Kyle Walker’s tough childhood gives him resolve to prove people wrong

Prove people wrong, never be beaten. Each day is a new challenge, keep on pushing. “It’s just been my life,” Kyle Walker says, as he reflects on where the drive comes from. “Everyone writes me off and says certain things.

“When I signed for Manchester City, it was: ‘I can’t believe they paid that much for a full-back.’ It gives me that motivation and I do like to go out and show people. Maybe it is my upbringing. Where I grew up, you had to survive.”

And so from England’s World Cup training base in Al Wakrah where the squad are preparing for the second group game against the USA on Friday night, Walker is transported back to where it all started for him – the block of flats on the Lansdowne estate in Sharrow to the south‑west of Sheffield.

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This article was written by David Hytner in Doha and originally published on