Football can be open and offer a place to everyone. But the opposite can also happen. The latter was demonstrated by the example of Patrick Bamford, at least until recently.
At the age of 27, the Englishman is living his dream of being a professional footballer. The striker plays an exceptional season with the rising Leeds United. He has scored 12 times in 23 Premier League games. It sits in the center of the table with the club and fills the island’s football fans with refreshing.
For a long time it seemed impossible for him to really score a goal in what is perhaps the best league in the world. One of the reasons: his family.
Bamford does not adapt to the English football system
But it’s not one of those stories that starts in a London neighborhood, according to the motto of Zero to Hero. Bamford does not come from a broken house. He grew up well-guarded, his father working as an architect in the small town of Newark.
However, his son made it clear that he wanted to pursue a different career. He is basically fascinated by playing with the ball on his foot. But their origins became a problem, they somehow did not fit into English classic football.
The way he talked about Bamford, where he was from, how he had turned down a place at Harvard, and how he played an instrument, all didn’t fit into the sometimes hard world of English football.
Everywhere he went, Bamford was greeted with suspicion. Sometimes with curiosity, sometimes with aversion, but distrust always played its part. And Bamford knew many places, he was part of Chelsea FC’s famous “Army of Loans”.
In 2012 Bamford moved from Nottingham Forest to the blues. The London club sold it to Milton Keynes Dons, Derby County, Middlesborough FC, Norwich City and Burnley FC.
“I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth”
His last loan period shows why Bamford did not seem to fit into the English football system.
In Burnley, Bamford once took his parents to Turf Moor, the clubhouse, to see where his son was going. The Burnley coach at the time didn’t like it as much.
At first, this was not a problem at Burnley until Bamford began to wonder why he was constantly on the bench. He abruptly left the coach, who began by saying that “he had been born with a silver spoon in his mouth” and that he was listening to “too many people outside of football”.
Bamford recalls in an interview with Sports mail because he asked for an example. The answer was a counter-question: “Who did you come with when you signed the first day?” Bamford said, “With my mother and father.” And the coach: “Exactly.”
As a result, myths grew up around Bamford. For example, he is a distant relative of the powerful businessman and politician Anthony Bamford.
Bamford receives curious praise
Another conversation with another coach also shows the prejudices Bamford had to contend with, at a time when the professional footballer had his best moment so far.
“After we were promoted to Leeds, the players and staff came together,” Bamford said with a smile. “One of Marcelo’s assistants approached me and congratulated me.”
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For Marcelo, Bamford means Marcelo Bielsa, the successful coach of Leeds United, the club he moved to in the summer of 2018. As a result, he received curious praise:
“While he was talking to me, he told me that he was fascinated by the work he was doing and that he was impressed, especially because my father is a billionaire. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that my father was an architect in Newark. He’s just a normal boy. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Newark, but it’s not the richest place in the country. ”
From that moment on everything changed suddenly. Bamford is valued, accepted. Most recently, it starred Jamie Carragher and Chris Coleman in the Monday night Football show celebrated – shortly after Bamford scored the 100th goal of his career.
Bamford could soon play the Three Lions
Carragher joked as if they were old friends while interviewing Bamford. The Liverpool legend even told the striker that he would be delighted to be called up for the England national team soon.
Suddenly, Bamford knows the whole country and people like him.
“Since I came to Leeds, I’ve tried to prove that I’m one of them,” Bamford said, “that I’m a normal guy, that I’m not afraid to work hard and get my hands dirty. I’m not afraid to try. adapting and proving that I’m nice and I’m not the type to put myself above everyone, but that I’m willing to help and be part of the community where I live. ”
Bamford recently donated £ 5,000 to a Leeds primary school so they could buy iPads for distance learning. Bamford not only shines on the pitch with goals, but also with his disinterest and his team’s game ideas.
“Since I was little, my dad has always told me, when someone is in a better position than you, sometimes you look better when you pass than when you try to score. That’s what I’ve always remembered.” revealed Bamford.
After the initial difficulties, he has managed to break down prejudices and do what he enjoys most: working hard – on the football field. What role should origin and family play in this?