Football Features

Premier League brothers: Every sibling pairing and how they got on

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 18:55, 10 September 2020

Over the years, the Premier League has been graced by a number of what can only be described as wonders.

In 2003/04, Arsenal won the league without losing a single game, 2012 brought arguably the most dramatic end to a Premier League campaign and 2015/16 saw Leicester City defy all odds to finish top.

But there may be no greater wonder than siblings gracing the pitch at the same time and – get ready for it – for the same team! Yes, it’s happened 13 times, more than the aforementioned feats, but it makes for an exclusive group.

And certainly a group worth looking at, so without further ado…

Gary and Phil Neville

Club: Manchester United
Premier League matches together: 181
Major honours: Premier League 1995/96, 1996/97, 1998/99, 1999/2000, 2000/01, 2002/03; FA Cup 1995/96, 1998/99, 2003/04; FA Community Shield 1996, 1997, 2003; UEFA Champions League 1998/99; Intercontinental Cup 1999

Among the most famous siblings in English football, the Nevilles made history during the 1995/96 campaign when they became the first pair of brothers to play together in an FA Cup-winning side and for England in the same season.

Although they made over 180 league appearances together for boyhood club Manchester United, playing alongside each other wasn’t a guarantee. Gary, a formidable right-back was ensured of his starting berth under Sir Alex Ferguson, but Phil – a versatile defender-cum-midfielder – was seen as a valuable squad member and would often be rotated in and out of the team.

Verdict: Hit

Fabio and Rafael da Silva

Club: Manchester United
Premier League matches together: 3
Major honours: Premier League 2010/11, 2012/13; League Cup 2009/10, FA Community Shield 2009, 2014

United’s second brother pairing in the Premier League era, but this one was less successful, despite a promising start. On arrival, the Brazilian twins were lauded as future stars, albeit they’d ultimately play just 52 minutes of league football together between 2009 and 2012.

Fabio, a left-back by trade, was seen as having the biggest potential though hardly featured for the Red Devils due to stiff competition from Patrice Evra and so he was subsequently loaned out to Queens Park Rangers before signing for Cardiff City.

Rafael, incidentally a right-back, saw more playing time, amassing over 150 matches in all competitions, but a falling out with Louis van Gaal cut short his Old Trafford stay. Today, you can find them playing for Nantes (Fabio) and Istanbul Basaksehir (Rafael).

Verdict: Miss

Kolo and Yaya Toure

Club: Manchester City
Premier League matches together: 47
Major honours: Premier League 2011/12; FA Cup 2010/11

This pairing could have been done a lot earlier than it actually was. Kolo, by then settled at Arsenal, would see his brother Yaya enjoy a trial with the north London club in the summer of 2003, and though manager Arsene Wenger was keen to sign the Ivorian he couldn’t obtain a work permit and opted to begin his European football career in Ukraine.

Fast forward six years and the brothers, ever-present with their national team, would reunite at Manchester City, subsequently enjoying four seasons together. Kolo, despite no longer the force he was, nevertheless brought added experience to a City team aiming to establish themselves as the dominant force in English football.

Verdict: Hit

Andre and Jordan Ayew

Club: Swansea City
Premier League matches together: 10
Major honours: None

Being the son of a football legend and national hero isn’t easy but the Ayew boys seem to be coping well. The offsprings of Ghanaian footballing royalty Abedi Pele both were teammates at Marseille, where their father shone, prior to Swansea City.

Andre initially joined the Swans before relocating to West Ham, during which time brother Jordan swapped Aston Villa for south Wales, but spent the latter half of 2017/18 together again – after Andre returned in January 2018. Relegation to the Championship has since split the brothers once more with Andre first loaned to Fenerbahce before returning to Steve Cooper’s side last season, while Jordan made his loan move to Crystal Palace in 2018/19 permanent last summer and thrived.

Verdict: Miss

Bradley and Shaun Wright-Phillips

Club: Manchester City
Premier League matches together: 11
Major honours: None

Following in their father Ian Wright’s footsteps, Bradley and Shaun both took the football career path, and having both hailed from the Manchester City academy, the pair would enjoy a brief spell playing alongside each other in the 2004/05 Premier League season.

City finished a respectable eighth in the league that season, but Shaun would depart for Chelsea in the summer for £21m, while Bradley stayed put.

Fate would reunite the two double-barrelled brothers though. In 2015, Shaun joined Bradley at New York Red Bull but failed to replicate his brother’s success. Shaun has now retired, while Bradley remains in MLS, joining Los Angeles FC in February.

Verdict: Miss

Martin and Marcus Olsson

Club: Blackburn Rovers
Premier League matches together: 10
Major honours: None

Another set of full-back twins, the Swedish brothers endured a four-month period in the Premier League back in 2012 when Marcus was signed from Halmstads BK to help save Blackburn from relegation. Unfortunately, the dynamic duo couldn’t help prevent Rovers from dropping down a division, though the pair did enjoy a number of games together in the Championship the following season. Both now 32, after spells apart Martin and Marcus have been reunited once more in their native Sweden with Helsingsborgs – though they are yet to play together there.

Verdict: Miss

Gary and Steven Caldwell

Club: Wigan Athletic
Premier League matches together: 2
Major honours: None

The defensive brothers appeared alongside each other during Wigan’s incredible relegation survival back in the 2010/11 under Roberto Martinez. Their first and only centre-back partnership came during a 3-0 loss to Arsenal, and that lasted 70 minutes as Gary Caldwell was shown a straight red in the second half.

Verdict: Miss

Shola and Sammy Ameobi

Club: Newcastle United
Premier League matches together: 12
Major honours: None

Shola is now retired and Sammy is doing his bit at Nottingham Forest, but the brothers enjoyed a handful of games alongside each other between 2010 and 2014. Their only start together in the Premier League came during a 3-0 defeat to Newcastle’s eternal rivals Sunderland in February 2014.

Verdict: Miss

Sean and Matthew Longstaff

Club: Newcastle United
Premier League matches together: 7
Major honours: None

Another Newcastle United brother pairing, Sean broke into the first team on Tyneside in 2018 and was heavily courted by Manchester United over the summer, while younger brother Matthew has had to wait until last season to announce himself.

The pair made their first appearance together in October 2019 against Manchester United, with Matthew making his debut. It proved to be a debut to remember as Mathew scored the only goal at St James’ Park. Since then, the Longstaffs have shared a pitch seven times in the Premier League, six of which have been starts. There were talks of Matthew leaving Newcastle over the summer, threatening to break up the brotherhood but he eventually signed a new deal, leaving the pairing open for improvement.

Verdict: The jury is still out

Rodney and Raymond Wallace

Club: Leeds United
Premier League matches together: 6
Major honours: None

Twin brothers Ray and Rod Wallace were signed together for Leeds United back in 1991, and they would play alongside each other in the debut season of the Premier League. The Whites would hover above the relegation zone in the 1992/93 season, and while Rod Wallace would go on to enjoy success with Leeds, Ray never managed to break into the first team on a regular basis.

Elder brother Danny was at Southampton with his younger siblings, but his two Premier League appearances came with Manchester United.

Verdict: Miss

James and Adam Chambers

Club: West Bromwich Albion
Premier League matches together: 1
Major honours: None

Thursday 26 December 2002, with the Baggies 2-1 down against Arsenal and with five minutes to go, manager Gary Megson would throw on James Chambers in the 84th minute, before then taking Adam Chambers off in the 86th minute.

That brief two minute period would be the only time that brothers James and Adam shared in the Premier League together as West Brom were relegated that season.

Verdict: Miss

Stefan and Luke Moore

Club: Aston Villa
Premier League matches together: 1
Major honours: None

Luke Moore would go on to enjoy a rather successful career, hovering around the Premier League for a number of seasons with West Brom, Aston Villa and Swansea, whilst brother Stefan would fall down the divisions after initially breaking through the Villa academy and winning the 2002 FA Youth Cup alongside his brother.

The Moores were both substituted on against Manchester United in 2004 by manager David O’Leary, but they couldn’t help Villa avoid defeat against the Red Devils.

Verdict: Miss

Alan and Stephen Quinn

Club: Sheffield United
Premier League matches together: 1
Major honours: None

In Sheffield United’s famous relegation from the Premier League in the 2006/07 season – where Carlos Tevez’s transfer to West Ham saw the Argentine keep the Hammers in the league on the final match of the season against Manchester United – Alan and Stephen Quinn enjoyed one 10-minute cameo together against Everton in March 2004.

Both players stayed with the club the following season, but Stephen would go on to enjoy the more successful career of the two.

Verdict: Miss

Honourable mentions

Christian and Jonathan Benteke (Crystal Palace, 2016/17): Jonathan replaced Christian to make his only Premier League appearance.

John Arne and Bjorn Helge Riise (Fulham, 2011/12): Both spent one season together at Fulham but never got to share the same pitch.