Ex-Liverpool star John Barnes opens up on unlikely connection to Cool Runnings

Former Liverpool winger John Barnes has revealed his unlikely connection to the cult 1993 comedy Cool Runnings, the film which focussed on Jamaica's bobsleigh team.

The ex- England international was born on the Caribbean island in 1963 and grew up in the capital city Kingston before moving with his family to London in 1976.

The switch to the UK came about owing to his father's position as colonel in the army, which also led to Barnes Sr having a hand in forming a bobsleigh team to represent Jamaica at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Canada.

That event formed the basis for the film Cool Runnings, with Barnes opening up on his link to the film in the final instalment of the hit ITV show 'Harry's Heroes: Euro Having A Laugh' on Wednesday night.

"My father was instrumental in the Jamaica bobsleigh team. Do you remember the film Cool Runnings? The real guy who John Candy played had been from America who had been coming to Jamaica regularly on holiday," explained the 56-year-old.

"He knew that the most important thing in bobsleigh is the sprinting and Jamaica has good sprinters. With my dad being head of sports in the army, he said to my dad if they had any good athletes who could be part of the Jamaica bobsleigh team.

"My dad gave him four army officers, but unfortunately it didn't go as well as the film did. The bobsleigh crashed and we came last.

Barnes' revelation came to light after a team of ex-England internationals managed by Harry Redknapp visited a bobsleigh run ahead of a grudge match with German counterparts.

The former Liverpool star wanted to help the team conquer their nerves ahead of facing their rivals, and felt bobsleigh had all the attributes needed to achieve that.

"Bobsleigh is about handling your inner emotions and controlling that fear. The Germans have always been very good at that, but if they can [do it] then why can't we?

"I'm hoping the boys do a bit better than the Jamaica bobsleigh team."

Whether the trip worked the trick will be revealed on Wednesday evening at 9pm on ITV.

*Harry’s Heroes: Euro Having a Laugh is on ITV on Wednesday at 9pm

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