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How support of Jude Bellingham’s parents propelled him to greatness: England star, 20, is kept grounded by his doting mother Denise (who he let slip still makes his bed) and hardworking police sergeant father who gave him his love of football

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Jude Bellingham‘s rise to stardom continues to accelerate at an extraordinary pace – but it’s his humility and maturity which have also helped him to become one of the most talked about players on the planet.

At just 20 years old, the England and Real Madrid star is routinely racking up awards and is tipped to be one of Gareth Southgate‘s most crucial players at the European Championships in Germany this summer.

The tournament will mark a return to Germany for Bellingham, who had the unwavering support of his devoted parents, Mark and Denise, when he left his beloved Birmingham for Borussia Dortmund in a £25million deal aged just 17. 

After stamping his authority on world football in Germany, he was snapped up by European giants Real Madrid for £88.5million last year – marking a sensational transition from Birmingham to the Bernabeu in the space of three years.

In a moment of serendipity on Saturday night, Bellingham held the coveted Champions League trophy aloft after helping Real defeat his former club Dortmund 2-0 at Wembley – England’s home of football. 

But as the Real Madrid players rushed onto the Wembley turf to celebrate a 15th Champions League title, Bellingham ensured it was his parents who were given the credit, including wrapping his most prestigious medal yet around his mother’s neck.

The England star plucked Denise, Mark and his brother Jobe – the younger Bellingham who plays for Sunderland – from the crowd and later fought back tears as he showed his gratitude for his family.

Jude Bellingham is pictured celebrating Real Madrid's Champions League final win with parents, Mark and Denise, and brother Jobe (right)

Jude Bellingham is pictured celebrating Real Madrid’s Champions League final win with parents, Mark and Denise, and brother Jobe (right) 

Jude Bellingham has been open about the importance of his mother to his career. Pictured: Jude, left, with mother Denise, father Mark, and younger brother, Jobe Bellingham, on holiday in July 2021

Jude Bellingham has been open about the importance of his mother to his career. Pictured: Jude, left, with mother Denise, father Mark, and younger brother, Jobe Bellingham, on holiday in July 2021

Pictured: Jude Bellingham with his mother during his youth spell at boyhood club Birmingham

Pictured: Jude Bellingham with his mother during his youth spell at boyhood club Birmingham

Jude Bellingham wraps his Champions League final medal around his mother's neck while brother Jobe beams

Jude Bellingham wraps his Champions League final medal around his mother’s neck while brother Jobe beams

He said: ‘This is the best night of my life. I was alright until I saw my mum and dad’s faces.

‘The amount of nights where they could be at home by seven o’clock and they’re doing trips at 11 and 12 at night to take me to football.

 ‘And my little brother there who I’m trying to be a role model for. Yeah, it’s the best night of my life.’

The family had turned up at Wembley five hours before kick-off to soak up the atmosphere and possibly reflect on Jude’s sensational achievements.

As footage of the family in the stands came on screen, former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho said on TNT Sports: ‘This image, for me, let me say, special player, special family. 

‘To see that family the way they are there, they are not looking for cameras, they are not looking for the VIP seats, they are just there to support their kid in the most humble way. For me, it is really beautiful.’

There was also a touching moment during the celebrations when Jude asked if his mother could have a picture with Mourinho, joking: ‘Sorry about that, my mum’s fancied you for years.’ 

Jude’s parents gave up their evenings and weekends shuttling him and Jobe to training for years, and as their careers have taken off, the parents have divided their lives for their boys. 

Pictured: Jude's mother, father Mark and brother Jobe arrived at Wembley five hours early

Pictured: Jude’s mother, father Mark and brother Jobe arrived at Wembley five hours early

Bellingham took a picture of Denise and Jose Mourinho in heartwarming scenes

Bellingham took a picture of Denise and Jose Mourinho in heartwarming scenes

The 20-year-old posed for the cameras with his glistening winner's medal in his mouth

The 20-year-old posed for the cameras with his glistening winner’s medal in his mouth

The rising star grew up in Stourbridge, a town west of Birmingham in the West Midlands. As a young boy he played for Stourbridge Juniors, a club set up by his father – a prolific former non-league striker. 

Jude started his career at Birmingham City’s academy and became the club’s youngest first-team player at the age of 16 before making his move to Europe a year later.

Denise, 56, had accompanied her talented son when he was sold to Dortmund in 2020 and has been a constant presence by his side since his move to Madrid last year.

Meanwhile 48-year-old Mark, a retired police officer, stayed at home with 18-year-old Jobe.

It was a joint decision, which has since left the married couple thousands of miles apart and needing to fly for hours just to be in the same time zone as each other.

While many young men may prefer to gain independence from their parents, Jude has been open about the ‘massive’ benefits having his mother by his side.

Opening up about his mother’s role at his Real Madrid unveiling, he revealed: ‘The role my mum is playing is massive. It is probably the biggest role of anyone, more than my coaches and managers, to be honest.’

Denise, who works in human resources, manages her son’s finances, enabling Jude to focus solely on his football.

The pair share a flat together in the exclusive La Finca neighbourhood in the west of Madrid, where properties are sold for about £11million. 

Jude even let slip once that his mother sometimes makes his bed – something which he was ‘bashed’ for by his England team-mates.

Denise has travelled with Jude as his career has taken him from Birmingham to Germany and on to Spain. Pictured: Jude taking a selfie with his mother, Denise

Denise has travelled with Jude as his career has taken him from Birmingham to Germany and on to Spain. Pictured: Jude taking a selfie with his mother, Denise

Jude's father, Mark Bellingham (centre), was a prolific non-league striker and also a former police sergeant for West Midlands Police

Jude’s father, Mark Bellingham (centre), was a prolific non-league striker and also a former police sergeant for West Midlands Police

Jude and his mother remained on the Wembley pitch long after the final whistle as they took in the occasion

Jude and his mother remained on the Wembley pitch long after the final whistle as they took in the occasion

Jude Bellingham posed with mum Denise after Real Madrid were crowned LaLiga champions in May

Jude Bellingham posed with mum Denise after Real Madrid were crowned LaLiga champions in May

Denise and Mark Bellingham were pictured in the stands before the FIFA World Cup group match between England and USA in Qatar

Denise and Mark Bellingham were pictured in the stands before the FIFA World Cup group match between England and USA in Qatar

‘Without my mum, sometimes I’d get too low with the lows or too high with the highs and I stay pretty humble because I’ve got her around,’ Jude has previously revealed.

‘It’s also great to have her there because she’s a great laugh as well. We get on so well and we’re always doing stuff together.’

It’s perhaps Denise’s hands-on role that has allowed Jude to juggle his non-stop football with finding romance. 

While Jude’s mother appears to be the number one woman in his life, it’s understood that he has struck up a romance with Dutch model Laura Celia Valk, 25.

Jude says he only has ‘good memories’ about his childhood in Hagley, West Midlands.

And unlike most footballers, who dreamed of becoming a professional from a young age, Jude was not obsessed with the game that his father had fallen in love with.

When taken to his father’s training sessions, he preferred to make a daisy bouquet for his mother or play hide and seek.

However, there was a turning point which Jude has touched on previously.

He recalled: ‘We talk about footballing heroes, and my dad was like my first. Seeing the way he played and the atmosphere, it made me fall in love with football.’

Mark scored more than 700 goals in about 900 appearances, making him something of an English non-league Pelé.

He juggled stints at clubs including Leamington, Stourbridge and Sutton Coldfield Town with his day job with West Midlands Police.

Mark hung up his boots at the age of 41 in 2017 and is now believed to have retired from the West Midlands Police force. He declines to discuss his sons’ exploits.

He is a Southend United supporter and Jude’s first football matches as a boy were with his father to see the Essex team.

Jude told The Guardian in 2020 how his mother took him to watch his father play.

He said then: ‘It’s where I started to get that love for football – I think you can see in the way I play that I’ve watched the game from a young age.

‘That non-league style of toughness and being gritty when you need to be, I do think that comes from watching my dad play – even though he never tackled!’

Jude Bellingham's career has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with his parents working diligently in the background to keep him grounded. Pictured: Jude with his family after signing for Real Madrid

Jude Bellingham’s career has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with his parents working diligently in the background to keep him grounded. Pictured: Jude with his family after signing for Real Madrid

England and Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham's footballer brother Jobe has shared online a happy birthday message for their mother Denise in December

England and Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham’s footballer brother Jobe has shared online a happy birthday message for their mother Denise in December

More than 1,000 miles separate Jude's club Real Madrid from Jobe's Sunderland, but their parents are making an effort to keep between both

More than 1,000 miles separate Jude’s club Real Madrid from Jobe’s Sunderland, but their parents are making an effort to keep between both

It's been reported that Jude Bellingham is in a relationship with Dutch model Laura Celia Valk (pictured)

It’s been reported that Jude Bellingham is in a relationship with Dutch model Laura Celia Valk (pictured)

Speaking about his father to the FA in an interview, Jude also said: ‘We talk about footballing heroes, and my dad was like my first.

‘When you go and watch him play every week in non-league, you know it’s not the Premier League or anything, but seeing the way that he played and the atmosphere, it made me fall in love with football so he was probably my first hero.

‘After the first few times of going, I’d start to pay a bit more attention to the games and stuff, the atmosphere and he’s scoring goals so you see him celebrating and stuff like that – you want that to be me.

‘Growing up, he’d always give me tips on what I could do and now it gets to a certain age and it sort of flips and that’s brilliant because we have that sort of relationship like father and son and then as I got older, like coach and player.’

Bellingham made a beeline after receiving his medal and placed it around Denise's neck

Bellingham made a beeline after receiving his medal and placed it around Denise’s neck

Jude returned to Madrid yesterday ahead of a trophy parade in the Spanish capital to mark yet another Champions League title.

He will therefore not be available for England’s friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina at St James’ Park tonight. But he will join his England team-mates for a final friendly against Iceland on Friday before the Euros kicks off.

An England source told The Sun: ‘He’ll probably join in light training with the squad on Wednesday or Thursday but Gareth Southgate will want him to take a well-earned break.

‘He might be on the substitutes’ bench against Iceland but is unlikely to get any game time.’

Jude was one of England’s standout performers at last year’s World Cup in Qatar, helping the Three Lions reach the qurater-finals before they were knocked out by France. 

He scored his first goal for his country in the tournament during a 6-2 win over Iran, making him England’s second youngest World Cup goalscorer, behind Michael Owen.

He has since become a regular in Southgate’s line-up, with the manager admitting previously: ‘His mentality is incredible. To show such maturity and humility at such a young age is incredible and we’re lucky to have him.’ 



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