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Brendan Rodgers: My upbringing helped make me the manager I am

Brendan Rodgers and fiancee Charlotte Searle
Brendan Rodgers and fiancee Charlotte Searle

By Cate McCurry

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has credited his parents for his rigorous work ethic which has seen him rise to the top of his profession.

Describing them as his "role models", the Carnlough man told of how his parents' hard work was ingrained in him from a young age.

In an interview with the BBC, the Hoops manager said his desire for self-improvement, and the principles of his philosophy, stem from his upbringing.

The 44-year-old's illustrious career seems to have been cemented at his childhood home in Co Antrim.

His father, Malachy Rodgers, was a painter and decorator, and his mum, Christina, was a charity volunteer.

Malachy died in 2011 at the age of 59, while Christina died at the age of 53 - both to cancer and within a year of each other.

When asked about where his managerial style comes from, he said: "It probably comes from growing up. My parents were about being the best they could be. It was borne out of a childhood growing up with really positive parents who made you feel you can achieve things with hard work.

"You have teachers at school but your best teachers are your parents, they're your role models.

"They worked for everything. Five kids, and we didn't have a lot of money, but we were rich in the values they gave us."

He recalled a time when he left home at the age of 16 to go to England to start an apprenticeship as a footballer and, when he returned to Carnlough at the end of the year, he thought he was back for a "relaxing time".

"The next day I had to paint the wall out the front of the garden. It was those little bricks that were out in the 1980s that had all the designs, and I had to do one side and then the other side and it felt like that was my holiday gone. But I had to help him.

"He was a worker, he liked his sons to work and I like my teams to work."

At the age of 20, Rodgers' playing career came to an abrupt end after he suffered an injury. He still needed to earn a living for his young family and it was at that stage he made a decision to get into coaching.

He added: "That was the making of me. When I was a young player and I had to quit, at the time academies weren't around so there weren't many jobs in football. I always wanted to coach but I had a family and I had to provide for them.

"So I got a job with John Lewis in their main warehouse in Bracknell while I was doing my coaching badges.

"I'd be up at five o'clock in the morning and doing a 12-hour shift, five days a week and after that I went coaching. I knew what I wanted to do."

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