Declan Rice was born on 14th January 1999, in Kingston upon Thames, in Greater London.
A London lad through and through, Declan Rice’s family is an example of the migration that was taking place during the period of the 1970s and 80s in Ireland.
His grandparents, Margaret and Jack, were both, Irish, born in Douglas, Cork County in Ireland.
His father Sean Rice, who is now a football agent, and secured Rice’s big money move to Arsenal, was the first generation of Irish immigrants staying permanently in England like so many others similar.
Even though he was born in London, Rice started his career on the international circuit by playing in both the Ireland under-17 and Ireland under-21.
His father Sean Rice had even expressed his disappointment, with his son representing England instead of Ireland.
He was quoted saying, he had never imagined, his son would be representing England, but it is what it is, and he has to support his son, no matter what.
That old rift between the two countries might have now gone on the outside, but it remains an everyday fabric in the lives of the Irish.
This is not the first time, Sean Rice will see his son, represent a team, he is supposed to feel foes with, especially when he puts his fan cap on.
The Rice family, similar to other Irish families, had immigrated to London, and Sean Rice, found a love for Chelsea.
He is an ardent supporter of the Blues and is a season ticket holder.
Rice had played three international matches for the Irish national team against Turkey, France, and the United States.
They were though, all matches outside any official competition, and so Rice was able to make the switch with the existing FIFA rules at the time.
Playing for Ireland, he was quoted by the Irish papers, talking about his grandparents:
They will be looking down on me very proud.
He even mentioned his father, in that same interview:
My dad is, really, proud. He wants me to play for Ireland.
Sean Rice’s disappointment at his son Declan’s decision to represent England at the international stage, became a source topic of the Rice family’s Irish heritage.
Sean Rice told the press:
I am very Irish, my mum and dad were very Irish, and Declan grew up in an Irish/English environment as a lot of people from London do.
While Sean Rice is a thorough Irishman, his wife Teresa Rice is English. The couple has three children, Conor Rice, and Jordan Rice, they are elder brothers of the youngest in the Rice family, Declan Rice.
Sean Rice and Teresa Rice got married in London in the summer of 1990, building a loving home for their three sons to grow up in.
Conor Rice, the eldest of the Rice brothers, was serious about professional football before a bad injury made his love for the game dwindle.
Declan Rice told in an interview, mentioning his brothers:
My brothers had both played for local teams and Jordan was a good player himself, but he had a bad injury and kind of fell out of love with the game and Connor was also good but lost his enthusiasm for it.
The Rice boys and their old man had a loving attitude towards the game without really dreaming of the richness that would come with it if one is successful as a football player.
Sean Rice would accompany his children to football games, but he was all too aware, of the falling out of love, which is often the case, for teenage boys, if their parents force them into something.
There was no pressure that they had to succeed in the game.
A mature, now professional footballer Rice feels thankful to his father, for providing him those moments of simply going to the park and having a kickabout with his brothers.
My dad had seen that happen – kids playing in matches with parents shouting from the sidelines and he just didn’t want me to go into it.
He wanted me to be a kid and to just enjoy playing on the street or with my friends and with my brothers’ mates.
So even though I was nine by this stage, I was still improving all the time and toughening myself up.
I think they thought I was destined to do something in football, but it’s a tough road to get to where I am now and you’ve got to work hard.
But if I hadn’t had those times with my brothers or my dad in the park, who knows what might’ve happened and if I’d be where I am today.
Unlike most of the other players and lads that I speak to in the game, I never actually played in organized football as a youngster, so my journey was a bit different in that way.
I’ve got to thank my dad because he was helping me all the time by taking me down to the local park to chuck the ball for me or kicking it to me from five yards away.Quotes via EnglandFootball.com
It would be unwise to assume, only Sean Rice, played a significant part in the development of Declan as both a footballer and a human being.
When things started to go astray as a West Ham youngster, Teresa became a bedrock of support for his son. Rice was living away from his parents as a teenage kid, meeting them only once a week.
The ordeal had a draining impact on his young mind. When he was at Chelsea, before West Ham, Teresa Rice would make sure her son was always well-fed, before, training sessions.
Rice, talking about his mother, said.
I remember I used to play the game for school before my mum would come to pick me up, bring my Chelsea training kit and a bowl of pasta in a little tub, which I’d then eat on the way over to the training session with Chelsea.
At West Ham, Rice would call his mother often, crying about how much he missed his family.
It was not easy for Teresa to let his son go through that pain, so early in life:
My mum would come up with my dad on Wednesday to break it up for me because I was homesick at the start because I missed them loads.
Rice’s admission about his mother takes a clearer picture of his choice of choosing England, his mother’s nationality.
Honestly, my mum came up and wanted to pull me away from it at West Ham. I would cry on the phone to her because I missed her so much, and my dad, and it would break her heart. Only recently my mum’s brother was telling me, ‘Your mum used to be in tears to me down the phone and like she wanted you to come home.’
It was hardly a surprise for anyone at West Ham when he decided to wear a jersey printed “mum” on the back of it, to celebrate the women, who have impacted the players in their lives.
Rice, talking to West Ham, highlighted his mother’s contributions..
Everyone in the squad was eager to mark International Women’s Day and recognize the contributions and achievements of the women in our lives and those who inspire us.
I chose to put my mum’s name on the back of my shirt for training, showing my appreciation for all the time and effort she spent helping my two brothers and me become the men we are today. We will each always be forever grateful to her.
As Rice’s mother, Teresa Rice will be cheering on for his son, when he plays for England in this International break, and the Irish fans would fail to give two hoots for a player who turned their backs on them, Rice remains another product of the Irish immigration.