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How Cole Palmer pays touching tribute to his family’s Caribbean heritage every time he steps out on the field following his penalty success at Euros

This is the heartwarming way in which Cole Palmer pays tribute to his heritage every time he steps foot on the pitch.

The Chelsea midfielder, from Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, was one of England’s star players in the Euros fixture against Switzerland on Saturday.

The 22-year-old scored the first of England’s five penalties in Dusseldorf and played a pivotal role in getting the Three Lions through to the semi-finals.

Following his success on the pitch, football fans pointed out how Cole always wears two pins – featuring the England and St Kitts and Nevis flags – on his left trainer.

Cole’s paternal grandfather Sterry Cole originally hailed from Saint Kitts and Nevis, a small Caribbean dual-island, before moving to the UK in 1960.

Pictured: Cole Palmer seen playing in England’s match against Switzerland in Dusseldorf on Saturday

After football fans on X questioned Cole’s Caribbean heritage, one user highlighted the heartwarming way in which the player pays tribute to both sides of his family during his matches.

On Sunday morning, X user Lorraine King wrote: ‘I see people on here challenging claims of Black heritage in Cole Palmer. Cole’s grandfather is from St Kitts and Nevis.’

In response, another added: ‘His boots show the flags on both nations.’ 

‘It’s not obvious that he’s of Kittian heritage,’ a third said. ‘Another example of how the Windrush has benefitted Britain.’  

Meanwhile, a fourth replied: ‘And he’s a top lad from Manchester!’

Speaking to The Players’ Tribune in July 2022, Cole opened up about why he wanted to incorporate both flags into his uniform.

Praising his father for encouraging his love of football, the player said: ‘We would [practice] every single day whatever the weather — and my dad’s family is from St. Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean. He hates going out in the cold. But he’d do it for me anyway. 

‘That’s why I got the St Kitts flag on my boots, as a little tribute to him and his family.’ 

Undated photo of Cole Palmer and his grandfather Sterry Cole, who moved to the UK from Saint Kitts and Nevis in 1960

Undated photo of Cole Palmer and his grandfather Sterry Cole, who moved to the UK from Saint Kitts and Nevis in 1960

Undated photo of Cole Palmer and his father Jermaine, whose father Sterry was part of the Windrush generation

Undated photo of Cole Palmer and his father Jermaine, whose father Sterry was part of the Windrush generation

Pictured: Cole Pamer always wears pins showing the flags of England and Saint Kitts and Nevis when he plays

Pictured: Cole Pamer always wears pins showing the flags of England and Saint Kitts and Nevis when he plays

Last year, Cole’s grandfather spoke exclusively to the MailOnline about the painful struggles the family endured as part of the Windrush generation.

Sterry told how his parents took the painful decision to leave him and his older brother St Clair behind as they tried to establish a better life for their family after travelling to the UK in 1955, having left behind a modest stone home in Basseterre.

He said: ‘My aunt Pearl, another auntie and uncle lived with us and there was my grandmother. I think the house only had three bedrooms but it was always full of people.

‘My parents had already left for England, they went in 1955, five years before my brother and I, so we were brought up by my grandmother and aunties.’ 

Sterry grew up playing cricket and didn’t know anything about football until he arrived in England in 1960, after a two-week voyage to Southampton, where his parents met him.

Palmer's mother Marie, 48, was a divorcee with two young daughters - Lucy, now 31, and Ashley, 28, - when she married his father Jermaine in Manchester in February 1994

Palmer’s mother Marie, 48, was a divorcee with two young daughters – Lucy, now 31, and Ashley, 28, – when she married his father Jermaine in Manchester in February 1994

After football fans on X questioned Cole's Caribbean heritage, one user highlighted the heartwarming way in which the player pays tribute to both sides of his family during his matches

After football fans on X questioned Cole’s Caribbean heritage, one user highlighted the heartwarming way in which the player pays tribute to both sides of his family during his matches

He said: ‘Life was very different in Manchester, the people were different as was the weather and the food so it was a bit of a culture shock at first but when you’re young you adapt quite well. We didn’t stay too long in Moss Side before heading out to Rusholme.’

Palmer’s great-grandfather worked in a garage before getting a job in the Kellogg’s factory while and his great-grandmother took up a job as a sewing machinist. Meanwhile, Sterry went into construction.

Sterry’s brother went on to find fame after joining Manchester soul group Sweet Sensation, who had a number one hit in 1974 with Sad Sweet Dreamer.

He said: ‘My brother ended up going into the music industry. He was a performer and joined a soul group who some hits in the 1970s.

‘I sort of gravitated towards the construction industry working as a fabricator welder so my time at work was spent cutting and shaping metal.’

One of Sterry’s cousins who he travelled to Britain with later returned to St Kitts and his aunt Pearl went to live in Canada.

But Sterry added: ‘The rest of us are still in Manchester, this is where we all laid down roots and I’ve never really thought about moving back.’

He is close to his grandson who grew up supporting Manchester United but spent 15 years at rivals City after starting out in the club’s academy.

What’s more, Sterry also gushed about his grandson’s incredible career. In April, Cole was subbed the ‘signing of the season’ shortly after moving to Chelsea for £42.5m.

Sterry continued: ‘We are all tremendously proud of him. He’s worked so hard to be where he is and deserves all the success he’s getting.’


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