Fabian Delph flies back to Russia from UK after ‘amazing’ 24 hours that saw him miss England beating Colombia but welcome a new baby daughter into his family
- Fabian Delph has flown back to Russia to rejoin his England teammates today
- Midfielder had returned to UK for birth straight after last Thursday’s defeat
- But he watched Colombia match last night and wife gave birth this morning
- Delph, who earns £90,000 a week, now has three daughters with wife Natalie
England footballer Fabian Delph has flown back to Russia to rejoin his teammates after his wife gave birth to a baby girl this morning.
The 28-year-old Manchester City midfielder flew back to the UK for the birth straight after starting last Thursday’s defeat to Belgium.
Delph, who earns £90,000 a week, said he ‘felt every bit of emotion’ as he watched his teammates’ dramatic victory over Colombia last night on TV in Britain.
Delph posted a picture on Instagram of him on a plane heading back to Russia this afternoon
Just ten hours later at 7.52am this morning, his wife Natalie gave birth to a baby girl – a sister to his other daughters Sophia, aged five, and three-year-old Aleya.
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Delph posted a picture on Instagram of him on a plane heading back to Russia this afternoon, saying: ‘I’ve just experienced the most amazing 24 hours.
England footballer Delph, 28, is pictured with his wife Natalie in Manchester in 2015
‘Watching my brothers come through a tough game both mentally and physically, I kicked every ball and felt every bit of emotion with the players, staff and fans.
‘At 7.52am, me my wife and 2 beautiful daughters welcomed there baby sister into the world. I can’t put into words the happiness and gratitude I’m feeling… Back to Russia now #TunnelVision.’
Bradford-born Delph previously said England manager Gareth Southgate had ‘been fantastic’ in letting him head home until his wife gave birth.
He added that ‘family always comes first’ before he paid to catch a flight home immediately after Thursday’s match which saw England lose 1-0 to Belgium.
But Delph admitted his wife was a ‘tough Yorkshire lass’ who probably didn’t need him to be there anyway.
He always knew he would travel back to the North West as Mrs Delph was due to give birth during the tournament. But he had an arrangement with the manager about the ‘domestic situation’.
Speaking in May, the player said: ‘Southgate has been fantastic. There’s nothing more important than family to me – family always comes first and always will.’
Delph, pictured with his wife, said ‘family comes first’ as he flew home from Russia
Delph (right) battles for the ball with Belgium’s Nacer Chadli (left) during last Thursday’s match
But he added about his wife: ‘She’s tough, she’s a Yorkshire lass so she’ll deal with it.’
The Delphs met in 2013, before marrying privately in the same year in front of a few friends and family.
Play on! How yesteryear’s superstars dealt with babies
Back in the 1982 World Cup, attitudes to family were rather different.
As midfielder Bryan Robson played in England’s opening game, his wife was in labour back home.
The team recorded a 3-1 win against France – with Robson famously scoring after just 27 seconds – and hours later his second daughter, Charlotte, was born.
But it never occurred to the Manchester United star, pictured, to have missed the tournament, or to fly back from Spain straight after his wife had given birth.
That just wasn’t the done things in those days. Instead he was treated to a surprise by broadcaster ITV.
Robson, now 61, recalled: ‘The excitement was even too much back home because my wife Denise ended up going into labour and giving birth to our second daughter Charlotte.
‘I did an interview with ITV after the game and Jim Rosenthal said they’d messed it up and that I’d have to go back the next day to do it.
‘Unbeknown to me they had sent a TV crew to the hospital to film Denise with Charlotte.
‘Then they sat me in a room and put the video on and that was the first time I’d seen Charlotte — broadcast live on TV’.
He could now be in contention for some involvement in the quarter-final against Sweden on Saturday at 3pm.
He did not feature in the opening win over Tunisia but came on as a substitute against Panama and played the full game against Belgium.
England continued in the tournament without him, beating Colombia on penalties last night in Moscow to secure a place in the last eight.
Revealing his plans to fly home before the tournament, Delph added: ‘We have home births so I need to be there for my wife and two children, they’re going to need me.’
Delph said his call-up to the World Cup squad had him ‘doing cartwheels’ but his family were less interested in football.
He told how he had hoped the new arrival might change that, adding: ‘I’ve got two daughters, a baby on the way and the missus – and they all hate football. They couldn’t care less.’
Southgate previous said: ‘The thought process is that some things in life are more important than football His wife is due to go into labour.
‘I’ve said all along to the players that this is a big tournament, but family is more important. I think it’s very important at times like this, that players who are family-orientated are supported by us.
He added: ‘It’s a bit of perspective in life because everybody says you only get one chance to be in a World Cup, but also there’s only one day in your life when your children are born.
‘I know my father’s generation and those before them would view that differently, but you have got to be there for your family and that’s very important.’
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