Ward-Prowse becomes fourth-youngest centurion

By SFC Media time Mon 05 Oct Club

James Ward-Prowse became the fourth-youngest post-war player to come through Southampton’s youth system and reach 100 appearances for the club when he featured against Chelsea on Saturday.

Ward-Prowse, who was 20 years and 336 days old when he came on in the memorable win against José Mourinho’s men, became the first Academy graduate since Adam Lallana in 2010 to reach a century of appearances for Saints.

Having progressed through the club’s youth system since the age of eight, Ward-Prowse has reached 100 appearances in quicker time than former teammate Lallana, and moves ahead of Alan Shearer into fourth.

The 20 year-old is the youngest to reach 100 appearances since Danny Wallace in 1984, when he played against West Bromwich Albion in a Division One clash at the age of 20 and 114 days.

Steve Williams remains the youngest Academy graduate to reach 100 appearances in a Saints shirt, having done so in 20 years and 43 days when he played in a home game against Ipswich Town in September 1978.

Martin Chivers stays ahead of Ward-Prowse as the third fastest, having reached his century for the club in 20 years and 224 days back in December 1965.

Ward-Prowse made his debut for the club in a League Cup tie against Crystal Palace in October 2011, just shy of his 17th birthday, before scoring his first goal for the club in a 2-1 FA Cup success against Coventry City in January 2012.

The midfielder started for Saints in their first game back in the top flight against Manchester City in August 2012 and went on to feature 19 times over the course of the campaign. He went on to win the club's Scholar of the Season award at the end of a memorable campaign for the youngster.

After another season of regular football during the 2013/14 campaign, Ward-Prowse signed a new long-term contract with the club midway through the following season.

A first Premier League goal came in a 2-0 win against Hull City at St Mary’s, as Ward-Prowse helped Ronald Koeman’s men qualify for the UEFA Europa League qualifying stages.

Having featured in ten games so far this season, Ward-Prowse reaches 100 appearances for the club in quicker time than Shearer, all-time record appearance holder Terry Paine, Wayne Bridge, Matthew Oakley, Rodney Wallace, Mike Channon and Lallana.

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