Glenn Hoddle was a couple of months short of his 18th birthday when he came on as a substitute for Tottenham in a 2-2 draw against Norwich City in August 1975. It was a low-key debut for a player who was already the talk of the Spurs training ground.
Six months later, the rest of English football would see what the likes of Martin Chivers and Bill Nicholson had spotted almost immediately when the 18-year-old made his first league start against Stoke City, beating England goalkeeper Peter Shilton with a long-range shot that would help Spurs to a 2-1 win.
Like Duncan Edwards before and Wayne Rooney after, Hoddle was old enough because he was good enough. There is, of course, a flipside to the prodigy: the late bloomer, the unpromising teen the scouts missed or the apprentice who was told to try a different trade.
I'll let the pedants decide if Hoddle's interest in unearthing the next Stuart Pearce/Neville Southall/Tony Galvin is ironic or just mildly interesting, but the fact remains that one of English football's most fully-formed talents is now dedicated to helping those deemed not good enough at an age he was already a hero.