RUGBY star Joe Cain says that family ties mean he will be supporting Southend United over Burton Albion on Sunday.
The former John Taylor High School pupil, currently with Leicester Tigers, grew up in Burton but was born in Southend.
His parents both support the Shrimpers, but more than that, his uncle – Phil Brown – is the manager at Roots Hall.
Cain, who also played cricket for Lullington Park, is therefore in the unique position of having a foot in both camps, and it is not a quandary he relishes.
“It’s tough, because I’m a huge Burton fan, but I have to support Southend,” said the 21-year-old, who recently announced his retirement from rugby due to a career-ending knee injury.
“I think my family wouldn’t speak to me if I started cheering on the Brewers.
“I went to the game at the Pirelli earlier this season, and I’m planning to go to the play-offs as well.
“But my mam and dad have been following Southend all over the country, so I’ll be with them.”
He also revealed it was just coincidence that uncle Phil, who is from Sunderland, the club Cain supports, took the top job at his family’s hometown club.
“When he got the job, we couldn’t believe it,” said Cain.
“I’m just glad he’s not Sunderland manager, as I don’t think I could watch if he was in charge of the football club that I support.”