It has been a fairytale rise for Ipswich Town left-back Tyrone Mings - a player who deserves his success
- Credit: Archant
A humble and grounded Tyrone Mings will join Bournemouth in an £8m deal today, and here Stuart Watson looks back at his Roy of the Rovers footballing journey.
Dropped by Southampton’s academy for being ‘too small’ (he’s now 6ft 5in), he was close to giving up on non-league football because he hadn’t passed his driving test and was struggling to get to games. He was once turned down for a job at a cornershop and ended up working as a mortgage broker.
It was then a case of right place, right time when Ipswich Town came calling in December 2012. He just so happened to be playing alongside Toby Osman, son of former Blues star Russell, at Evo-Stick Southern League outfit Chippenham, and, as a result, a trial at Playford Road was set-up.
Even then, Mick McCarthy was almost late to the game at Playford Road and he recalls seeing, through a gap in the trees as he wandered over from his office, the athletic youngster make one crunching tackle and thinking ‘he’ll do for me’.
Mings had to bide his time during his first season-and-a-half in Suffolk. His chance came last summer when Aaron Cresswell was sold to West Ham for £3.75m.
You may also want to watch:
He never looked back, grabbing the left-back slot with both hands. It’s difficult to remember a player improving so rapidly in such a short space of time.
Is he ready to face the Chelseas and Manchester Citys of this world? Time will tell. Cresswell certainly took the step up in his stride, but then again he’d learnt his trade in League One and the Championship.
- 1 Caravan owners furious after park suddenly blocks sales of properties
- 2 The Suffolk pub serving a gourmet Sunday lunch three days a week
- 3 Engineers repair water main which flooded A14 roundabout
- 4 Framlingham taxi driver lives double life as Chateau Diaries star
- 5 £1m renovation on Suffolk castle will change the appearance
- 6 Ipswich's Covid infection rate now the highest in England
- 7 'I'm very lucky' – Ipswich biker-chef lost arm and hand in A14 crash
- 8 Familiar faces galore, 'Chequebook FC' and the start of something big? - Town head to Portsmouth
- 9 Ipswich Town fan banned from Portman Road for racially abusing player
- 10 Revealed: The most popular names for babies born in Suffolk in 2020
Mings has just 43 Football League starts under his belt. A raw talent with huge potential, yes. There was the odd silly booking and moment of positional naivety along the way though. Bournemouth’s silky pass-and-move approach will take some adapting too as well.
A big part of whether he sinks or swims will come down to how he deals mentally with the pressure of a hefty price tag.
Fame and money can change young men, but Mings has remained humble and grounded throughout so far. An articulate young man who stuck with education and has experienced life outside the bubble of the pro game, a big part of his success has been his determination to make the absolute most of the opportunity that was presented to him. While others enjoy their off-season breaks, he took himself off to St George’s Park to improve his sprinting technique.
His off-field actions have been well-documented. He chose to spend Christmas Day helping the homeless in Ipswich town centre, paid out for supporters who had bought a shirt with his name on the back prior to his squad number changing and has paid off his mum’s debts.
None of that seems contrived or orchestrated either. The publicity it attracts always genuinely seems to surprise him.
A £10,000 addition in December 2012, the value of the deal that is taking him to newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth – a fairytale success story themselves – is understood to be around £8m to Ipswich.
Like Cresswell before him, supporters will wish Mings all the best. Unearthing hidden gems and turning them into a huge profit is the name of the game for Championship clubs who, without the benefit of parachute payments, are looking to gatecrash the Premier League party.
The Blues have just enjoyed their best season in a decade – but if you stand still, you go backwards in this game. This pay-out may just give the Suffolk club the perfect opportunity to really kick on again.