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Declan Rice was born in January 1999 and began his football career as a youth with Chelsea FC.
When he was 14 years old, he left the Blues to join the youth set-up of fellow London club West Ham United.
Rice earned his first professional deal with West Ham United in 2015 and quickly established himself as a first-team regular for the Hammers.
Rice switched allegiances after representing the Republic of Ireland at junior level because his grandparents are from Cork, and made his senior debut for the Three Lions in March 2019.
He was a regular member of England’s squad that advanced to the Euro 2020 final in the summer of 2021.
Early Years, Parents, and Education
Declan Rice was born in Kingston upon Thames, England on January 14, 1999. He was also reared in Kingston upon Thames, a south-west London district.
Before moving to England, his father Sean’s grandparents, Jack and Margaret, were from Douglas in Cork.
Rice showed early promise and joined Chelsea FC’s academy in 2006, when he was only seven years old. He spent about eight years in the youth system of the south west London club before being discharged in 2014, when he was 14 years old.
“I used to go to Chelsea to watch games as a young kid,” Rice remarked in an interview following West Ham’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea FC in April 2018. “I joined them when I was seven but was released when I was fourteen, so playing against them meant a lot to me.”
Rice revealed that former Chelsea FC captain John Terry chatted with him for a long time after his departure from the south west London club, and the two have stayed friends ever since. Terry was one of Rice’s childhood football idols, according to Rice.
“John and I are pretty good friends. “When I got out of Chelsea, he called me and we talked for about 45 minutes,” Rice told the Irish Mirror in 2018. “I informed him that I was going to West Ham.” He had been present. He was my childhood hero.
“To ask him a bunch of questions over the phone and have him answer them back, I’ll remember that call and what he said to this day.”
Rice joined West Ham’s youth set-up when he was 14 years old, after being released by Chelsea FC.
West Ham Utd
Rice quickly established himself at West Ham United, where he signed his first professional contract in December 2015.
Rice made his senior debut for West Ham United on May 21, 2017, coming on as a late substitute in the Hammers’ 2-1 Premier League win over Burnley.
The 2017-18 season was a watershed moment for Rice, who established himself as a first-team regular.
In December 2018, he was rewarded for his excellent form with a new and better deal at West Ham United. The contract was supposed to last until 2024, with an additional year option.
Rice initially wanted to represent the Republic of Ireland at the youth level, which he explained was largely to honor his paternal grandparents.
In a March 2018 interview, Rice said of his grandparents and his choice to play for Ireland, “They’ll be very proud.” “My father is quite proud of me. He wants me to represent Ireland.”
Rice represented Ireland in the Under-16, Under-17, Under-19, and Under-21 levels.
However, in February 2019, he chose to switch allegiances to England at the senior level.
“This has been an extremely difficult decision and, in all honesty, not one I ever expected to be making at this stage of my career,” Rice said after making the announcement. “I consider myself to be of mixed nationality, as do many people around the world.”
“I am a proud Englishman, born and raised in London.” However, I am equally proud of my family’s Irish ancestry, as well as my affection and connection to the country. Because I have equal regard and affection for both England and Ireland, the national team I choose to represent is not a straightforward choice. Not least for a young man who never imagined himself in this position.
“Ultimately, it is a personal decision that I have made with both my heart and my head, based on what I believe is best for my future.”
Rice made his senior England debut on March 22, 2019, as a second-half replacement in a 5-0 win against Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium in Euro 2020 qualification.
Rice scored his first goal for England in a 4-0 win over Iceland in the Uefa Nations League on November 18, 2020.
He made seven appearances for England as they advanced to the Euro 2020 final, where they were defeated on penalties by Italy in the summer of 2021.