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Can You Name 6 Sets of Famous Brothers Who Play English Football?

The United Kingdom’s Labour Party held their annual conference recently. Top of the agenda was selecting a new leader to take charge of the party as it begins to rebuild in the shadow of the ruling Conservative/Liberal-Democrat coalition government. Intriguingly, the race came down to two brothers, David and Ed Miliband, with the younger Ed edging his elder to the title by a most narrow margin. Following the result, David Miliband promptly quit frontline politics rather than serve under his brother in the new shadow cabinet. Imagine, working your whole life to climb the ladder, only to lose out on the penultimate rung to your younger sibling. In any profession it’s rather rare for siblings to shine equally and the dramatic political turn of events got me thinking of famous footballing brothers.

The following list is by no means meant to be all-inclusive, just a small sampling. Feel free to discuss your favorites in the comments.

  1. John Terry and Paul Terry: Despite recent injuries, John Terry continues to be the bedrock of the Chelsea and England defence. Older brother Paul has lighter hair but a similar widow’s peak. He currently plays midfield for Darlington in the Conference National, the fifth-highest tier of English football. He’s enjoyed prior stints in the Football League proper with Yeovil Town and Leyton Orient. Amusingly, chat show SoccerAM has tracked a brother-v-brother goalscoring contest between the two, with John coming out on top despite playing in the rear guard.
  2. Wayne Rooney and John Rooney: Wayne Rooney broke through on his debut for Everton at the tender age of 16 against Arsenal (“Remember the name—Wayne. Rooney.”) and continues to make headlines, on the front and back pages. Nineteen-year old brother John did not advance very far in the Toffee’s youth system. He is currently training with Tranmere Rovers following prior training with MLS side Seattle Sounders and minor side Portland Timbers and may enter 2011’s MLS SuperDraft.
  3. Ryan Giggs and Rhodri Giggs: Welshman Ryan Giggs continues to defy Father Time’s cruelties. In over 20 years at Manchester United he’s won the League 11 times, the FA Cup four times and the Champions League twice. Giggs was recently linked to the Wales job but has pledged his immediate future to Old Trafford where he remains as invaluable as ever. Younger brother Rhodri Giggs has had a rougher go at it, having been car-jacked in 2004, and overcoming false drug charges. He played for anti-Glazer side F.C. United of Manchester, and currently plays for semi-pro side Salford City.
  4. Rio Ferdinand and Anton Ferdinand: Rio and younger brother Anton Ferdinand are products of West Ham United’s justly famous youth academy. Some recent prominent players to emerge from West Ham’s youth system include Paul InceFrank LampardJoe ColeJermaine DefoeGlen Johnson and Michael Carrick. Rio played for the Hammers between 1996 and 2000 whereupon he transferred to Leeds United. He was an integral member of the Elland Road side that reached the semi-finals of the Champions League before moving to Manchester United during Leeds’ descent into darkness. Today, in between injury spells, he remains a world-class defender and subject of Ryan Babel’s ridicule. Anton, 6 years Rio’s junior, helped the Hammers get back to the Premier League in 2005. In 2006 he missed a crucial penalty in West Ham’s FA Cup Final loss to Liverpool in Cardiff. He currently plays for Sunderland and failed to make the transition from Under-21 international to senior squad member. Both brothers have had their personal troubles. Most famously, Rio was suspended for 8 months in 2004 for failing to attend mandatory drug testing. Recently, Anton was briefly held by Newcastle police after turning himself in because a warrant was issued for his failure to appear in court on charges of driving while using a mobile. In 2007, during a break in the season, he told West Ham that he was visiting his sick grandmother on the Isle of Wight when instead he went on a bender in South Carolina.
  5. Sir Bobby Charlton and Jack Charlton: It may be hard to measure up when your younger brother is addressed as “Sir,” but Jack Charlton had a massive footballing career in his own right. The Leeds United legend enjoyed a historic run as Republic of Ireland manager. He led the Irish to their first Euro tournament in 1988 where they enjoyed a famous 1-0 victory over the English in Stuttgart. Jack Charlton led the side to even greater success at Italia ‘90. A rematch with England produced a 1-all draw on the way to the quarterfinals and a 1-0 loss to the hosts. Success under Charlton continued at USA ‘94 as the Irish reversed the scoreline to Italy at a raucous and divided Giants Stadium. Aside from a brief managing spell at Preston and and even briefer spell at Wigan Athletic, Sir Bobby’s fame came from the pitch. He survived the Munich tragedy of 1958 to become a star of England’s 1966 World Cup winning side, a side that included brother Jack. Two years later he scored twice in Manchester United’s epic European Cup final triumph over Benfica. Sir Bobby and Jack are the sons of a miner and Sir Bobby has promised the 33 rescued miners in Chile a trip to Old Trafford.
  6. Shaun Wright-Phillips and Bradley Wright-Phillips: Shaun Wright-Phillips, the diminutive dynamo for Man City and England, is the adopted son of Ian Wright, former striker for Crystal Palace, Arsenal and England. Shaun Wright-Phillips made a name for himself at Maine Road and Eastlands, later transferring south to Chelsea. Never able to truly fit in at continental Chelsea, Shaun returned north and continues to earn caps for England thanks to his impressive pace and skill on the ball. His younger half-brother, Bradley Wright-Phillips also made his start with Man City but spent the bulk of his career thus far on the south coast with Southampton. He currently plays up front for League One side Plymouth Argyle
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  1. H pugh

    August 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    George dorsett and joe dorsett. Manchester City and west Bromwich at the turn of the century

  2. Keith

    March 6, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Dennis Wise (famous English footballer)
    and Robert Wise (famous American film director).
    Interestingly, both these Wise’s played for Morecambe.


    February 6, 2011 at 5:17 am


  4. Football Souvenirs

    October 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    The Neville’s? Tge BRazilian brothers at Man U?

    I think Rodhri Giggs is a bit of an off the wall suggestion

  5. Geordie in Canada

    October 20, 2010 at 12:28 am

    For the oldies but goodies amongst us:

    George and Ted Robledo. (Newcastle United and Chile) George was the greatest header of the ball there ever was and probably the first South American to play in the first division. the first to wiln an FA Cuo winners meda, and also the only one to ever score more than 40 goals in a season (all matches)
    Dennis and Laslie Compton(Arsenal and England) Dennis (the original Brylcream Boy) and his brother are likely the only brothers ever to play for Arsenal and England at soccer and also for England at cricket!
    Jack and Tom Callendar (Gateshead and no-one else!!) Tom was the rock on which the rest of the fourth division foundered in the late 40’s and early 50’s!!!! He wsas good enought to make Gateshead think they might get into the Third Division!!! You have to have a dream!!!


      February 6, 2011 at 5:20 am


      • RON. CLARKE

        February 6, 2011 at 5:23 am


  6. Logan

    October 19, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    No one said Xabi and Mikel Alonso?

  7. Iggy

    October 19, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Brian & Michael Laudrup
    Kevin-Prince & Jerome Boateng

  8. IanCransonsKnees

    October 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Jimmy & Brian Greenhoff
    Brian and Mark Stein
    Ray, Rod and Danny Wallace
    Gary & Phil Neville
    Bobby & Jack Charlton
    David & Dean Holdsworth
    Titus & Tesefe Bramble
    Bjarni, Toddi & Joey Gudjohnsen
    Joe Cole, Ashley Cole and Carlton Cole. (Different mum, John Terry’s their dad).
    Joleon and Aaron Lescott
    Neville & Mark Chamberlain
    Phil Jagielka & Steve Jagielka
    Rio & Anton Ferdinand
    SWP & BWP
    Paul & Mike Macari (Sons of Lou)

  9. Tommy

    October 19, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Ashley young and his brother Lewis young who plays for watford

  10. JustMeAgain

    October 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Leeds United/Rep of Ireland bloodline double-act of Gary Kelly and his nephew Ian Harte

  11. JustMeAgain

    October 19, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Eidur Gudjohnsen replaced his father Arnor, a fellow striker, during Iceland’s game against Estonia in 1996

  12. Adam

    October 19, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Michael & Andy Dawson

  13. Brotherhood of Man

    October 19, 2010 at 11:23 am

    Toure brothers are the only brothers who are BOTH decent players and BOTH play for a great team .Some of these duos are hilarious Rhodri Giggs haha he used to play on my local field for a pub team (seriously Mellands playing fields)gorton Manchester. Oh yeah what about the fashanu’s John and Justin..Kelvin and Dickson Etuhu all crap players but theres two more for u. The Boatengs just about avoided each other this season

    • Brotherhood of Man

      October 19, 2010 at 11:55 am

      Obviously im a City fan

  14. Stevie the K

    October 19, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Lomana and Kazenga Lua Lua

  15. Stevie the K

    October 19, 2010 at 10:11 am

    lomana and kazenga lua lua, albeit I don’t believe they both played English football simultaneously…maybe during Lomana’s final stint at Portsmouth

  16. Q

    October 19, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Most recently the Toure brothers playing for the same team.

  17. John

    October 19, 2010 at 7:57 am

    What about Fabio and Rafael? The Blanchflowers and the Hibbets if you are including the past.

  18. Marc

    October 19, 2010 at 7:31 am

    United reserve players Reese Brown and Cory Evans are younger brothers to first team players Wes Brown and Johnny Evans.

  19. bob marley

    October 19, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Should not the Neville’s be there.
    Then there are the Cole brothers……Joe Cole, Ashley Cole, Andy Cole & Carlton Cole……..

  20. Gary

    October 19, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Dean and David Holdsworth, now managers at Newport County and Mansfield Town respectively. Then there’s the three Wallace brother, who all played for Southampton at the same time. Also, Stefan Moore and Luke Moore, both ex-of Aston Villa.

    Plus, Scots-wise, there’s Stephen and Gary Caldwell.

  21. Chris McQuade

    October 19, 2010 at 5:37 am

    The Nevilles?

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