Frank Lampard gesture to grieving Stoke debutant hailed as 'class' by Mark Hughes

The Manchester City midfielder handed his shirt to Oliver Shenton, who two days earlier had attended his mother's funeral, in midweek

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The Independent Online

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has hailed the "class" of Frank Lampard after the former England man swapped shirts with Potters teenager Oliver Shenton this week.

Shenton, 17, made his Barclays Premier League debut as a late substitute in Wednesday night's 4-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium only two days after his mother's funeral.

City midfielder Lampard, who lost his own mother in 2008, sought out fellow midfielder Shenton after the game to have a chat and trade shirts.

And Hughes said on Friday of the incident: "That is a great touch.

"Obviously Frank has lost close family members as well and maybe that resonated with Frank. I think that shows his class."

Hughes also expressed his pride at the way Shenton has conducted himself, and emphasised that the youngster was involved in Wednesday's game on merit.

"He has shown a lot of maturity," Hughes said.

"Obviously it is a difficult time for him and his family, but my thinking behind trying to get him on the pitch wasn't born out of sentiment, it was because he deserved the chance, because he is a good pro - a young player we have high hopes for.

"We were a little bit light due to injuries and he was there on merit. For his progression and development I thought it was a good opportunity, as the game had got away from us, to get him on.

"It is credit to him that he has been able to come through a really tough period for himself and his family and was still fully engaged with the game and was desperate to get on.

"We are very proud of him. If he keeps progressing as a football player and a person, he is going to have a long career here."

Oliver-Shenton-2.jpg
Oliver Shenton is sent on by Mark Hughes for his Premier League debut

 

Hughes was speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round away clash with Sky Bet Championship outfit Blackburn, and confirmed Shenton would be part of the matchday squad.

Shenton has made a total of two senior Stoke appearances, the other coming in the Capital One Cup earlier this season, again as a substitute.

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