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Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers 'driven by memory of mum and dad'

 

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

By David O'Dornan

FOOTBALL boss Brendan Rodgers has spoken candidly about the loss of both his parents and how "honouring their memory" is what drives him to be a success.

The Carnlough-born Leicester City manager had to cope with losing his charity worker mum Christina in 2010 only two months after his sacking at Reading, and painter-decorator dad Malachy to throat cancer 18 months later.

His mum was just 53 and his dad 59 when they died and neither got to witness Brendan land big jobs at Liverpool and Celtic where he enjoyed success.

Brendan (46) said: "If I could do anything in this world, it would be to bring them back for one day. They were hard workers. They didn't have much in their life and everything they did was for us children.

"My father worked so hard and my mother was at home to look after us all, so the values they put in place for us have stayed with me.

"I've never really mentioned it before, but I saw my dad work tirelessly throughout his life and he was a real, real nice man.

"He did maintenance work for people, honest work - and once he was done, he would go away and look to get paid by people who might leave him for a few weeks.

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Brendan Rodgers attends father's funeral mass...Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers (right) helps to carry his father's coffin along with other family members, for his funeral mass at St John the Evangelist Chapel in Carnlough Co Antrim. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 12, 2011. Rodgers, made it home to Northern Ireland in time to be by his father Malachy's side when he passed away at the weekend. The Carnlough man's father had been suffering from cancer and died on Saturday aged 59, following a long fight with the disease. His death comes after Rodgers' mother Christina also died from a cancer-related illness last year aged 53. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire
Brendan Rodgers attends father's funeral mass...Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers (right) helps to carry his father's coffin along with other family members, for his funeral mass at St John the Evangelist Chapel in Carnlough Co Antrim. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 12, 2011. Rodgers, made it home to Northern Ireland in time to be by his father Malachy's side when he passed away at the weekend. The Carnlough man's father had been suffering from cancer and died on Saturday aged 59, following a long fight with the disease. His death comes after Rodgers' mother Christina also died from a cancer-related illness last year aged 53. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire

"He had a family of five young kids, had worked honestly to earn his money, and wasn't always repaid by that.

"But he never flinched - he just got on with it and worked hard to provide. That's always something I've taken: you work, and you work hard for yourself and your family."

Brendan did not enjoy a career as a player despite hoping to make the big time after Reading signed him from Ballymena United when he was 18. A genetic knee condition forced the defender to retire from professional football at 20 but, determined to make it in the game, he stayed at Reading as a youth coach.

That led to him being headhunted by Jose Mourinho at Chelsea to coach the Premier League side's youngsters and reserves before he was handed manager roles at Watford, Reading, Swansea, Liverpool, Celtic - and now Leicester.

Brendan told FourFourTwo magazine that his working-class roots and hard-working parents have been a huge influence on his career.

He added: "The values they gave me as a young man, that resilience, I had to use. I was sacked by Reading in December 2009 and my mum passed away in February, then my father became ill not long after that.

"But he had the chance to see me get Swansea promoted into the Premier League at Wembley. He passed away on the morning that we were playing Arsenal.

"From that point, my life has been about honouring their memory - I fight for everything they taught me growing up."

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