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25th Sep 2019

What’s it like to grow up with a footballer for a dad?

Making his debut appearance on Liquid Football, Shaun-Wright Phillips discussed growing up with a footballer for a father and the advice he gives his son

Reuben Pinder

Sponsored by Paddy Power

“I was just brought up to be my own person.”

Growing up with hopes of making it as a professional footballer carries enough pressure, let alone growing up with Ian Wright as your dad.

Former Chelsea, Manchester City and QPR winger Shaun Wright-Phillips, son of former Crystal Palace, Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright, made his debut appearance on Liquid Football this week to discuss the pressures that come with it, and what advice he is giving to his son D’Margio, who has just signed for Manchester City.

“Growing up, everyone was like, ‘Are you going to follow in his footsteps?'” Wright-Phillips told host Kelly Cates and fellow guests Wes Brown and Wayne Bridge.

“I was always brought up to be my own person and make my own path. I always knew that I was a different player to my dad,” he added.

Wright-Phillips is echoing those words of wisdom to his son, who has just signed for Manchester City, where Shaun began his career in 1999.

“He’s just focussing on what footsteps he can take in the game and what print he can leave out there as part of his family line.”

Asked how difficult it can be to deflect the comparisons from outside figures to his father, Wright-Phillips said: “You have to be mentally strong.”

“There’s a lot of things that come that, maybe if he wasn’t a footballer, he would deal with completely differently,” Wright-Phillips said on the environment that D’Margio now finds himself in as a young professional.

“There’s a lot of sacrifices and a lot of pressures that come with it. You have to learn how to deal with it at a young age because you never know when that game is going to come when you’re called upon. And you’re one minute not relevant, to now, you’re relevant to everyone in England.”