The stories behind England football stars' tattoos
As the England squad marches towards the World Cup finals in their iconic England shirt adorned with the Three Lions crest, there's more to their preparation than just rigorous training and strategic planning. These athletes, symbols of the nation's hopes and dreams, carry with them stories inked onto their skin - stories of triumph, perseverance, and passion.
While their tattoos often reflect personal stories and passions, they have also become a subject of fascination, controversy, and debate. In this article, we'll delve into the world of England's football stars and their tattoos, each a narrative interwoven with their journey from the European qualifiers to the grand stage of the World Cup.
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Jordan Pickford's tattoos
Jordan Pickford, the English professional footballer and goalkeeper, has a distinctive tattoo sleeve on his left arm. This sleeve includes a prominent dagger design, complemented by an array of flowers. Such a combination in tattoo art often symbolises a blend of strength or protection (as represented by the dagger) and beauty or life (symbolised by the flowers).
The exact personal meaning of Pickford's tattoos to him may be private, but in general, tattoo sleeves that combine these elements can reflect a balance of contrasting qualities or a tribute to significant personal experiences or values. The intricate work of a full sleeve also showcases the artistic expression and commitment to body art that many athletes share.
Fabian Delph's tattoos
Fabian Delph, the English footballer, has several notable tattoos that reflect his personal values and beliefs. One of his most prominent tattoos is the phrase "Family Forever" inked across his chest, accompanied by a pair of wings. This tattoo likely symbolises the importance of family in Delph's life, with the wings possibly representing protection, guidance, or spiritual connection to his loved ones.
In addition to this, Delph has sleeves on both arms. Sleeve tattoos are often intricate and can contain various elements and symbols that hold personal meanings to the individual. The specifics of Delph's sleeve tattoos are not detailed, but they add to his distinct style and might represent different aspects of his life, experiences, and beliefs.
On his right ribcage, Delph has a tattoo of someone holding a cross. This tattoo could signify his religious faith or serve as a reminder of spiritual guidance and strength. Cross tattoos are commonly associated with the Christian faith, representing faith, hope, and a connection to the divine.
Danny Rose's tattoos
Danny Rose, the English footballer known for his defensive skills, also sports an impressive collection of tattoos. His body art includes full-sleeve designs on both arms, showcasing his commitment to intricate and extensive tattoo work.
On his left arm, Rose has a full sleeve, a cohesive collection of various designs that cover the arm from shoulder to wrist. Sleeve tattoos like this often contain a mix of interconnected imagery and symbolism, and can sometimes tell a story or represent significant life events, beliefs, or passions.
The right inside forearm of Rose is particularly notable for being covered with the image of a woman. This tattoo could represent someone significant in his life, an important figure, or even an artistic representation of an ideal or value. Portraits in tattoos are often deeply personal and symbolise deep respect, love, or memory of the person depicted.
Additionally, Rose has writing inked on his right-hand ribcage. The content and meaning of this writing are not specified, but such tattoos often feature quotes, names, dates, or phrases that hold personal significance to the individual.
Phil Jones' tattoos
Phil Jones, the English footballer, has chosen a more minimalist approach to tattoos compared to some of his peers. He has a tattoo on the outside of his upper right arm and another on the inside of his lower right arm.
The specifics of the designs and meanings of these tattoos are not widely publicised, indicating a personal significance to Jones that he may prefer to keep private. Tattoos in such locations can be easily visible when wearing short sleeves, suggesting that while Jones may value the personal nature of his tattoos, he is also comfortable with them being seen in public.
The upper arm is a common location for a first tattoo, often chosen for its visibility and the ease of hiding it if needed. The lower arm tattoo, being more visible, might hold a significant meaning or be a design that Jones particularly values.
Kyle Walker's tattoos
Kyle Walker, the English footballer, has adorned himself with an array of tattoos, each carrying deep personal significance. His body art includes sleeves on both arms and multiple tattoos across his torso, reflecting various aspects of his life and the people important to him.
One notable tattoo on his right arm reads "To the stars through difficulties," a phrase that likely symbolises overcoming challenges to achieve greatness or reach one's goals. This kind of tattoo often serves as a reminder of perseverance and resilience in the face of obstacles.
The middle of his sleeve features an eye, which is a tribute to his late grandfather who used to take him to Sheffield United games. This tattoo likely symbolises the vision, guidance, and influence his grandfather had in his life, especially in his football career.
On his midriff, Walker has the birthday of his youngest son, Riaan, inked in Roman numerals. Such tattoos are common among parents as a way to honour and carry a piece of their children with them. Just above this, he has the hand and footprint of his eldest son, Roman, further symbolising his deep love and connection to his children.
On his right shoulder, Walker has a tattoo of an angel holding a child. This poignant piece pays tribute to his sister’s baby who passed away. Angel tattoos often represent guardianship, memory, and spiritual connection, especially in remembrance of lost loved ones.
Kieran Trippier's tattoos
Kieran Trippier, the English footballer, has adorned his body with several tattoos, each carrying its own unique significance. Prominently, he sports a large diamond tattoo in the middle of his chest. The diamond could symbolise a range of meanings, from wealth and luxury to invincibility and strength. It's also possible that the diamond holds a personal significance to Trippier, representing a personal achievement or value.
On his left arm, Trippier has a full sleeve, which is a comprehensive collection of interconnected tattoos covering the arm from shoulder to wrist. Full sleeves are often a canvas for storytelling and personal expression, combining various elements that may represent significant life events, beliefs, or passions.
The right forearm of Trippier features a tattoo of a woman. Portraits in tattoo art are typically deeply meaningful, often representing a loved one, a significant figure in the person's life, or sometimes an artistic representation of an ideal or value. The specifics of who this woman is and what she represents to Trippier might be something he holds close and personal.
John Stones' tattoos
John Stones, the English footballer, has a collection of tattoos with deeply personal and significant meanings. One of his most notable tattoos is on his left tricep, featuring a picture of his girlfriend Millie Savage with a clock over her mouth. This tattoo could symbolise the value of time in relationships or may represent a more personal message or memory specific to Stones and his relationship with Millie Savage.
On the same arm, Stones has a tattoo that reads "Love you always." This phrase typically symbolises enduring love and could be a dedication to a loved one, expressing a commitment that transcends time and circumstance.
His left thigh features a particularly special tattoo, a portrait of Norman Rimmington, a revered figure in Barnsley's football history. Known affectionately as 'Mr. Barnsley,' Rimmington was deeply involved with Barnsley FC as a player, coach, and kit man until he was over 90 years old. This tattoo likely represents Stones' respect and admiration for Rimmington's dedication and lifelong commitment to the sport and the club.
Additionally, on his left thigh, Stones has two other faces surrounded by roses. These could be tributes to other important figures in his life or represent certain qualities or memories he cherishes. The inclusion of roses in these tattoos adds an element of beauty and possibly symbolises love, honour, or memory.
Raheem Sterling 14 tattoos and meanings
Raheem Sterling, the English professional footballer, has adorned his body with 14 meaningful tattoos, each symbolising important aspects of his life and career. Here's a brief overview of each:
- ‘Palm tree’ tattoo: Located on the lower part of his right forearm, this tattoo reflects a personal significance.
- Portrait tattoo: On his upper left arm, Sterling has a portrait of a baby girl with a bow on her head, named "Melody" below the portrait and a large rose flower. This tattoo is a tribute to his daughter, Melody Rose Sterling.
- ‘Clock tower’ tattoo: Situated on the upper part of his right forearm, the clock tower tattoo adds a unique artistic element.
- Thigh tattoo: One of his largest tattoos, on his left thigh, depicts Sterling kissing his baby daughter, Melody Rose, capturing a tender real-life moment.
- ‘Cross, stars, and love’ tattoo: His chest features a large cross, with stars on both collar bones and the word "love" inked above a kiss mark on his stomach, symbolising his faith and love.
- ‘Palms and eye’ tattoo: The inner side of his right forearm below his elbow showcases an eye, and his wrist displays two palm trees, adding to his collection of meaningful body art.
- ‘Boy and Kimberly’ tattoo: On his left forearm, there's a tattoo of a young boy holding a football in front of a stadium, with "Kimberly" inked on his wrist. This represents Sterling's childhood dream and his sister Kimberly.
- ‘City’ tattoo: The side of his left wrist bears the image of a cityscape with a subway sign, reflecting a personal or urban connection.
- ‘Girl and the birds’ tattoo: An angel with wings and a black bird flying over it, along with more birds in the background, adorns his right shoulder.
- ‘Bird, Grave, and Jesus’ tattoos: The inner side of his right forearm features an eagle, while his left forearm displays Jesus Christ crucified and a little grave on a hill, symbolising his religious beliefs.
- ‘Gun’ tattoo: On the right side of his right leg, he has a controversial AK-47 tattoo, symbolising his vow never to touch a gun following his father's death by shooting.
- ‘Flying birds’ tattoo: The right side of his body features three birds flying around the word "The Familias," denoting his love for his family.
- ‘Kgn’ tattoo: His upper forearm, just below his elbow, shows the letters "Kgn," representing his birthplace, Kingston, Jamaica.
- ‘Poem and quill’ tattoo: On his left bicep, Sterling has a four-line poem, two flowers, and a quill beside an inkpot, adding a literary and artistic aspect to his collection.
Harry Kane's tattoo
Harry Kane, the prominent football England captain, is not known to have any tattoos. Unlike many of his contemporaries in football who often sport elaborate and meaningful body art, Kane has chosen to remain without tattoos. This in itself is a statement in the world of professional sports, where tattoos have become a common medium for players to express their personal stories, beliefs, and experiences.
Kane's decision to stay tattoo-free highlights that personal expression can take many forms, and not having tattoos does not diminish a player's identity or impact on the field. As the captain of the England national team and a key player, Kane has continually made headlines for his remarkable skills, leadership qualities, and contributions to his teams' successes, rather than through body art.
As England faced Malta last Friday, 17th November 2023, the Football Association and fans alike eagerly anticipated not only the performance but also the personal expressions of the players, prominently seen in their tattoos.
England's football stars and their tattoos are more than just body art; they're a testament to the personal stories, passions, and cultural expressions that make each player unique. These tattoos add another layer to the already captivating world of football.
As the sport continues to evolve, so too will the stories inked on the bodies of these athletes, reminding fans that there's much more to these players than meets the eye, especially as they grace the pitches in England game, striving for glory in an international match, and embodying the resilience needed when the team faces challenges or celebrates triumphs.
- Mark Joshua Luz