Charlie Adam: ‘My late dad is always with me’
THERE has already been one moment of highly charged emotion for the Adam family at Hampden this week. At the culmination of St Mirren’s League Cup final win on Sunday, their substitute goalkeeper Grant Adam revealed a t-shirt with the message ‘RIP Dad 1962-2012’.
Watching from the studio inside the National Stadium where he was on television analyst duty, Grant’s big brother Charlie was taken aback. He was unaware of the tribute his sibling intended to make to their father, Charlie senior, who died suddenly at the age of just 50 in December.
As he prepares for his own first appearance at Hampden since the family suffered such a grievous loss, Scotland midfielder Adam has spoken at length for the first time about having to cope with the shock of being without the man who was as much of a mentor as a father.
Himself a former player, for Dundee United and Partick Thistle among others, Charlie senior was the biggest influence on his oldest son’s success in forging a career at Rangers, Blackpool, Liverpool and Stoke City.
Poised to win his 22nd cap for Scotland in tomorrow night’s World Cup qualifier against Wales, 27-year-old Adam admits his father will be uppermost in his thoughts.
“I will sense his presence,” said Adam. “Every time I walk on the pitch, you just hope that he’s there and he’s still watching. It has been a difficult time. When you get on the pitch it’s not all forgotten but it makes life a lot easier. When you’re on the pitch and you’re training, it takes your mind away from what’s gone on.
“My dad was there for me when I had hard times, my whole family were, but he was the one who helped me get to where I am at the moment. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have achieved what I’ve achieved in the game.
“There was no-one prouder than him when I was playing at the top level every week. His proudest moments were when I was playing for my country. As a family, we always loved watching Scotland over the years and it is the pinnacle of your career to play for your country. There are only a selected few who get the opportunity and fortunately I’ve been able to do that.
“I was fortunate that my dad managed to see me playing for my country and playing in one of the best leagues in the world. That’s the important thing. It’s just sad the way things happened.
“The whole family are doing well now and seem to be strong. It was great that my brother was part of St Mirren’s big win on Sunday. I didn’t know anything about the t-shirt he had made and when the game was going on, I wasn’t thinking about it.
“My brother can be an emotional wreck at times and it was hard for me when I saw his tribute, because I was doing the TV at the time. Hopefully my dad was looking down. He would be delighted for Grant, because it meant a lot to him to see us doing what we are doing.
“My mum was in the stand on Sunday and it was nice for her to see Grant get that trophy. I don’t know if she will come along on Friday night, because it was normally my dad who came to the Scotland games. It will be difficult for her, but I know she will be watching on TV if she doesn’t come. Hopefully we can win on Friday and cap off a good week.”
Adam has been unable to hold down a regular starting place for Stoke City in recent weeks, his club manager Tony Pulis expressing the view that the loss of his father was still weighing heavily on the player. But Adam, speaking yesterday at an event organised by Vauxhall, the Scotland team sponsor and the new Arnold Clark Adam centre, insists he is ready to resume business for both club and country.
“I’ve not played for Stoke because he [Pulis] picks the team and that’s the way it goes,” he said. “I respect that. For anyone who loses a family member, it is difficult, but I’m ready to go.
“Everybody wants to get back to work as soon as they can after something like that. At the time, it was a shock, but it’s how you react to it that matters. People who know me would probably say I’ve reacted in a better way than I would have previously.
“I wouldn’t say what has happened has made me feel any different about myself. I just want to learn every day. It just puts life into perspective. Anything can happen in life at any time. You can’t take things for granted. The important thing is how you react to that disappointment.
“I’ve always been mentally tough. You have to be. When you have played for one of the Old Firm, you need to be mentally tough. I’ve always had that in my career. It’s more of a tragic thing that’s gone on, so I’ve needed some mental toughness as well, but I’ve always had that. The support I’ve had from the family has been great.
“I’ve played a few games for the reserves at Stoke, so I’m okay and fit and available for Friday night. When you’re not playing for your club, it’s difficult for the Scotland manager to select you.
“But I’ve got an opportunity to play and I’m available to play and if the manager selects me I’ll be ready. I’m looking forward to it. It’s a massive game for us and we’ve worked well this week.
“What’s gone on personally has gone on, but for me the most important thing is to get back playing and training every day and I’ve done that. Representing my country is as proud as it gets and as good as it gets.
“You get support from your family and your friends through times like these. When you get a difficult time you find out your real friends and I’ve had that over the past few months and I hope I can start repaying them with good performances.”
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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