuck pens name into Pompey history

The name may have been unfamiliar with Pompey fans.

But against Plymouth, Bradley Tarbuck became the third-youngest player in the club’s post-war history.

At the age of 16 years, nine months and eight days the Emsworth youngster made his maiden first-team appearance.

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On as a 72nd-minute substitute, the forward replaced Andy Higgins.

With his parents sat among the Pompey away support, it was a proud moment for the Tarbuck family.

Tarbuck was in good company at Home Park, as Michael Appleton fielded the youngest team in Pompey post-war history.

And Tarbuck was just six days older than Andy Awford was when the Academy manager made his Pompey debut.

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The Blues legend was 16 years, nine months and two days when he turned out at Crystal Palace on April 15, 1989.

Awford went on to make 361 appearances.

The youngest-ever Pompey player remains Gary O’Neil.

He was aged 16 years, eight months and 12 days when he featured against Barnsley.

Under Tony Pulis, the midfielder played against Barnsley at Fratton Park.

O’Neil would total 192 appearances and 17 goals before being sold to Middlesbrough in August 2007.

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In recent years, Adam Webster and Lenny Sowah have made the top-eight youngest Pompey players.

Webster entered as a substitute against West Ham at Fratton Park last season at the age of 17 years and 10 days.

He has now reached four appearances for the Blues, with his first start coming in Tuesday’s cup defeat at Plymouth.

Meanwhile, German left-back Sowah was aged 17 years, seven months and 12 days when he came on against Blackburn.

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That was in April 2010 when Paul Hart was manager of the Blues.

Back to the present and Tarbuck was among nine first-team debutants to get pitch time on Tuesday night.

Along with attacker Jack Maloney, he came off the bench to feature in the 3-0 defeat.

The sole unused substitute was defender Jack Whatmough. At the age of 15 years, 11 months and 26 days, had he appeared he would have broken even O’Neil’s Pompey record.

As it was, the youngster was left on the sidelines.

Still, at least he has his 16th birthday to look forward to on Sunday.