| 18.1°C Dublin

Doting dad Ireland and Everton ace Seamus Coleman says family always comes first

"It's the best feeling in the world and while football gives you some fantastic highs, seeing your kids being born and watching them grow up is something special"

Close

Everton's Seamus Coleman with family during the lap of honour after the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool.

Everton's Seamus Coleman with family during the lap of honour after the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool.

Everton's Seamus Coleman with family during the lap of honour after the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool.

A Daddy first and a footballer second.

It's the ethos that drives Ireland captain Seamus Coleman when he gets out of bed each morning and it's one of many reasons why he has long been one of the nation's most revered sporting heroes.

At the age of 32 and some 12 years into his time as a football star with English club Everton, Coleman has never had to answer questions about an unwanted headline in a newspaper, apologise for a social media message he might regret, or offered up an inappropriate comment in an interview.

That's just not the Coleman way - and it's one of many reasons why no one has ever had a bad word to mutter about one of the Goodison Park skipper.

Close

Seamus Coleman is a SPAR ambassador

Seamus Coleman is a SPAR ambassador

Seamus Coleman is a SPAR ambassador

Yet, when we asked one of Donegal's favourite sons to identify the greatest achievement in his life so far, it was not his first cap for Ireland or any of his 299 Premier League appearances that he placed at the top of his list.

Instead, his greatest wins come in the form of daughters Lily (5), Ellie (3) and three-month-old Blake, who he has brought into the world with his long-time partner and wife Rachel.

"Nothing compares to seeing your children for the first time," Coleman told the Sunday World in an exclusive interview.

"It's the best feeling in the world and while football gives you some fantastic highs, seeing your kids being born and watching them grow up is something special. No football game will ever compare to that.

"I'm lucky enough to have three kids now and they are wonderful to be around. If you've had a big win or a bad day at work, you come home and the kids are there to bring you straight back down to earth.

Close

Seamus Coleman in action for Everton against Tottenham in 2020

Seamus Coleman in action for Everton against Tottenham in 2020

Seamus Coleman in action for Everton against Tottenham in 2020

"Even if you have had a terrible defeat, they still need to be put to bed or they still want to play with you. It quickly reminds you that there is a lot more to life than football. That's why I say I am a father first and foremost and then a footballer.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"Some of the young lads coming into football now don't have that balance in their lives. Other things entertain young lads and they like having nights out when they don't have commitments of a family, but Rachel and the kids have been great for me."

The arrival of baby Blake earlier this year has meant Coleman's summer break has been interrupted by sleepless nights, but he wouldn't have it any other way.

"You have to learn very quickly what you need to do when your first kid arrives," he continues. "My wife was very good because she had some little cousins that she looked after, that was good preparation for having our own and you get to grips with it very quickly.

"I've enjoyed the experience of fatherhood and before you know it, you are on full-on Daddy mode. There is nothing better, I love it.

"Family has always been so important in my life and having kids of my own now is such a fantastic experience.

"The best holiday for us is bringing the kids back to Ireland. They love seeing the grandparents, their uncles and aunties. It's one of the great joys of life to see the happiness the kids bring to their lives."

Coleman spoke to the Sunday World as he promoted SPAR's healthy, nutritious, and delicious Better Choices range, with wholesome shopping options and recipe ideas to get you back to eating healthy this summer.

It's the kind of clean-living promotion that fits well with Coleman's simple image and he insists his grounded personality is not something he had had to work on, as he insists the trapping of fame and wealth that comes with being a Premier League star has never excited him.

"I'm not materialistic, that has never driven me," he added. "I have a nice house and a nice car and anyone who does well in their career deserves that, but that's all I need. I certainly don't have ten watches lined up in the house to pick from every morning. That isn't really my thing, or designer gear lying around the house.

"When I finish training every day, I want to come home and spend time with the family. Work hard, come home and be a Dad for the rest of the day. There is nothing too exciting about my life, to be honest. Why should you change just because you have done well at football?

"I have been brought up well by my parents and just because I kick a ball around a field and a few people watch every time I go on the field, it doesn't mean I'm any better than anyone else.

"Some people choose to change if they do well in life, but this job I have is not a reason to become someone you are not. In fact, it's an insult to say you have done well not to change because there is no reason to.

Close

Seamus Coleman

Seamus Coleman

Seamus Coleman

"All of us went into sport because we love it, first and foremost. I went into football because I have a love for the game, not because I wanted to make lots of money. If you get to the top, the rewards come your way and that's great, but luckily for me, the desire has never been affected by the money you might get.

"No one should be on a pitch thinking about the money you are getting for that game because if that's your motivation, you probably won't make the most of the chance you have been given to have a great career in sport."

It's a grounded mentality that has served Coleman well over the course of his career with Everton and Ireland and as he prepares to return to pre-season training with new manager Rafael Benitez next week, his desire to drive for more success is undiminished.

SPAR Better Choices ambassador Seamus Coleman has launched SPAR's Better Choices summer 2021 campaign, bringing healthier food and refreshment options into Irish homes, gardens and parks for all the family to enjoy this summer. SPAR has also created a specially curated online hub at spar.ie/betterchoices.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy