Sports : Ben White opens up on comeback after Southampton release aged 16, his dad hating football and Las Vegas promise if England win Euro 2020

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Ben White enjoys his time away from the intense nature of the football world… largely because his family aren’t huge fans of the beautiful game.

In fact, the Brighton defender’s dad, Barry, can’t stand football full stop – although he makes sure he follows his son’s developments closely.


White has overcome many challenges to get the Premier League, while also receiving international recognition with England

White, who was selected as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s replacement in England’s final 26-man squad for Euro 2020, credits his family as his biggest inspiration in football – but loves their laid-back nature in regards to the game.

“I’d say definitely my family. None of my family have ever played football, let alone professionally,” White told talkSPORT’s England correspondent Faye Carruthers.

“They didn’t even really like it, my dad can’t stand it!

“Being in a world with football is absolutely everything, it’s nice to go home and it’s not spoke about it and you get on with your normal life.

“I could have the best game in the world and my dad wouldn’t know… it’s a blessing really!”

The Brighton defender has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top


The Brighton defender has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top

On the other hand, mum Carole has been a devoted follower of her son through thick and thin – with the pair watching England tournament games together during White’s days as a teenager.

He explained:”I remember coming home from school and watching all the games with her with the music on.”

On his mum’s reaction to him receiving England recognition, White added: “It’s a bit surreal for her.

“I speak to her every day and let her know what’s going on. She’s obviously overwhelmed and so happy for me.

“She’s been to literally every game I’ve played in my career.”

Carole even got her son trials after he was released by Southampton aged 16, with White acknowledging he is a different player and person nowadays.

“When I was at Southampton I didn’t have any confidence,” he admitted.

White was adored by the Leeds faithful

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White was adored by the Leeds faithful

“The way I play now is with a lot of confidence. It’s the complete opposite of what I used to be.

“I think coming through Brighton the coaches and the people really believed in me.

“I think you get that with playing and at Southampton I was on the sidelines a lot. But I went Brighton and went straight into the team and played.

“It’s tough when you get released and you’re not wanted. Especially when you’re young, it’s hard to deal with.

“You either sink or swim, but for me I obviously wanted it a lot and it was the only thing I wanted at the time so I went for it.”

White still pinches himself now when he thinks of representing his country. So how would White react if England managed to go all the way in this summer’s European Championship?

White has a big future ahead of him – whether that lies at Arsenal is yet to be seen

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White has a big future ahead of him – whether that lies at Arsenal is yet to be seen

Should Southgate’s men get the better of Germany, a nation will be dreaming of European glory, especially with the Three Lions being on the more favourable side of the draw.

England won’t be getting ahead of themselves but if they do lift the widely coveted trophy on July 11 then it’ll be some celebration from White, who says he’ll join Jack Grealish on holiday in Las Vegas and officially ‘get the rave on’.

Like Darren Bent, he’s also pledged to dye his hair blond like Phil Foden.

When asked what he’ll do if England win Euro 2020, White responded: “I’ll do all of them, every single one. I’ll just do it all in Vegas!”

Meanwhile, recent reports claim White was close to sealing a £50million switch to Arsenal with two Gunners legends backing the deal, but the defender remains unfazed about those rumours.

On the speculation, he told talkSPORT: “It’s nice, it’s happened quite a lot over the last two years, there’s been a lot of noise.”

On whether he talks to teammates about it, he added: “Not really.

“You don’t know what’s true and what’s not. So there’s no real point talking about it.”

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