Lewis Ferguson is 21 years of age. It is a statement worth making every now and then, for it is easy to forget and, at times, utterly impossible to believe.
Ferguson has probably not yet reached the point of being able to grow a moustache as resplendent as that which iconically adorned the face of legendary full-back Stuart Kennedy, but he has matched his brilliant predecessor in an even more manful way.
The young midfielder made his 100th first-team appearance for Aberdeen yesterday, every single one of them as part of the starting 11 – a feat achieved by no Don since Kennedy reached that milestone in 1978.
In an era of large squads and frequent rotation, that would be an impressive enough statement of any player’s irreplaceable importance to his team. For it to apply to one so young, brought to the club at 18 with virtually no fanfare and barely a dozen senior starts to his name, is genuinely extraordinary – particularly one who plays in the most critical, and often the dirtiest, area of the pitch.
Ferguson has many attributes which are obvious to even the casual observer, but it takes much more than that to fashion the kind of career he is carving at Pittodrie.
To rack up such an incredible number of minutes takes not only elite-level physical stamina, but also the supreme confidence and mental strength required to sustain performance level and insulate it against dips in form.
His constant production of pace-setting performances, driving the direction of the team as a whole, can make his excellence easy to take for granted, but what he is doing for Aberdeen is historically outstanding and noteworthy.
On the occasion of his joining the list of Pittodrie centurions, let this remarkable young man receive the acclaim which he is due.