Reece James comes from a proper football family which also involves Lauren James – his younger sister playing for Chelsea’s Women’s side. But not many know that he also has an older brother – Joshua James – who initially tried paving a career in football as well.
The three children of Nigel James – who himself failed to make it as a top level footballer but persisted to help his children realize their utmost potential. Nigel has been a football coach who has been running his own academy since 2002. He has helped 26 players bag professional contracts over the last two decades, all while acting as an advisor to both Reece and Lauren.
Who is Joshua James?
However, Nigel’s first-born was actually Joshua James. And being the first-born, the Englishman tried his best to get him into football and achieved everything that he came up short on. Josh James is a few years elder to Reece, but he couldn’t really have a glittering football career like his siblings.
Joshua did pretty well at the youth level and used to play for some decent clubs’ academy level too. He trained in both Fulham and Reading’s academy and played for them, before deciding to leave football as a teenager to pursue something different in his career.
It’s not exactly known what line of work Josh ventured to, because there is not much talk on him at all. While Nigel is a successful football coach and makes public appearances with his children, all while also acting as their agent, Josh has decided to stay away from the spotlight despite witnessing his siblings’ rise.
Josh James’ role in Reece’s football career
What is known, thanks to Reece, is that Josh played a major role in helping his brother become the player he is today. The 23-year-old Chelsea defender cites his older brother as a major influence to him becoming a footballer, as he said a few years ago: “Obviously, Josh learned from my dad and then it just passed its way down.
“I started playing because my brother played, and my sister played because I played. We grew up as a three. We all used to play every day together at the park and over time we all gradually got better. There was a field behind my house, with two pitches, and every day I’d be playing football, either in the field or in the street.”
It has also been discovered that Josh was the only Manchester United supporter in the James household, with his siblings both supporting Chelsea. Reece confirmed this too, saying: “My brother was a United fan. Me and my sister were always Chelsea. When I first supported them, it would have been the team with Robben, Drogba, Petr Cech, Terry and the gaffer (Mourinho).
“We moved to west London when I was about two, so I grew up in this area, not too far from Stamford Bridge, and it was natural for them to become my team.”
However, with Reece and Lauren James both becoming top-level footballers and inherint worldwide support – Josh James has gone off-the-radar. He decided to quit football in his teenage years. Fans have also noticed that Reece doesn’t follow his brother on his social media, which indicates that the two might not be on the best terms.
There is a lot of mystery around Joshua James – who might be a case of ‘What If’ and has fans guessing if he could’ve even outperformed Reece or Lauren if he decided to seriously pursue a career in professional football.