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Brendan Rodgers reveals how Co Antrim upbringing shaped his life

By Staff Reporter

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has opened up about how his childhood in Carnlough, Co Antrim, shaped his life.

In his autobiography The Road To Paradise, which is published this week, the Parkhead hero writes movingly about his parents and the enduring legacy of the values they transmitted to him during his upbringing.

"There's no doubt that my mum and dad's influence as a child growing up is here with me to this day, and I hear their voices in many things I do in life," he writes.

"There were lots of influences, but in particular there was the work ethic - you get out of it what you put into it.

"That was something which was very clear from my dad.

"My upbringing was very much about caring and helping others, because that's the way my mother and father were.

"And we were always taught to help the needy and support them - and never forget how lucky we were."

In the book he explains how his passion for football was ignited by Northern Ireland's sparkling performance at the 1982 World Cup.

"The big story from the tournament was Northern Ireland beating the hosts Spain - and those guys have gone down in history as legends."

There is much for the fan fan to enjoy in the book's 250 pages, as Rodgers charts his remarkable journey from a Glens of Antrim fishing village to the highest peaks of professional football with Liverpool and Celtic.

But for the general reader it is the enduring influence of his family childhood that speaks most clearly.

Away from the game, he is an ambassador for the Northern Ireland Hospice, reflecting the generosity of spirit he learned at his mother's knee.

"When I looked into what they did, I was very proud that they had asked me," he says.

"That was my mum's life. She was a charity worker and it's something that I try to do because I want to do it - and also for her memory."

Brendan Rodgers: The Road To Paradise is published by Celtic FC and is priced at £20.

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