Bellingham reveals the inspiration behind his amazing rise to the top

Forget Gerrard and Lampard… Jude Bellingham’s incredible rise to the top of football was inspired by Jamie Johnson! England star reveals how CBBC series helped shape his journey

  • Jude Bellingham has lifted the lid on an unlikely inspiration behind his journey
  • The 19-year-old has set the World Cup alight with incredible performances 
  • He models his game on Steven Gerrard but idolises a fictional footballer
  • Bellingham says he was hooked on the Jamie Johnson series on CBBC 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Jude Bellingham’s staggering rise to the top has been inspired by a fictional young footballer based on England’s Golden Generation. 

The gifted 19-year-old, who has taken the World Cup by storm, was an avid viewer of the Jamie Johnson series, which follows the trials and tribulations of an aspiring player. 

Created by author and former FA staffer Dan Freedman, the television adaptation – aimed at getting children to read – explores bullying, sexism, homophobia and a variety of topics. 

Jude Bellingham has revealed the unlikely inspiration behind his incredible rise to the top

Bellingham became hooked when Gerrard, then at LA Galaxy, shows Johnson how to fool a keeper from the spot with a Panenka. 

‘I was about 13 or 14 and someone showed me a clip at school,’ he said. ‘Since then I’ve kept up to date. It’s a great show for kids that addresses the important things. The show kind of represents my own journey…I must feel like I am Jamie Johnson now!’ 

Freedman is delighted by the role he has inadvertently played and hailed the assistance of Gerrard and Rooney. 

‘It’s so special for me when I hear that Jamie’s character inspires young people to go for their goals,’ he said. ‘That was always my dream when I set out to write the books. I was lucky enough to be there when Wayne Rooney stormed onto the international scene and I’d also spent a lot of time watching and interviewing Steven Gerrard about his thoughts on the game. 

The 19-year-old has taken the World Cup by storm with the Three Lions this tournament

The England star has revealed that he idolised fictional character Jamie Johnson on CBBC

‘My hope was that I could distil some of the attributes of those two players into the character and playing style of Jamie so he felt realistic and compelling. Never in my wildest dreams did I think a future England star would have been inspired by him directly.’ 

Freedman, a former managing editor at the FA, has – like the rest of the nation – been impressed by Bellingham’s performances in Qatar. 

‘The way Jude is playing and conducting himself is just wonderful,’ he said. ‘I’m sure he knows that right now the whole country is behind him, cheering him on to achieve his dream. And, as an author, I’m very much taking notes too.’ 

In a recent episode, aired on the BBC, Bellingham stars alongside Johnson who has secured a move to his club, Borussia Dortmund. Freedman’s eight-book series is close to a million sales and the TV version has been screened in 70 countries. 

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article