Luke Shaw in action for Manchester United against Chelsea

Who is Luke Shaw's footballing hero?

Monday 01 June 2020 08:30

Luke Shaw has named former Arsenal and Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole as his football hero growing up.

Cole, who also won 107 caps for England during a stellar career, came up against the Reds on numerous occasions, first as part of Arsene Wenger’s formidable Arsenal side which challenged us so intensely in the early 2000s.

In 2006, he joined Jose Mourinho’s Blues, where he spent eight trophy-laden years, going toe-to-toe with United at the summit of English and European football, including in the 2008 Champions League final.

And Cole, who could claim to be one of the world’s best left-backs during his spell at Stamford Bridge, left a lasting impact on the man who would eventually replace him in the England squad prior to the 2014 World Cup.

“Obviously I would have to go towards a left-back and one I watched a lot,” Shaw said when asked who he idolised as a child.

“For me, he was probably one of the best left-backs ever in the game: Ashley Cole. Like I said, I watched him a lot and I wanted to become a player like him.

“I was lucky enough to go to an England camp with him and it was amazing to be around someone I idolised so much and I watched a lot of him and he was the player I wanted to be like when I grew up.”

Shaw was a Chelsea fan as a boy and even played at the club’s development centre before joining the Southampton Academy at the age of eight.

He’s been a Red six years now, though, and is looking forward to adding to his trophy haul, which includes victories in the Europa League and EFL Cup in 2017, and the FA Cup a year previously – although Luke missed out on the latter success through injury.

Ashley Cole, pictured tussling with Ji-sung Park, was always a tough opponent.

“How big the club is and how successful it’s been in the past, I think [is what] inspires all of us, especially the ones that are there now,” Luke added.

“We’ve seen how good and how great it is when the club’s winning trophies and we obviously want to get to that stage and inspire young people, like I once was, watching United win a trophy.

“The squad, the group we have, is amazing. Everyone gets on great and we all love each other and we all want to push each other towards that goal of winning trophies.

“On the other hand, my family and friends I’d love to celebrate with and hopefully I’ve got times like that to come and I can live it in real life.”