Tariq Lamptey hopes that playing in the Premier League is giving his parents as much pleasure as it does him.
The defender, who celebrates his 20th birthday next Wednesday, produced another brilliant performance in last Sunday’s 3-0 win over Newcastle United and will be trying to impress the nation again today when Albion take on Manchester United at the Amex in front of the BT Sport cameras.
As well as his eye-catching displays on the pitch, Lamptey has impressed head coach Graham Potter and his team-mates with his humility and desire to improve through hard work.
And that is down to the way his parents brought him up and the sacrifices they made at the start of his football journey.
“My parents are a massive influence on me,” he said. “They were always taking me up and down the country to training sessions.
“It’s not easy as a parent, especially when you’re working and trying to provide for your family, to also take your kid up to Manchester or Birmingham.
“It’s a hard job. I have two younger brothers as well, so it wasn’t an easy time. [I remember] little things like my mum picking me up from school, having food for me in the car and heading straight off to training because the traffic was so bad on the M25. Or my dad training me early in the morning before school.
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“He says he was a footballer, but I haven’t seen any videos to prove it! He’s played a massive part in why I’m here today and my mum as well because they sacrificed a lot for me.
“It means a lot for me to be playing in the Premier League and hopefully giving back to them as well.”
Lamptey also revealed that his parents never pushed him towards football. “There was no pressure on me. It was always ‘Do you enjoy it?’ ‘Do you still like it?’ ‘If you want to go, we’ll take you’.”
Lamptey came off just before the hour-mark at St James’s Park on Sunday after taking a couple of heavy knocks but is looking forward to being involved against United.