In light of the news that Mario Balotelli’s brother, Enoch has joined Stoke City on trial, it is worth examining other famous footballing families from the Premiership. All I can say is, let’s only hope Enoch is as entertaining as his brother:
- Mario and Enoch Balotelli – We all know about Mario, the crazy Italian with his mad antics that range from burgling his own house to giving a tramp £25,000, but now Stoke City have handed his 19-year old brother Enoch a trial in a reserve fixture against Burton Albion, Premiership fans are hoping for more firework displays. Literally. Early signs are promising, as it transpires the Balotelli brothers were arrested two years ago for having driven into a women’s prison in Brescia without any proper authorization. Apparently they were curious about the fact it was a women’s prison.
- Gary and Phil Neville – The brothers who ran the flanks for club and country for the best part of a decade are the exact opposite of the Balotellis. A. They are boring. B. They are both highly annoying. C. They are both extremely ugly. There isn’t a fan in the Premier League (except perhaps those of the Red persuasion) who don’t dislike Gary and to make matters worse, he’s now a Sky Sports pundit. Poor old Phil however, was just shit.
- Shaun and Bradley Wright-Phillips – You would have expected Ian Wright to produce talented offspring given his goalscoring record for Arsenal, but he has somewhat disappointed. Shaun’s career has consisted of over inflated transfer fees and running the ball out of play, while Bradley has dropped off the map following a series of legal issues. Both are staging renaissances though, Shaun in the Blue and White of QPR and Bradley at high-flying Charlton Athletic.
- Rio and Anton Ferdinand – For the first time in his career, Anton has finally overtaken brother Rio in terms of publicity. Unfortunately, such publicity surrounds Rio’s long-term England defensive partner John Terry and his alleged racism. Whilst Anton is a steady-away Premier League defender enjoying a respectable career, his brother is a global superstar, being one of England and Manchester United’s classiest ever centre backs. He also thinks he’s a rapper.
- Rafael and Fabio da Silva –Manchester United picked up the pair of identical twins when they were mere youngsters playing in Brazil. What a decision that has turned out to be, as despite injury problems this season, the pair look set to be part of the United furniture for quite some time. Rumour has it they often switch places in training to irritate Sir Alex Ferguson. Cheeky monkeys.
- John Arne and Bjorn Helge Riise – The Norwegian duo have both forged careers in England, though John has been far successful than Bjorn. His howitzer of a left foot had the Kop on its feet for much of his time at Anfield and then he enjoyed a spell at Roma. He signed for Fulham this summer to play out the twilight of his career with his brother, something he’d always wanted to do. At which point, Bjorn was promptly cast out on loan to Sheffield United.
- Yaya and Kolo Toure – One of the more successful brotherly stories, as the Ivorian duo have carved out careers at the very top of the game. Kolo was a mainstay of a decent Arsenal side for many years, whilst brother Yaya won trophies galore at Barcelona. Reunited at Manchester City, things haven’t gone so well for the older Kolo, banned for the drugs incident last season and looks to be on his way out, but Yaya is firing City towards an assault on the title.
- Xabi and Mikel Alonso – If there was ever a case for sibling jealously, this could be it. Xabi has conquered the footballing world, dominating the midfield at Liverpool, appearing for the Galacticos of Real Madrid and being a valuable member of Spain’s World Cup winning side. Mikel on the other hand, sits in the Charlton reserves.
- John and Paul Terry – Both footballers, both arseholes. John’s antics are well publicised across the British tabloids and he still gets rather tetchy at the mention of the name Wayne Bridge. But Paul has previous too. Team mates at Rushden and Diamonds refused to play with him after it was revealed Paul had an affair with the wife of Dale Roberts, who tragically committed suicide. Not exactly a popular pair.
- Ray, Danny and Rod Wallace – Not two brothers, but three! Southampton unleashed this trio on the world in 1988, becoming the first three brothers to play together in England for 67 years. Whilst Ray and Danny were nothing more than mere journeymen during their careers, Rod enjoyed a successful spell at Leeds United, winning the title in 1991.
Special parenting tekkers go to the parents of the Charltons, the De Boers and the Koeman’s. These three pairs don’t make the list as they have never appeared in the Premiership, but deserve a mention anyway for being global superstars.