Kieran Tierney, Arsenal’s Scottish left-back, attributes his work ethic and will to win to his mother, who instilled in him the importance of hard work and never being ashamed of being working class.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, Tierney said, “My mum, that’s where I got my work ethic from.
“One of the things my mum said to me when I was growing up was to never be ashamed of being working class, and I think that stuck with me… I knew to just keep working.
“Whatever you want in life, you need to work for it – nothing gets handed to you. I took that attitude from when I was very young.”
He also cites his mother as his number one inspiration, saying “My mum is my inspiration – 100 per cent. Straight away that’s my answer.
“I’m so close to my mum and it obviously stems from my childhood, when you see how much your mum gives to you and what she does for you.”
Tierney also reflects on the sacrifices she made during his upbringing, working multiple jobs and taking care of him and his sister, never complaining.
Tierney’s mother’s hard work paid off when he made his first-team debut for Celtic at age 17, and went on to win Scotland’s Young Player of the Year and sign a long-term contract with his boyhood club.
He added, “Even if I’d never played football, my mum would have still done all these things for me… But a moment I look back on as thinking that it was all worth it was probably when I got my first big contract at Celtic when I was 19.”
Tierney used his success to buy a house for his parents.
He moved to London aged 22 to sign for Arsenal, but stays in constant contact with his family, and still looks to them for inspiration and guidance.
Tierney said, “I’m one of the more experienced ones, so I need to step up.”