It’s no secret that Premier League footballers, especially those at top six clubs, come into a lot of money very early in their careers.
This can make them easy targets for certain people, but can also lead to heartwarming stories, as we’ve witnessed with Brandon Williams.
The Manchester United teenager, who made his first team debut this season and signed a new long-term deal in October, surprised his dad earlier this week by buying him a Mercedes for his birthday.
Here are a few more examples of other footballers buying eye-catching gifts for their loved ones in recent times.
Sterling is close with his mother, and showed his appreciation for everything she has done by buying her a new £2.5m house, and he has emphasised just how important it was to him.
Sterling grew up in the London borough of Brent, after moving over from Jamaica with his mother as an infant, and used to help his mum clean toilets when he was a child.
“My whole mission was to get a proper contract so that my mother and sister didn’t have to stress anymore,” Sterling wrote for The Players Tribune in 2018, recalling how his family was forced to move around a lot when he was growing up.
“The day that I bought my mum a house, that was probably the happiest I’ve ever been.”
Owen, who was born in Chester and went to school in Wales, spent £750,000 on an entire row of houses for his family back in 2001 so they could live near him near the England-Wales border.
The properties, in north Wales, were bought for the then-England striker’s parents, sisters and brothers.
All the houses were on the same street, just a stone’s throw from his place at the time, in Flintshire. Despite playing his club football for Liverpool, he lived a short hop over the border.
The Manchester United forward is another to have bought a house for his mother, joking that it was a way to make sure he didn’t get told off for playing football indoors.
“You’re going to get me in trouble here! But I think it’s something we all do. Anyone who loves football – when there’s a ball in front of you, it’s hard not to kick it,” he told FourFourTwo.
The England striker, who was still 18 when he broke through for club and country and only turned 22 at the end of last year, still lived with his mother when his United and England career began, and the change has only happened relatively recently.
Mane’s mother and other members of his family still live back in Bambali, the Senegalese village in which he grew up, and he has regularly given back to his mum and her close-knit community.
In 2018, he sent 300 Liverpool shirts back home ahead of the Champions League final, in which he scored against Real Madrid.
He also funded a school in the village, as well as a hospital which is due to open this year: when Mane’s father died, he had to be taken to another town for treatment, and the forward said the circumstances around his father’s death have played a part in the work he has done and continues to do back home.
If you’re as successful as Beckham on and off the field, you can be creative with your gift-giving, and that’s certainly true of a 2008 present he bought for wife Victoria’s birthday.
Was it a car? No. A house? Guess again. He forked out on an entire vineyard.
According to CBS News, the vineyard is located in California’s famous Napa Valley, and was purchased during Beckham’s spell playing for LA Galaxy in MLS.
It reportedly set the former England midfielder back seven figures.
Before moving to the Premier League, Dutch midfielder Fer was at the centre of a viral story about a gift he bought for his girlfriend Xenia – specifically a €30,000 horse, which would have been a lovely present… if only she didn’t live in an upstairs flat.
However, as he would later reveal, he bid for it at an auction without actually expecting to win.
“Xenia wasn’t with me, so I called her and said: ‘Babe, I bought you a horse.’ I had to repeat it. She’s into horses, I joked with her before that I was going to buy her one. But she couldn’t believe it when I phoned,” Fer told The Guardian.
“Thankfully, about 10 minutes later, someone came up to me and said: ‘Do you really want that horse?’ I said: ‘Nah, I was just fooling around.’
He offered to buy it off me for €35,000, so I made a bit of money. But for 10 minutes I was thinking: ‘S***, I’ve got a horse. Where shall I leave it?’”
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