You might remember Jack Grealish getting well and truly kicked around the pitch earlier this year when he appeared as a substitute against Hull. That was the first glimpse that most Premier League fans had of the Ireland u21 international and it was a telling one.
Hull knew what to expect. No one is surprised that that Grealish is making a breakthrough in earnest because it had been expected since he went to Notts County and showed exactly what he could do against defenders who were more than willing to give him a good kicking.
That game against Hull saw Grealish display one of his most commendable attributes. He's more than willing to take the kind of tackles that many of his peers would allow themselves to be shaken by. And that ability and desire had to come from somewhere.
According to the Daily Mail, Gaelic football had a big part to play in that. Introducing an article on why Grealish wears the socks the way he does, the Mail's Laurie Whitwell revealed the moment Grealish began to change the way he played.
Any defender who saw Jack Grealish glide around the Wembley turf with composure beyond his years should think twice before deciding that kicking him off the pitch is the way to limit his effectiveness.
Between the ages of 10 and 14, Grealish played Gaelic football to a high standard, even appearing at Croke Park five years ago in a match during half-time of a Dublin v Kerry senior game.
On his debut for John Mitchels, a GAA club in Warwickshire, he received a mighty blow and appealed to the referee. ‘This isn’t soccer, Jack,’ he was told without pity.
That led to the now 19 year old deciding to roll down his socks in an attempt to emulate George Best in showing defenders that he wasn't afraid to be tackled. And if Grealish does eventually choose to play for England, let's all agree to forget this entire anecdote.