HomePatrick Bamford: Why the Leeds striker refused Ireland and Harvard to play for England

Patrick Bamford: Why the Leeds striker refused Ireland and Harvard to play for England

Patrick Bamford He never shied away from the fact that he hails from a privileged background. He was rarely able to, because he makes good articles.

However, Bamford is far from being the first luxury footballer. He is not the only one currently playing in the Premier League. The rapid growth of English football from its working-class roots over the past 30 years means that many of today’s players come from more relaxed backgrounds than their predecessors.

still, The only new addition to Gareth Southgate’s first England squad since Euro 2020 He is the most luxurious player in the country and certainly the only one with a satirical Twitter account describing him as an “officer, gentleman, and footballer.” Leeds United“.

And in football, once you’ve earned such a reputation, it can be hard to shake it off, even among those you work with.

Not long after Leeds finally got a promotion and a return to the English Football League, one of Marcelo Bielsa’s coaches told Bamford he was surprised by how hard and hard he worked that season, given that his father is a billionaire. The only thing is that Bamford’s father is not a billionaire.

“I can’t remember the words he used, but he said he was proud of the way I was working considering my dad was who he was. I was like, ‘What are you talking about?'” he recalls. The coach in question seemed to think Bamford was related to the family. that is behind JCB, founded by Joseph Cyril Bamford.” “This is a myth.” His real father, Russell, is an architect.

You may have heard that he was offered a place to study at Harvard University. It turned out to be true. While in Nottingham Forest’s youth system and studying at a fee-paying Nottingham High School, he and his friends began applying for university courses.

“I wasn’t sure or not if I was going to get a professional contract, so I had to go through the process as well,” he says.

“I didn’t want to go to university in England and thought if I was going to university I would get a soccer scholarship in America. My parents took out the sensors and the school helped me with that. I think the first was the University of Connecticut or something, they got in touch with it.

“Once one called, a few others heard about it, and that’s how Harvard was born. The show was there but football was always my first love if I wanted to. It seems strange to say I turned it down but I never really cared.”

Bamford with Leeds – and now England – teammate Calvin Phillips

(FA via Getty Images)

His only ambition has always been to become a professional footballer, with England playing a close second. And while his upbringing afforded him advantages that some of his new international teammates didn’t have, they counted little since he established himself in the game.

Bamford arrived at his first camp in England in the week of his 28th birthday, not as a promising, cocky youngster but in the prime of his life, after a nomadic career that included six separate loan spells before settling under Bielsa at Leeds.

And for someone who supposedly had everything in his own way, he refused to take the easy road. Bamford qualifies for the Republic of Ireland through one of his grandparents and had the opportunity to switch allegiances three years ago. Even then-Ireland coach Mick McCarthy announced that Bamford would wear the green shirt sooner or later.

But that wasn’t true for Bamford. He did not want to take this place away from an Irish player who grew up dreaming of playing for Ireland, just as he grew up dreaming of representing England.

“I didn’t think this would be fair, so I had to stay really true to myself and what I wanted to achieve and work hard for it to hopefully happen,” he says.

“I always thought I would get to the England stage. It wasn’t about being selfless and not getting in someone’s way, it was also thinking I would get to that level at some point.

“There were times when I thought maybe it wouldn’t, but obviously I had to get my head back on track and push towards it. I always said never give up.

“Even if I was eventually called up when I’m 36 or in the latter stages of my career, it would be a victory for me. So it was just a matter of continuing until the day I hang up my shoes. And if I do, I do, and if I don’t I knew I did my best.”