Adam Wharton's achievements on the international stage have been proudly cheered on by everyone at Blackburn Rovers.

The Academy graduate has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the very pinnacle of English football after being named in England's squad for the European Championships.

Wharton, who joined Rovers at the age of six, was playing in the Championship for his boyhood club in January. Now he's a Premier League football and in contention to represent his country at a major tournament.

Whilst everyone connected with Rovers have been watching on as proud parents, the experience has been even more surreal for his actual family.


John Wharton, Adam's dad, has seen his boy fly the nest and become an England international in the space of half a year. Last Monday, he watched Adam make his debut, a moment his whole family were there to enjoy.

"It was a great feeling, I got very emotional when he came on," John told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"It was a great night all around, we were in hospitality, with friends and family around us. Things have happened so fast, we saw Adam after the game and friends were taking photos.

"I keep pinching myself, thinking 'is this happening?'. We are all so pleased for him, Scott was there on Monday night, my brother was there from Harrogate and his wife.

"He gave his shirt to his brother, Simon, he keeps one himself too. He's loved this training camp with the England team, having breakfast sat next to Harry Kane.

"Talking to Declan Rice and he's enjoyed the whole experience. He's a happy chap at the moment!"

"We never expected it to move this quickly, it's been a whirlwind."

Adam's success has come as little surprise to those who have nurtured his talent for over a decade.

Interviewing the 20-year-old personally, he comes across as a deep thinker, a wise head on young shoulders. He isn't phased by much and doesn't expend unnecessary energy. He is as laid back as they come.

"He's a bit of a loner, Adam. He's been down at the Academy since the age of six, his friends have been his football friends," John explained.

"He had friends at primary school but they drifted away a bit. He's very quiet, he doesn't give much away. He's very clever, probably the smartest of my lads, Scott and Simon might disagree!

"He's always been very laid back, all of his life. We said if he was any more laid back, he'd fall over! Sometimes we've wanted to shake him and get more out of him.

"We might ask if he's starting or on the bench. He'd reply 'Not starting'. Are you on the bench then? He wouldn't give you the answer, nothing else.

"He works everything out, he's been told things down at the Academy and he hasn't always agreed. I'd tell him to do things and I have to shut up really because he knows what he's doing!

"I didn't think he did enough running around but he knows you don't have to if you can play great passes and find space. He has that awareness and vision that I don't think you can teach, you have it or you don't.

"I just try to encourage him before everything game, work hard, enjoy it. We have to let him get on with it!"

The move to Crystal Palace perhaps came sooner than expected too. It was inevitable that Wharton's talents would outgrow Rovers but a summer transfer seemed more likely, only for the South London club to swoop in.

The Wharton's are Blackburn Rovers through and through. Two of their three sons have played for the first-team, they live local. This was a big move for Adam, not just to the Premier League but geographically too.

Moving mid-season, particularly from your boyhood club to England's Capital, can be a daunting prospect. Instead, Adam has started every Premier League match since his debut and made himself impossible to ignore by Gareth Southgate.

"He's taken it all in his stride, better than we thought," John admitted.

"His grandmas were worried sick! "You need to be careful going to London," they said. He has settled in, he's got an apartment overlooking The Thames.

"It's a lovely place, he's looking at houses now. His agent has always said that he's not like most other footballers, he's smarter and he knows what he wants to do.

"I think he is loving it, he's settled in well. We have been from his apartment to the ground, he knows his way around, backstreets.

"It's a great atmosphere, his team-mates have all welcomed him. He loves it.

"Dougie Freedman, the Sporting Director at Palace, we went down for the last game of the season and he said if there was anything we needed, give him a shout. I said 'This'll be fine every week Dougie', hospitality, free bar and he laughed at me.

"He's had no issues at all, he's taken it all in his stride. He doesn't flap about anything."