Those inside Goodison Park on this day 15 years ago might have believed they were witnessing the next Everton prodigy come to light.

Just over two years previously, Wayne Rooney burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion with his stunning strike against Arsenal - pushing him right to the forefront of the game in England.

But he had already left to join Manchester United. Who was going to be the next Blues academy graduate to step and and wow the fans?

That leads us to 10 April 2005.

I was sat in the Upper Bullens on that day, as I had been when Rooney downed Arsenal in 2002, as a young supporter full of hope and optimism for the direction Everton were going in.

It's little wonder that was the case - David Moyes' side were mounting a real charge in a bid to finish fourth in the league and qualify for the Champions League when Crystal Palace visited Goodison.

The 4-0 win over the Eagles was big for a number of reasons - it put the Blues clear of Liverpool in fourth, it marked Mikel Arteta's first goal for the club during his time on loan.

But at the time it seemed no moment was more significant than James Vaughan becoming the youngest ever Premier League goalscorer at the age of 16 years and 271 days.

Leon Osman picked up possession and played Kevin Kilbane down the left flank on the overlap, before the midfielder fired a low cross to the near post for the striker to knock the ball home.

The sense of delight around the stadium was instantly apparent. Not just for Vaughan himself or even the result, but the fact that he had taken Rooney's club record away as youngest scorer, too.

The striker, looking back on his famous strike, said: "I was desperate to get on the pitch. I'd been on the bench a couple of times before but nothing had really come of it. I was always hopeful that day would be the day.

"It was incredible, I just ran and ran and ran. I look at it now and I can't believe I didn't thank Kev [Kilbane] for the assist but I was a young kid just getting excited.

"It was an incredible feeling, just to get on the pitch was a dream come true so for it to go that way was incredible."

Unfortunately, things didn't work out for Vaughan the way they did for Rooney. Perhaps, coming through the ranks in such close proximity worked against him.

The latter was an absolutely exceptional talent of course, people had been talking about him for years before he burst onto the scene and he went on to achieve incredible things across his career.

Coming just over two years later to break Rooney's record though, there might have been a ertain amount of expectation to kick on in a similar manner - to go on to be the young hero of the Everton front line.

James Vaughan makes history against Crystal Palace in 2005
James Vaughan makes history against Crystal Palace in 2005

It's a shame that was never allowed to happen.

A multitude of injuries denied the striker the opportunity to really push himself into the side as he would have liked and severely limited his moments in royal blue.

Ask an Evertonian about Vaughan's best moments and they will mention either his penalty in the shootout against Manchester United in 2009, or his debut goal four years earlier.

"Watching back now it's definitely a proud moment for me, something I can show my little boy now and kind of show off to him," the striker added on his Crystal Palace effort.

"That goal started a great journey for me with that club, Everton will always be in my heart and I'm grateful for not only that day but what led up to it from the academy and going on after that."

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That debut strike showed Blues supporters a very different path for Vaughan than what was eventually received.

The striker left the club permanently in 2011 and has travelled around a host of sides across the country in that time since - currently finding himself back on Merseyside of course with Tranmere Rovers.

But, even 15 years on, fans look back at that moment with a lot of joy for perhaps one of the most unlucky players in Everton's recent history.