Jack Grealish shin pads and socks: Why does England star wear them so low?

  • Rob Swan

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There are many people who believe that Jack Grealish has the individual quality to make a major impact for England at Euro 2020.

The attacking midfielder scored seven goals and registered 12 assists for Aston Villa this season and his eye-catching performances led to Gareth Southgate calling him up for his first major international tournament.

Grealish will, of course, be more than familiar to the vast majority of football fans - but people who don’t watch many games might be puzzled why England’s No. 7 wears his socks so low. And does he even wear shin pads?

Most footballers wear their socks just below their knees but Grealish rolls his up to his shins and no further.

The question is: why? Surely there are no benefits to having your socks that low?

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Why does Grealish wear his socks low?

Speaking to Birmingham Live, Grealish revealed that it’s all because of superstition.

"Obviously your socks are supposed to go above your calves,” the 25-year-old said.

"But one year when I was here, the socks once shrunk in the wash. So they wouldn’t go higher.

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"That season, I ended up playing really well. So it became a superstitious thing for me. I thought ‘I’m going to keep doing this because I’ve done well’."

George Best also used to play with his socks rolled down but Grealish dismissed suggestions that the Manchester United legend was the inspiration behind his decision?

"A lot of people say that it’s because of George Best,” Grealish added. “While I love him and admire so much what he did, that isn’t the reason."

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Does Grealish wear shin pads?

But what about his shin pads? Does Grealish actually wear any?

The Football Association’s Laws of the Game make it clear that shinguards are compulsory equipment.

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“These must be made of a suitable material to provide reasonable protection and covered by the socks,” the laws state.

When you see his socks down so low, it seems impossible that he could be wearing any shin pads at all. However, they *are* there - they’re just tiny.

How big are Grealish's shin pads?

His shin pads have been described as “teenage” size by a source close to the player.

Birmingham Live, meanwhile, revealed that his shin pads are between large child and small adult size.

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"It's a superstition that I've done all my life and I'm going to keep it that way,” Grealish insists.

"A few referees have tried telling me but I've got to keep it like that."

And if he inspires England to glory at Euro 2020, kids up and down the country will no doubt be following suit on every Sunday League pitch later this year.

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