Actually, it’s not that uncommon

“How many siblings can say they play professional football?” Lauren James asks, laughing. Manchester United’s teenage striker is reflecting on the extraordinary footballing journey that she and older brother Reece have shared, since first kicking a ball against a fence as kids, to becoming two of English football’s hottest young talents.

Charltons (and there were cousins/uncles there too), Nevilles just off the top of my head.

Ability at sport being genetically related even if not determined, d’ye see? Brother and sister being a feature of the rise of women’s sport, the sibling bit is old.

17 thoughts on “Actually, it’s not that uncommon”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    Why just football?

    The Curry brothers at Sale, one of whom was one of the few England players to get through England’s 6N debacle with their reputation intact, or in his case enhanced.

    The Willis brothers at Wasps, one sadly long term injury, the other tipped for England in a crowded field of back rowers.

    Curran brothers in cricket. Without doing any research I think cricket probably has more sons following fathers than any other sport, although Botham’s son and grandson both went in to rugby.

    Spring to mind, but why restrict it to brothers?

    Tracey Neville played netball for England for a long time. Wasps signed a prop on a short term loan who’s sister plays Wasps Ladies. Apparently Stuart Broad’s sister was a handy cricketer before she decided on a career in sport physio.

    As women’s sport gets more prominence we’ll find more of these examples.

  2. There were three Wallaces at Southampton back in the 80’s, three Dawson’s started out at Forest in the 00’s.. and all had pro careers. Listing the times where there were just two would be beyond dull as it’s so common.

    I don’t recall a case of four siblings all making it as pros, but it doubtless happened.

  3. I can give you five siblings from Pakistani cricket, the Mohammads: Wazir, Hanif, Mushtaq and Sadiq all played test cricket, and a fifth, Raees, played at first-class level domestically.

    Four Graces in the second half of the 1800s – W.G., E.M., G.F. and Henry. Plus two different sets of three brothers called Hearne, from the same extended family I think, who played for Kent and Middlesex, again in the late 1800s.

  4. The Fashanu brothers spring to mind, as well as the Chapples in Australia of course and the Cowdrey dynasty. Not forgetting the fifteen Chuckle Brothers that make up the England rugger team.

  5. The Edrich and Foster (Worcs) families of cricketers also spring to mind. As do James and John Langridge of Sussex and the Tyldesleys (JT and GE) of Lancashire

  6. John and Mel Charles BOTH PLAYED FOR wALES
    Cricket: the Graveney brothers, both of Sir Len’s sons played for Yorkshire, Billy Root plays for Glamorgan …

  7. Sedin twins in ice hockey maybe a more extreme example of siblings, as a sport it’s littered with related players.
    Gretzky’s brother played in the U.K. and earned the rather cruel epitaph of the Lesser One, one of his sons plays baseballs.

  8. In boxing there is Ricky Hatton and his brother Matthew and in Ye Olde Dayes the Finnegan brothers: Chris and Kevin. Mancini is also a kind of boxing dynasty too, with Dennie, Len and Tony and the great Terry Mancini who used to play for QPR and Arsenal (although he is a Mancini ‘cos his mum remarried into the family).

  9. In other sports the Cooper twins were quite well-known in my youth and the Williams sisters periodically played against each other in Wimbledon finals, Andy Murray’s elder brother has won a few Doubles championships, and if you want the top triathlete in the UK then he’s either called Brownlee or Brownlee …
    We could go on for hours

  10. My Great Uncles were known as the Fighting Delaneys in pre-WW1 Bradford…out of the 5, 2 were considered to be future world beaters before 1914

  11. The noble art can claim Vladimir and Vitaly Klitschko, while the beautiful game boasted identical twin brothers Rafael and Fabio da Silva, both at Man Utd.

  12. At Manchester City, off the top of my head, I remember Ron & Paul Futcher, Ian & David Brightwell (Ann Packer & Robbie Brightwell’s lads), Jason & Jermaine Beckford, Sean & Bradley Wright-Phillips, Peter & Kaspar Schmeichel, Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe and their grandson Tommy Doyle.

  13. BIND- “without doing any research I think cricket probably has more sons following fathers than any other sport,”

    Numbers maybe but percentage wise I’d go with F1/motor racing. Didn’t tim once reference some analysis on the family names in sport and F1 came out top? I think it was used as an indicator for how competitive the entry was..i.e. a proxy for nepotism and or non-talent barriers of a sport.

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