FOOTBALL: FAMILY TREE

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The Independent Online
Hardly surprising that Lee Hendrie should tuck away his first senior goal for Aston Villa with such aplomb on Saturday: the 20-year-old England under-21 midfielder has a striker's pedigree.

The son of the former Birmingham City player Paul Hendrie, who is now manager of Tamworth, he has another distinguished footballing relative in Barnsley's former Middlesbrough forward, John Hendrie.

His 34-year-old Scottish-born cousin has followed Lee's career through Villa's youth ranks with a keen interest. Indeed, they have already shared one special moment.

"Lee made his Villa debut against Middlesbrough a couple of months before his 18th birthday," John said. "We'd been together a few weeks earlier at my grandfather's funeral in Lennoxtown and it never occurred to us that we might next meet on the football field. It was a nice surprise when he was picked.

"I know Tony McAndrew, one of Villa's coaches, very well and he keeps me informed on Lee's progress."

The family line could be extended if any of John's three boys make the grade. Nine-year-old Joe, his second oldest child after daughter Lauren, is already turning out for teams near the family home in Leeds.

A professional career for any of them could provide a sequel to John's autobiography, "Don't Call Me Happy", launched on Teesside last week.

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