‘England’s favourite foreign-born sports stars’ | S. Katwala- British Future

‘England’s favourite foreign-born sports stars’ | S. Katwala- British Future

Nationality isn’t just a question of birthplace. It’s about identity and belonging. John Barnes wasn’t born in England, nor was Terry Butcher, who was born in Singapore. They wore their England shirts with pride just as much as David Beckham and Paul Ince. The public were very clear during the Olympics: we cheer equally for every athlete who wears our vest. We don’t cheer less for Mo Farah or Bradley Wiggins because they were born abroad. Rising stars like Wilfred Zaha, Saido Berahino and Fabrice Muamba have talked about their pride in playing for the country which gave them protection and new chances in life when they came here as children. Their pride in our country makes me proud to be English; it doesn’t make me fear we are diluting our national identity.

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