Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United’s top huntsman and Belgium’s Striker Supreme has shared his origin story and it’s heart gutting. Born to Roger and Adolphine Lukaku in Antwerp, Romelu has spoken about his poverty-stricken days while he was yet to kick a football. In his story that was narrated to the Players’ Tribune, Lukaku talks about how lunch in those days was always milk and bread and that when it finally ran out his mother would often mix water with milk before serving him lunch. “I’d come home at night and the lights would be shut off. No electricity for two, three weeks at a time. Then I’d want to take a bath, and there would be no hot water. My mum would heat up a kettle on the stove, and I’d stand in the shower splashing the warm water on top of my head with a cup,” he said.
Living in darkness was the last straw for Belgium’s most prolific striker. “Mum, it’s gonna change. You’ll see. I’m going to play football for Anderlecht, and it’s going to happen soon. We’ll be good. You won’t have to worry anymore,” he promised his mother.
When he played football, Lukaku wasn’t messing around. He wanted to be a footballer. Just like his dad. He wanted to be the best one there is in Belgium. So every match, he gave everything, playing it like it was a Final. “I’m dead-ass serious. I used to try to tear the cover off the ball every time I shot it. Full power. We weren’t hitting R1, bro. No finesse shot. I didn’t have the new FIFA. I didn’t have a PlayStation. I wasn’t playing around. I was trying to kill you,” says Lukaku.
When he was taller and played with the kids his age, their parents would often question his credentials. Mother Adolphine had to carry his birth certificate to matches. It humiliation infuriated him. “Oh, I’m gonna kill your son even more now. I was already going to kill him, but now I’m gonna destroy him. You’re gonna drive the boy home crying now,” he shares.
He even made bet with his coach while at the U-19 stage at Anderlecht. “I’ll guarantee you something. If you actually play me, I’m going to score 25 goals by December.” By November, Lukaku netted 25. He won the bet and the coach made pancakes for the team every day.