Jaine Blackman looks at a survey which reveals many parents have completely unrealistic expectations that their child is destined to become a top soccer star

Parents seem to be more football crazy than their offspring... unless they live in Oxford.

A new survey shows that some dads – and mums – will go to great lengths to ensure that their children support the same team as them, and are convinced their offspring are budding stars of the future.

However, it also shows that people in the Oxford area have a much more realistic view.

Just eight per cent think their child is a future football star – half the national average of 16 per cent and far less than in London where 25 per cent of parents are convinced their child has what it takes to be a professional footballer.

In the research undertaken for Beko, FC Barcelona’s new Premium Partner, a third of parents nationally admitted that they have dressed their child in their team’s kit from birth and one in seven takes their child to every home match.

In Oxford that falls, respectively, to less than a quarter and fewer than one in 10.

And while it’s true – according to the survey – that only a quarter of children in the region support the same team as their parents, nationally the figure is only 37 per cent so it doesn’t seem to make much difference.

All would no doubt be forgiven if their child ended up becoming a football star, regardless of who they played for, but it’s slightly worrying that only one in five mums and dads in the survey of more than 2,000 parents agreed that teaching youngsters it’s the taking part and not the winning that counts, is the most important aspect of playing sport.

Perhaps unsurprising, Beko, as a home appliances manufacturer which sells washing machines, also asked about laundry.

The result was a little more startling.

It transpired that it’s dads and not mums who are more likely to make an extra special effort to ensure their children’s kit is clean and well presented.

Style on the pitch seems to count.

Two thirds of parents said they went to extra lengths to ensure their child’s kit was at its cleanest with 70 per cent of dads getting involved in making sure their child looked the part on the pitch.

Ex-England footballer and dad Phil Neville commented: “The survey certainly shows how passionate us Brits are about football.

“It shows that in many households, it’s parenting teamwork that gets kids actively playing every weekend, with both mums and dads playing their part to help their kids in many different ways. It’s interesting to see dads coming out top in making sure their kids look the part on the pitch, but I’m not sure I can take the credit in our house!”