Son of Sheffield Wednesday legend sets ambitious England target

David Hirst’s footballer son George may well face a return against his former club later this season. And he’s not been bashful in setting himself a lofty target.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 5:17 pm

The 22-year-old is on loan at Portsmouth having failed to make much of an impact at Rotherham United last time out. A former England youth international, he left Wednesday under a cloud of controversy in 2018.

And the son of Owls legend David – one of the club’s greatest-ever goalscorers – has spoken about the experience of growing up with that level of expectation.

“I don’t see it as a pressure because we are two completely different strikers,” he said.

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Sheffield Wednesday legend David Hirst.

“As much as people will make the comparisons naturally, my dad is 5ft 11in, even though he tells me he’s 6ft! I’m 6ft 4in. He’s left footed, I’m right footed.

“So straight away I don’t see the comparison at all, there are differences.

“Growing up with that hasn’t been a pressure, I’ve seen it as a free learning tool. You can have the best coach in the world, but to have someone like that on my doorstep at home every night, looking at my clips, giving me little pointers, is invaluable.”

Though his career has hardly taken off quite as he might have liked since making the switch to Belgian side OH Leuven, Hirst the younger says he harbours ambitions to resume an England career that halted at under-20 level four years ago.

Indeed, there’s a specific target he has in mind – to better his father’s tally of three senior caps.

Hirst said: “I would love to be able to retire and say I played for England more times than he did!

“He also spends a lot of time talking about his goal in the 1993 FA Cup final, so if I can score a couple that would be brilliant.

“Dad has never put any pressure on me, which a lot of people would be surprised about.

“When I was younger, I was told that if I wanted to be a ballet dancer then he’d be quite happy. It was up to me. I chose to play football.”