Hamza Choudhury, the boy of Bangladesh-Grenadian heritage from Leicestershire, is 17 years later now an established Premier League star with top-four chasing Leicester City
When he was five, Hamza Choudhury's mother Rafia decided to take her "energetic" son to football coaching to let off steam - and it has proved to be an inspired decision.
Hamza, the boy of Bangladesh-Grenadian heritage from Leicestershire, is 17 years later now an established Premier League star with top-four chasing Leicester City.
Hamza describes his childhood household as "loud".
His cousins would come over to play in the park and on video games, while on the table there were always some of his favorite dishes: curry, rice, samosas and hot sweet tea.
“If he carries on in his current form, Choudhury could be in the frame for a call-up to Gareth Southgate's senior England squad. Were that to happen, he would be the first player of south Asian descent to feature for the Three Lions.” https://t.co/wYsfFT3cqn— Bilal Baloch (@bilalabaloch) October 4, 2019
For part of the school holidays the Choudhurys would visit his mother's family in Bangladesh.
The trips would leave a lasting impression on the midfielder, who is fluent in Bengali.
The sight of this young boy with an afro, however, would cause a minor ripple in his family's Sylhet village.
"A few of my childhood memories are of Bangladesh. Being there, just being able to do what you want," he says.
The manager on Hamza Choudhury 🗣️— Leicester City (@LCFC) September 27, 2019
"He needs to go out and play with aggression, like all our players do - if we want to be a top team. He’s got a great temperament." pic.twitter.com/oTnTsnPgUP
"You see kids walking around at 10 o'clock at night, not a care in the world…freedom and completely safe.
"People were definitely surprised that I could speak Bengali. I had a little afro when I was a kid, so all the kids used to find me quite interesting and run around after me. We used to go there every other year while we were growing up for two to three weeks - it was nice. Very special.
"It's my heritage and my culture, so it's nice. It's really nice going back. I think it also humbles you as a kid and it shows you different parts of the world because when you grow up in England you can live in a bit of a bubble.
"To go there opens your eyes to see what kinds of struggles people actually go through, so it is humbling."