Childrens top 50 heroes revealed – including Nikita Parris and The Rock

Euro-star Lioness Nikita Parris paid a nostalgic visit to her childhood football club in Toxteth to let unsuspecting youngsters the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of playing football with her.

The Manchester United forward, who has been capped 65 times for England, surprised the under 12s team to an early morning kickaround.

Over a sit-down breakfast, Parris gave them an inspiration talk about coming from the area and pursuing her dreams of playing the beautiful game on a professional level – before getting underway with some shooting practice.

After the session, Mila Williams, aged seven, said she "learnt so much" from Parris and wishes to "follow in her footsteps".

The heart-warming video comes after researchers polled 1,000 kids aged six to 16 to discover their top 50 heroes.

Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo topped the list, with fellow footballers Beth Mead, Marcus Rashford – and Nikita Parris herself – also featuring.

Other idols for youngsters included Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and his sidekick Kevin Hart, Harry Styles and Emma Watson.

A spokesperson for Weetabix, which commissioned the study, said: "Football is for everyone and that’s been highlighted more than ever this year.

“With the England women’s team recently winning the Euros, there’s no better time for young girls to be encouraged to get into football.

“To see Beth Mead, Alex Scott and Nikita herself in the top 50 list of children’s heroes is inspiring and a sign of the times.

“We hope this is just the beginning of girls getting involved in football and the training session showed just how much they enjoy it and have a passion for the sport.

“Weetabix Wildcats offers girls the chance to take part in non-competitive football.

"Especially in the current circumstances, we want to ensure families still have access to affordable and healthy food and opportunities to keep active with the emphasis being on having fun and making new friends.

“Sport should be part of everyday life, and we’re passionate about giving girls access to football.”

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The research also found athletes and sportspeople are the most inspiring type of celebrities for kids (20 per cent), followed by musicians (16 per cent) and actors (11 per cent).

Similarly, 24 per cent think a good hero is brilliant at sport, while 26 per cent believe kindness makes a great role model.

It also emerged 31 per cent feel a celebrity has given them an idea of what they want to do for a living and 27 per cent want the exact same job as their idol.

While 54 per cent said their favourite celebrities inspire them to chase their dreams.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found 34 per cent of those polled watched the women’s Euros on TV this year, with 52 per cent claiming that seeing the Lionesses win has made them more interested in football.

And 42 per cent of kids said it has inspired them to try a new sport or join a sports team.

Nikita Parris said: “It was amazing coming back to my old training ground today and seeing so many girls just wanting to give it a go.

“I loved the way the Weetabix Wildcats coaches were keeping the activities fun-based, you could see the girls were all having a really great time.

“It was great hearing all their questions about how to get started in football, and I told them all that as long as they’re enjoying themselves that’s the most important thing.

“It’s been a fantastic summer for women’s football, and it’s great to see brands giving girls the opportunity to get involved in sport. And I’m chuffed to be in the top 50 too.”


  1. Cristiano Ronaldo
  2. Ed Sheeran
  3. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
  4. David Beckham
  5. Lady Gaga
  6. Emma Watson
  7. Ariana Grande
  8. Billie Eilish
  9. Kevin De Bruyne
  10. Miley Cyrus
  11. Harry Styles
  12. Lewis Hamilton
  13. Zendaya
  14. David Attenborough
  15. Jordan Henderson
  16. Kevin Hart
  17. Marcus Rashford
  18. Kylie Jenner
  19. Raheem Sterling
  20. Ant and Dec
  21. David Walliams
  22. Greta Thunberg
  23. Phil Foden
  24. Prince Harry
  25. Jojo Siwa
  26. Beth Mead
  27. Megan Rapinoe
  28. Pep Guardiola
  29. Alex Scott
  30. Kim Kardashian
  31. Dove Cameron
  32. Nikita Parris
  33. Steve Backshall
  34. James Charles
  35. Lil Nas X
  36. Tommy Fury
  37. Addison Rae
  38. Jesy Nelson
  39. Millie Bobby Brown
  40. Dixie D'Amelio
  41. Jack Grealish
  42. Jake Paul
  43. Logan Paul
  44. Rylan Clark
  45. Junior Andre
  46. Leah Williamson
  47. Molly-Mae Hague
  48. Charli D'Amelio
  49. Bukayo Sak
  50. Big Zuu

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