Football, like so many professions, is often passed along the branches of the family tree. It’s not uncommon to hear the same surname more than once on the pitch – especially at the Bridge. Whether it’s down to genetics or simply a shared passion for the game, some of football’s finest players are related. From brothers to be reckoned with to sons of living legends, here’s five of Chelsea’s most significant family ties.
All born in La Louvière, Belgium, the Hazard brothers have football in their blood. The oldest brother, Eden Hazard, is already renowned as one of the best players in football – playing for the best club in the world. His younger brothers, Thorgan and Kylian Hazard, are also quickly gaining attention for their respective performances in the Bundesliga and Belgium Pro League. Competition among the three brothers is fierce and it’s not unlikely that they’ll each have their moment of glory as Thorgan and Kylian work their way through the ranks.
Family favourite: Who knows? In the future, Thorgan or Kylian may overtake Eden – but for now, the Chelsea ace is a step above the rest.
A name that needs no introduction at Stamford Bridge is that of Chelsea and England legend Ray Wilkins – however, Ray also has two footballing brothers: Dean and Graham Wilkins. All Chelsea fans from birth, both Graham and Alan were taken on as apprentices at the club at a young age, before both making their first team debut at the age of 17. Combined, the brothers have over 300 appearances for the Blues under their belts – not to mention the fact that Ray’s stepped in as Chelsea’s caretaker manager on two separate occasions. Dean, on the other hand, has played for numerous different clubs – but he’s best remembered as a fan favourite at Brighton & Hove Albion, where he alone made nearly 350 appearances for the club.
Family favourite: Although Graham’s career was cut short due to injury, we still have to give this one to Ray. The man is not only a club football legend but an England one as well.
The Lampard family has more inside connections than the mafia and is one of the best known footballing families in history. Frank Lampard Jr is best known for his time at the Blues, as the leading goalscorer during his time at the club, and has been described as Chelsea’s ‘greatest ever player’. Twice named England Player of the Year, Lampard Jr has seen equal success in international tournaments. His father of the same name, Frank Lampard Snr, is best known for his time playing for West Ham – winning two FA Cups in 1975 and 1980 – and his lengthy and successful career on the England team. The family ties don’t stop there, though, with former Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp as his brother-in-law – making him uncle to former Premier League and international footballer Jamie Redknapp.
Family favourite: Another no-brainer – Frank Sr may have been a well-respected and well rounded defender, but Frank Jr will go down as one of the greatest midfielders ever to play the game! No hard feelings, though – Frank Sr has nothing but pride for his son.
The renowned Danish duo are famous for their footballing technique, praised for their agility and technical skill on the pitch. Michael progressed through the ranks quickly, making it onto the Danish national team by his 18th birthday and scoring 37 goals while representing his home country! Michael’s brother Brian Laundrup boasts an equally impressive resume, playing for Rangers and Chelsea during the 90s – before retiring early due to an injury. Today, both brothers have hung up their boots but continue to make their mark on football – with Michael managing Qatari club Lekhwiya SC and younger brother Brian now a prominent football commentator on Danish television.
Family favourite: Our first draw, in their prime, both Laundrup brothers were a force to be reckoned with. Only matched by each other, Brian’s quick and skillful wing play complemented Michael’s more tactical view of the great game.
When you think of Liverpool, you’ll most likely think of Gerrard or Kenny. When you think of Arsenal, you’ll probably be thinking of Arsene Wenger or Tony Adams. But when you think of Chelsea, there’s only one man that springs to mind: John Terry. The captain, leader and legend that is JT has been with the club since 1995 and a first team player since the turn of the century. Unbeknown to most, his older brother Paul Terry was also a footballer in his own right – having made over 200 appearances in the Football League for Yeovil Town and Leyton Orient. Strangely enough, Paul was accused of having an affair with a teammate’s wife – doesn’t that sound familiar?
Family favourite: By what can only be described as a complete landslide, John Terry has to take this one. If we had to choose between making over 200 appearances in the Football League or captaining both England and Chelsea, we know which one we’d choose every time.
Phil Haigh is a blog editor for Monsterbet, sourcing free bets and offers on everything from sports to novelty bets.