FOUR OF THE BEST: BROTHERS IN FOOTBALL
Intuitively, sporting dynasties make a lot of sense, what with the shared training, inspiration and mindset required to raise a superstar – not to mention the infectious (good-natured, of course) competition between siblings.
Today we’re celebrating two famous Corinthian brothers in football, AM and PM Walters, who were the cornerstone of the English defence in the late Victorian era and were known affectionately by their mates as ‘Night and Day’. In their honour, we’ve released our very special AM PM Shirt – a classic slub cotton-linen white shirt, perfect for this trans-seasonal weather, that you can wear from day to night by simply replacing its cuff buttons with links, and popping the tab on the collar.
Sport is not short of sibling champions (the Williams sisters, the Brownlee brothers…) but, on the pitch, these are our favourite four fraternal footballers who have graced us with their sibling skills over the years.
Do you agree? Tell us what you think, in the comments below. Maybe we have missed out your favourites!
Brian & Michael Laudrup
Football was most definitely in the genes for Danish brothers Brian and Michael; their father, Finn Laudrup was a former Denmark international and ex-manager of Brøndby, who both brothers would go on to play for and who Michael would go on to manage. Michael Laudrup is regarded as one of the best players of his generation and even the best Scandinavian player of all time according to a poll, beating even Zlatan Ibrahimović. And it certainly doesn’t hurt when you’ve won titles with Real Madrid, Ajax, Barcelona and Juventus. The younger Laudrup’s CV is also impressive, making his name here with both Chelsea and Glasgow Rangers, he also enjoyed success in Germany and Italy with, most notably, A.C. Milan and winning Danish Footballer of the Year four times (two more than his brother!).
Sócrates and Rai
Playing for SC Corinthians Paulista - the South American titans inspired by Corinthian FC in 1910 - Brazilian footballer Sócrates was a paragon of Corinthian Spirit. Known as ‘Doctor Sócrates’ for his doctorate in medicine, not only was he Brazil’s captain, he won 60 caps, played in two World Cups and scored 172 goals in 297 games for SC Corinthians Paulista. Basically, he’s considered one of the greatest midfielders of all time, known for his iconic headbands and co-creating the Corinthians Democracy movement in opposition to Brazil’s then-ruling military junta.
Sócrates’ younger brother Raí Souza Vieira de Oliveira (known as Raí), while less overtly charismatic, had a celebrated career as a midfielder too. Spending stints at São Paulo and Paris Saint-Germain, he featured in the Brazilian squad for a decade and was part of the team that won the 1994 World Cup. Raí retired aged 33 to follow his brother’s philanthropic legacy, joining two charities to help improve access to sport for children and to get athletes involved in promoting social causes. True Corinthians.
Rod, Ray & Danny Wallace
While perhaps not quite as famous as some of the other names on this list, the Wallace brothers are fascinating as an example of three siblings who all played for the same team - Southampton - during the 88-89 season.
Born in Lewisham, south London, all three led distinct careers. Danny was a member of the last Southampton team to win at Arsenal but has since struggled with MS, which forced the once-prodigy to retire. Rod and Ray were, even more uniquely, twins - and both signed simultaneously to Leeds United and, following that, to Rangers and Bolton in Rod’s case and Swansea City, Reading, Stoke City and Hull City for Ray.
A.M. and P.M. actually had anther brother too. H.M. Walters died aged 21 when kicked in the stomach during a match and it was this tragedy that led his famous brothers, A.M. and P.M., to vow to their mother that they would never play again.
Bobby & Jack Charlton
No discussion of brothers in football is complete without the towering figures of the Charltons - legendary presences on and off the pitch. We’ll start with Sir Bobby, the Man United hero who is, half a century later, still one of the most pivotal figures in British football thanks to his part in the ‘66 World Cup final. His list of achievements is enormous - apart from being the second-highest scoring United and England player of all time, he was only cautioned twice in a career that spanned four World Cups. Jack, also on the ‘66 team, played for fierce rivals Leeds United throughout his career before going on to win Manager of the Year in his first season at Middlesbrough. He then enjoyed more Word Cup success managing the Republic of Ireland to their first ever tournament in Italy 1990 and later at USA ‘94. Today, Sir Bobby remains an ambassador for British sport and it was Jack (who else?) who presented him with his BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.