Ethan Nwaneri: How the world looked when Premier League’s youngest player was born in March 2007

The Arsenal youngster smashed the record at just 15 years and 181 days old when he came on as a substitute in a 2-0 win over Brentford.

Ah the halcyon days of the mid noughties, listening to music on Ipod classics during the height of MySpace, when Netflix was predominantly a mail order DVD rental service.

The year 2007 in particular, when Paul Potts conquered the very first series of Britain’s Got Talent, Michael Bay redfined cinema/military propaganda with the launch of the Transformers franchise and Maroon 5 had two different songs reach number one in the charts...

Okay, perhaps less halcyon and more unremarkable, but the year 2007 did bring us Ethan Nwaneri - the current holder of the youngest ever Premier League player title.

Ethan Nwaneri of Arsenal replaces teammate Fabio Viera during the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Arsenal FC at Brentford Community Stadium

The Arsenal teenager, who has broken the record at the age of 15 years and 181 days, came on as a late substitute in the Gunners’ 3-0 win at Bournemouth on Sunday.

The world was a very different place when Nwaneri was born on March 21, 2007 and will it feel either like a distant memory or a time that passed in the blink of an eye for many of us.


Here are just a few noteworthy points of interest on how the worlds of cinema, TV, business, culture and of course football looked in March 2007...

TV and cinema

It was 20 years earlier in 1987 when the popular kids cartoon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was first adapted from comic books for the small screen.

In March 2007 though, the Kevin Munroe directed TMNT live action blockbuster starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Chris Evans was number one at the box office.

The film made and estimated $25.45 million over its opening weekend, but the critics have been less than favourable and TMNT holds an underwhelming Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 34%.


On TV, Shilpa Shetty was coming off the back of her Celebrity Big Brother win in the controversial fifth series of the reality show, while the UK said goodbye to Grandstand after nearly 50 years on our screens.

Other memorable moments from the early part of the year included Preston walking off live on an episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks, while Richard & Judy, Blue Peter, The X-Factor and Dancing on Ice were all at the centre of various scandals.


In the music charts, charity single Walk This Way by Sugababes vs. Girls Aloud was number one in the UK charts while Glamorous by Fergie ft. Ludacris led the Billboard Hot 100.

The biggest album of the year 2007 would go on to be Good Girl Gone Bad by Rihanna which featured singles like Umbrella, Shut Up and Drive, and Don’t Stop the Music.


Chances are you would have been listening to these and many other top tunes on your Ipod Classic, which was on its fifth edition by the year 2007 and could hold up to 30gb or 60gb of song memory.

Business and technology

The Iphone 1 was launched by Steve Jobs in January 2007 and was released to UK customers in November.

The Nintendo Wii and Playstation 3 had only been released in November 2006 while the Xbox 360 was the premier console from Microsoft.


Xbox gamers were watching the hours fly past while they played Halo III, but it would be Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that will be remembered as the biggest video game to come out of 2007 when it was launched in November.

Bill Gates was the richest man in the world in 2007, a title he had held since 1995, and would continue to hold until 2010 and then again between 2013 and 2017.


Ethan Nwaneri, the subject of this article in case you had forgotten, is just the latest player to come through the famous youth academy at Arsenal which has developed so many top players over the years.

Back when he was born, the Gunners were playing their first season at the Emirates Stadium, having bid farewell to Highbury at the end of the 2006/06 campaign.


Arsene Wenger’s side were led by the likes of Cesc Fàbregas, Robin van Persie and William Gallas while Thierry Henry was playing his last season with the Gunners (not including his 2014 loan return) before moving to Barcelona.

A few days before Nwaneri was born, Arsenal lost to Everton at Goodison Park, with Andy Johnson scoring a stoppage time winner which saw the Gunners fall further behind title contenders Manchester United and Chelsea.

They remained third though, with Liverpool behind them in fourth and Sam Allardyce’s Bolton Wanderers in fifth.

The 2006/07 Premier League season is perhaps best remembered for the controversy surrounding Carlos Tevez, who had been pivotal in keeping West Ham in the division at the expense of Sheffield United, Charlton and Watford despite not actually being eligible to play.

What about the side that Nwaneri broke the record against? Well, Brentford were a League One club at the time and had just lost 1-0 at home to Rotherham United. How times have changed...