'He'd always go extra lengths to help'

By Connor Armstrong

Parents will often be the driving force when it comes to launching a player’s career - but Rob Holding's father went further than most as his son chased his dream.

Reflecting on his rise, the Arsenal centre back pinpointed exactly how his dad's commitment helped him reach the top.

"I probably started with my dad on the street just kicking a ball to him and back," Holding told Arsenal Player. "Up and down the streets for hours, that’s what I liked to do. From when I got home from school, if I wasn't doing anything I’d be like ‘Can we go down to the nearest astro?’"

"He’d get back from work tired and then see me out on the street on my own just kicking the ball and he’d come outside. Then we’d go to the nearest astro and be there for a couple of hours.

"The support’s always been there, all the way through every age group. My dad’s never just been like, ‘I can’t take you to training tonight because I’m tired’. He’d always go to the extra lengths to get me there. He’d always be stood watching.

"Some parents would drop their lads off and then go in and have a coffee and watch whatever was on TV whereas my dad would be out there in the rain, snow, everything. He had a big coat. He always had it in the boot of his car and he used to stand there and watch the training session, every training session.

"I would look across and he’d be there, watching. He’d always give me these hand gestures to say hurry up or do this better, do that better and he’s just always been there."

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