Kenley dad Jim Cullen and his three sons all play in defence for Raynes Park Rovers

Jim Cullen with sons Jamie, Liam and Paul

Jim Cullen with sons Jamie, Liam and Paul

First published in News Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Brothers Bobby and Jack Charlton famously lifted the World Cup as England players in 1966, while Phil and Gary Neville celebrated six Premier League titles together with Manchester United.

But few football teams can boast an entire season undefeated with almost a whole household in defence.

Kenley family the Cullens helped to achieve just that, however, providing the sturdy rearguard as Raynes Park Rovers ran away with their league's title and clinched promotion without losing a single game.

Dad Jim and sons Jamie, 26, Liam, 24 - all defenders - and goalkeeper Paul, 18, let just 18 goals slip through their ranks as they won Morden and District Sunday Football League Division 2.

Jim, 50, a centre half, said: "It is quite unique. "We have gone from playing in the garden, to them coming to watch me play, then to me going to watch them play for school teams, to this.

"The team say, 'Here comes the family'. They think it is quite a laugh. They also think it is fantastic because my sons are good players. It has been a fantastic season."

As well as sharing a pitch, the foursome all live together in Oaks Road with Lorraine, Jim's wife.

The couple's fourth son, 20-year-old Jason, works weekends so cannot play for the team, which was also managed by Jim's brothers Pat and Andy until last year.

Left-back Liam, who played alongside Arsenal star Kieran Gibbs at Riddlesdown College school, said the team being a family affair brings advantages and challenges.

He said: "It is good in a way, but a bit hectic at times because you are family. It is quite manic. It makes it a lot harder because I get a lot more frustrated. We have a sibling rivalry."

Raynes Park Rovers will play in the league's top division after securing promotion with a 6-0 win over Plough Beddington.

Croydon Guardian:

Jim and the boys with their biggest fan, Lorraine

Croydon Guardian:

The team secured promotion with a 6-0 win

And while Jim, a studio manager at the BBC, is twice the age of his fellow defenders, he has no plans to quit just yet. 

He said: "Every year for the last three or four years I was going to retire, thinking, 'Let the youngsters take over, I'm getting too old for this.'

But I think it shows what you can do when you keep yourself fit. And I have no doubt my boys will tell me when I'm too old."

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree