|Full name||Mason Kane Bennett|
|Date of birth||15 July 1996|
|Place of birth||Langwith, England|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|2014||→ Chesterfield (loan)||5||(0)|
|2014||→ Bradford City (loan)||11||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:14, 15 October 2014 (UTC).
Mason Kane Bennett (born 15 July 1996) is an English professional footballer, who plays as a forward for Derby County. He has also represented England Youth at U-16 and U-17 Level. He holds the record as Derby County's youngest-ever player, when he made his full debut with a start in a defeat at Middlesbrough on 22 October 2011 at the age of 15 years and 99 days old. He beat the previous record, set by Lee Holmes 9 years earlier, by 169 days. Bennett also holds the record of Derby County's youngest goal scorer with a goal against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup on 5 January 2013 at the age of 16 years and 174 days old.
Born in Langwith, Derbyshire and attending Shirebrook Academy, Bennett came through the Derby County Academy at Moor Farm and showed "huge potential" at an early age, playing for the club's Under-16's side at just 14 years old and was tied to the club on a five-year contract. When discussing the club's youth policy in September 2011, Derby academy manager Darren Wassall said of Bennett: "He has a great attitude, lots of promise and lots of ability. He is a centre forward who scores goals but he has other parts to his game as well. He works very hard, he lives for football and he is from a lovely family. We have high hopes for him, as we have for many other players." Such was Bennett's ability that he was moved to the U-18 side in the 2011–12 season, and garnered much attention for his performance in a 6–1 win away to Middlesbrough U-18s, where he scored twice and set-up two goals.
He also made sparing appearances at reserve level, making his debut for the reserve team aged 14 against Sheffield Wednesday reserves on 26 October 2010. and making a substitute appearance for the reserve side in a victory at Burton Albion. Bennett's progress was such that he was named in the first team squad for the first time in the League Cup game against Shrewsbury Town on 9 August 2011, under a month after his 15th birthday. However, he remained an unused substitute as The Rams lost 3–2.
He was considered for a role in a mid-week match away to Reading but, as Derby boss Nigel Clough later revealed "We would only get back from Reading at about 2am on Wednesday and he (had) school that morning!" His potential and reputation at this point was already at a level where scouts from Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool were watching his progress. He eventually made his full debut in a 2–0 defeat at Middlesbrough to become Derby's youngest ever first team player. In the event of the match, Bennett played for 78 minutes and hit the bar in the second half. If the ball had gone in he would have set the record as the youngest scorer in Football League history. Derby boss Nigel Clough described the performance as "a very mature debut." Bennett played nine times during the season and won the Academy Player of the Year award.
Bennett mainly featured for the under-21 side at the start of the 2012–13 season sporadic substitute appearances, it was in one these appearances where Bennett scored his first goal for the first team, in a 5–0 win at home to Tranmere Rovers in the first half of the FA Cup on 5 January 2013, Bennett scored the fifth goal on 87 minutes, 3 minutes after he was introduced into the action. This goal also set the record for the youngest goal scorer in Derby County's history at the age of 16 years and 174 days, beating a record set by Lee Holmes in 2003.
Bennett turned 17 in pre-season ahead of the 2013–14 season, where he is expected to continue to feature for the under-21 side as well as substitute appearances for the first team, with a potential loan move being considered. Bennett however remained at the club and he scored his first league goal in Derby's 5–1 win at Millwall on 14 September. He has since made sporadic appearances under new Rams boss Steve McClaren including an appearance in the FA Cup Third Round on 5 January 2014 tie against Chelsea at iPro Stadium, in which Bennett impressed many fans with his pace and willingness to run at experienced full-back and England centurion Ashley Cole.
Return to Derby County
After returning to Derby County on 9 April, Bennett was left out of the squad that faced Queens Park Rangers in the 2014 Football League Championship play-off Final but later signed a new four-year deal on 29 July to secure his future at the club.
Mason represented England at U-16 and U-17 level whilst still only 15, and scored on his debut for the England U-17 side in the Nordic Under-17 Tournament in Iceland in 2011 in a 1–1 draw against Norway U17 in the Group Stages. He grabbed the headlines with his performance in England U-16's 3–1 victory over Northern Ireland U-16's Victory Shield, in which he set up England's opener and then scored two goals in a three-minute second-half spell. He scored another goal in a 4–2 win against Scotland U-16's as England won the Victory Shield.
On 17 January 2012, Bennett was called up to the England U-17 squad for the Algarve Tournament in February 2012, joined by his teammate Will Hughes. Bennett appeared in all 3 games, as England won the 3 game tournament with 7 points. Bennett was also called up the 2012 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship elite round in March 2012, however England failed to qualify for the main tournament, finishing 3rd in their group on 4 points, with their exit confirmed in a 4–0 loss to Spain U17. In August 2012, Bennett was called up to the England U-17 squad for the St George's Park International Tournament, which was played from August–September 2012. Bennett scored the opening goal in Englands 3–2 loss against Italy U-17's as England finished the tournament in third place out of four teams.
- As of match played 12 October 2014.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Chesterfield (loan)||2013–14||League Two||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||6||0|
|Bradford City (loan)||2014–15||League One||11||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||12||1|
- England U16
- Victory Shield: 2011
- Derby County
- Academy Player of the Year: 2010, 2012
- Rollin, Glenda; Rollin, Jack, eds. (2012). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2012–2013 (43rd ed.). London: Headline. p. 463. ISBN 978-0-7553-6356-8.
- "O'Brien and Hendrick show that the Rams conveyor belt is starting to move again". thisisderbyshire. 5 Sep 2011.
- "Teams news: Bennett to make Rams history at Boro". thisisderbyshire. 22 October 2011.
- "Derby County 5–0 Tranmere Rovers". dcfc.co.uk. 5 January 2013.
- "Mason Bennett: Clough delighted for record-breaking striker". BBC Sport. 8 January 2013.
- "Shirebrook shooting star!". Shirebrook Academy. 28 September 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
- "Best yet from U18s in a Boro battering". thisisderbyshire. 11 October 2011.
- "Level-headed Mason making good progress after landmark reserves outing". Derby Evening Telegraph. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- "Mason set to show his class in Victory Shield clash". thisisderbyshire. 12 October 2011.
- "Bennett Added to Rams squad". dcfc.co.uk. 9 August 2011.
- "Team News: DCFC v Shrewsbury Town". dcfc.co.uk. 9 August 2011.
- "Mason Bennett". dcfc.co.uk. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
- "Derby County 2–3 Shrewsbury Town". dcfc.co.uk. 9 August 2011.
- "Bennett could be set to feature at Middlesbrough". thisisderbyshire. 21 October 2011.
- "School's out! Derby's 15-year-old wonderkid Bennett delays debut to attend school". Daily Mail. 21 October 2011.
- "Derby County boss Nigel Clough praises Mason Bennett". BBC Sport. 23 October 2011.
- "Bryson Named Club Player Of The Year". dcfc.co.uk. 2 May 2012.
- "Russell arrival gives Rams an extra option as one of strikers with pedigree". Derby Telegraph. 27 July 2013.
- "Millwall 1–5 Derby". BBC Sport. 14 September. Check date values in:
- "Chesterfield Sign Teenage Prospect". Chesterfield FC. 13 March 2014.
- "New deal for Derby County striker Mason Bennett – but he looks set to go out on loan". Derby Telegraph. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- "Crawley Town 1–3 Bradford City" BBC Sport. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
- The FA.com (3 August 2011). "Lions held by Norway in Nordics". Retrieved 22 October 2011.
- "Rams youngsters handed call-ups for Iceland trip". Derby Evening Telegraph. 14 July 2011.
- "Two-Goal Mason Is England's Hero". dcfc.co.uk. 13 October 2011.
- "Victory Shield: Scotland U16 2 England U16 4". Hearld Scotland. 26 November 2011.
- "Bennett & Hughes Get England Call-Ups". dcfc.co.uk. 17 January 2012.
- "Bennett & Hughes Start In England U17 Win". dcfc.co.uk. 18 January 2012.
- "Hughes & Bennett Feature In England Defeat". dcfc.co.uk. 13 April 2012.
- "England Call For Mason". dcfc.co.uk. 8 August 2012.
- The FA.com (29 August 2012). "Italy comeback stuns Lions". Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "Games played by Mason Bennett in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
- "Games played by Mason Bennett in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
- "Games played by Mason Bennett in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
- "Games played by Mason Bennett in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Retrieved 17 August 2014.