No Room For Racism

Johnson: Respect different cultures and each other

12 Apr 2024
Brennan Johnson, Spurs

Spurs winger discusses the importance of positive influences and why he is proud of his English, Welsh and Jamaican roots

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Over the world there are millions of youngsters wanting to follow in their parents' footsteps when they grow up, and Tottenham Hotspur star Brennan Johnson was no different.

As a young boy in Nottingham, Johnson was brought up in a "football family" - his dad David played for clubs including Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town, and also represented Jamaica at senior international level.

"Coming from a family of football, I think that was very important," Johnson says in the video below, which celebrates the diversity of the Premier League as part of the No Room For Racism initiative.

"My dad was a professional footballer, just seeing him playing and watching him, and wanting to do the same - I think that had a big influence on me.

"For me, greatness is people who get to the very top of their full potential."

While his dad has been an inspirational figure for Brennan, the winger, a graduate of Nott'm Forest's academy, remains grateful to the encouragement given by his former boss at the City Ground, Steve Cooper.

"When I was at Nottingham Forest, working hard was the No 1 thing and that's something that's always stuck with me," says Johnson. "Once you get closer and closer you just want to get into the first team, so when that moment came, it was a dream come true.

"Having a manager like that [Cooper], who trusted young players and trusted me, was really important because as time went on with him because, in big games, he always trusted me to play and didn't give me too much pressure."

Johnson, Cooper, Nott'm Forest

For Johnson, who represented England at Under-16 and Under-17 level but plays for Wales as his mum Alison and maternal grandparents are Welsh, respecting different cultures has always been important.

"Having parents from different countries and me being born in England, there's obviously a lot of culture. I'm very proud of each of their countries," he says.

"I play for Wales, but my dad was born in Jamaica, which I'm very proud of, and I love the culture in that country as well. I think it's really nice to have three different cultures.

"I think once you start understanding that everyone comes from different upbringings and different countries, it gives a lot of respect to players who have come from far, players who have had to come through in England. I think it just makes everyone try to respect each other.

"Coming through I've made friends with players from all over the world, which is definitely something I wouldn't have had the opportunity to do if I didn't play football in the Premier League."

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