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Former Manchester United Goalkeeper Holds The Record For The Shortest Debut In Premier League History

Former Manchester United Goalkeeper Holds The Record For The Shortest Debut In Premier League History

Nick Culkin is the proud holder of one of the most bizarre Premier League records: the quickest debut in top flight history.

All the way back in the 1999-2000 season, the former York City youngster made his first and only appearance in between sticks for Manchester United away at Highbury.

Image: PA
Image: PA

The rookie was sent on by Sir Alex Ferguson in a 2-1 over Arsenal after Martin Keown's sly kick to Raimond van der Gouw's face left the Dutchman in agony and unable to see out the final moments of stoppage time.

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Image: PA
Image: PA

He entered the fray and in his only contribution, smashed a free-kick up the pitch before Graham Poll blew the whistle and signalled the end of the game.

It may have only been for seconds, but at least Culkin can say he played for Manchester United and was on the winning side.

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He actually received runners' up medals for both the Charity Shield and UEFA Super Cup in 1999 and was there all the way to witness United's memorable treble-winning season - where they won the league, FA Cup and Champions League days apart.

Image: PA
Image: PA
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Recalling his cameo, Culkin told Planet Football: "The physio immediately said 'sub' and the manager turned around to me and just said 'Nick, get yourself ready, mate, you're going on'.

"I hadn't warmed up, run up and down the line or anything. I thought 'this is my chance'. I felt I was ready and that was my chance to grab but then I went on to take the free-kick and the whistle blew. That was my Man United career done and dusted.

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"I knew I was never going to replace Peter Schmeichel, so I just took it as a young lad going around Europe and having a great time.

"It was great getting on the planes, going to hotels and being part of the biggest club in the world. It was just a great experience and I thought I could take it into a game if I got a chance."

Culkin had loan spells with the likes of Hull City, Bristol Rovers and Livingston before he joined QPR permanently in 2002.

A knee injury forced him to retire prematurely aged 26, though he did then dabble in Non-League with the likes of Radcliffe Borough, Prescot Cables and FC United Of Manchester.

Topics: Football News, Football, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Premier League, Arsenal

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.