Football's top players' mothers sometimes steal the limelight with embarrassing incidents, from nightclubs to shoplifting, creating unexpected fame and challenges.
Being closely related to a football star usually means sharing in the glory and fame but for some it has also meant stepping into the spotlight for far less commendable reasons.
The football pitch is no stranger to drama and surprisingly some of the most sensational stories come from off the field often involving the players' own families.
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Picture the scene: the crowd roars, the spotlight shines, and the world watches as football stars like John Terry, Neymar, and Harry Maguire showcase their talent on the field. Yet, for these athletes, their skillful footwork and tactical prowess are sometimes overshadowed by the actions of their nearest and dearest – their mothers.
The recent incident involving Phil Foden's mother, Claire Rowlands, is a case in point.
His mother, Claire Rowlands, aged 44, became the center of media attention after an incident at Bentley's nightclub in Towyn, Wales. This occurred just hours after Foden played for England in a Euro 2024 qualifier.
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Rowlands was kicked out of the club and put in handcuffs after knocking a hat from a fellow partygoer's head.
The courtroom was shown a 52-second clip where she was seen aggressively confronting police officers.
Despite being cleared of assault, she was fined for her behavior. Her candid admission to the police was quite telling: "I do not drink often but when I do, I make up for time. I am like an animal," she said per Sky News
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Ainsley Maitland-Niles, former Arsenal midfielder, also had an uncomfortable experience when his mother was arrested at his training ground in 2015.
During a crucial meeting about her son's future, she reportedly lost her temper, hurling abuse at staff members, and refusing to leave, prompting police intervention.
Although she was later released without charges, the incident certainly put Maitland-Niles in an awkward position, highlighting the potential pressures that come with familial associations in the spotlight.
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Brazilian superstar Neymar, currently playing for Al Hilal in the Saudi Pro League, faced a different kind of familial embarrassment. His mother, Nadine, then 52, dated a 23-year-old man, Tiago Ramos, who was six years younger than Neymar.
The internet was quick to dig up that Ramos had messaged Neymar in 2017, expressing admiration and a wish to meet him. Despite Neymar's public support for his mother's relationship, it was a situation that brought unexpected attention to his personal life. The couple has since parted ways after Nadine discovered Ramos' past relationships.
Another high-profile player, Harry Maguire of Manchester United, experienced familial support turning into public scrutiny.
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After fans booed his performance for England, his mother, Zoe Maguire, took to Instagram to defend him, writing a heartfelt message rebuking the booing and emphasizing her son's mental strength.
Her public defense, while coming from a place of love, thrust her into the media spotlight, illustrating the emotional toll such incidents can have on players and their families.
John Terry, former England Captain, faced a particularly embarrassing situation in 2009 when his mother and mother-in-law were arrested for shoplifting £800 worth of goods from Tesco and M&S.
Adding to the complexity, Tesco was the official England supermarket at the time, and Terry was on a substantial weekly salary.
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This incident was followed by another in 2017, when a sex worker falsely claimed to be Sue Terry, leading to a wave of cruel memes and chants at football matches.