Young Luke’s wonder-goal rewrites the record books

Luke James celebrates scoring his goal against Rochdale which was his first professional goal. Picture by FRANK REID
Luke James celebrates scoring his goal against Rochdale which was his first professional goal. Picture by FRANK REID

AN Amble lad has written his name into North East football folklore becoming Hartlepool United’s youngest goalscorer.

Luke James, a former Coquet High School pupil, signed a professional contract with Hartlepool United on the day he turned 17 in November.

Luke James scoring his goal against Rochdale which was his first professional goal. Picture by FRANK REID

Luke James scoring his goal against Rochdale which was his first professional goal. Picture by FRANK REID

And on Saturday, he opened his scoring account, aged 17 years and 64 days, after his wonder-goal against Rochdale in League One in front of a crowd of 4,500.

His 25-yard volley, which came in the 80th minute, secured three points for Pools in a 2-0 home win – their first at Victoria Park since mid-September.

Luke described scoring as ‘the best moment ever’.

“It was absolutely fantastic,” he said. “It was the best feeling ever.

“I have dreamt about scoring my first professional goal but I didn’t think it would be like that.

“I couldn’t have hit it better. It was the best moment ever.

“I let the ball run across us and I hit it first time and luckily it sailed into the top corner.

“I just thought ‘I might as well hit this’. I don’t know what made me think of that. But it hit the net. I thought I was dreaming.

“The reaction of the crowd gave me goose-pimples.”

And to top it off, the teenager was awarded man-of-the match in his second first-team start.

“I thought to myself ‘wow’. It couldn’t get any better,” he said.

“I didn’t think I would come this far so quickly. I couldn’t have asked for much more.

“Scoring my first senior goal on my second full appearance within a month or so of signing a professional contract has been great.

“I want to thank all of the coaching staff for giving me a chance to prove myself and all of the players have been great and so helpful.”

Luke snatched the youngest goalscorer title from Steven Istead, who was 48 days older when he scored in 2003.