Reece James has detailed life growing up near Stamford Bridge and how his family has had such a significant influence on his life.
The Chelsea youngster has stormed onto the scene in South West London this season having previously spent last season on loan at Wigan Athletic.
After a succession of impressive performances, he has cemented himself as a regular in Frank Lampard’s first team.
However, if it was not for his older brother, Josh, James may not be where he is today…
‘I started playing because of my brother’
In an interview with the Chelsea website, James disclosed how influential his older brother was in his strides towards playing the beautiful game.
The 20-year-old defender claimed football was in his family’s blood. His father, Nigel James, had trialled at Southampton as a player before playing for Aldershot Town.
James’ siblings Josh and Lauren have and are currently entertaining football professionally as a career respectively. Lauren currently plays professionally for Manchester United.
“Obviously, Josh learned from my dad and then it just passed its way down,” began James.
“I started playing because my brother played, and my sister played because I played. We grew up as a three.
“We all used to play every day together at the park and over time we all gradually got better. There was a field behind my house, with two pitches, and every day I’d be playing football, either in the field or in the street."
‘I was always a Chelsea fan’
The youngsters continued by expressing his support and fondness for the Blues declaring he has always been a Chelsea fan despite his brother’s influences.
“My brother was a United fan,” he said. “Me and my sister were always Chelsea. When I first supported them, it would have been the team with Robben, Drogba, Petr Cech, Terry and the gaffer.
“We moved to west London when I was about two, so I grew up in this area, not too far from Stamford Bridge, and it was natural for them to become my team.”