Sergio Reguilon hilariously referred to Michael Owen as his ‘dad’ after spotting a resemblance between himself and the former England striker’s teenage son. Owen took to social media to post a picture of himself alongside his son, James, to mark the latter’s 18th birthday.
The Liverpool icon proudly shared the image of the pair standing outside the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, alongside the caption: “Welcome to adulthood son. I’m incredibly proud of the man you’ve become.” The post drew a bizarre reply from Reguilon after seeing a likeness between himself and James, commenting: “Dad?”
Reguilon was not the only one to notice a resemblance, with many others pointing out just how much James looked like the Spanish defender in the photo. The pair could have even shared a pitch in the Premier League if James had not been diagnosed with a chronic eye condition, which crushed his dream of following in Owen’s footsteps as a footballer.
James was diagnosed with Stargardt disease, which is genetic and has no cure, when he was just eight years old. The condition is caused by fatty material building up on the macula, the small part of the retina needed for sharp central vision, and has left James ‘clinically’ blind.
He opened up on the impact of his condition last month, telling The Mirror: “I kept playing [football] but Stargardt is a deterioration, so after a while it just got to the point where I knew I couldn’t make a career out of it. I was starting to… I wouldn’t say get worse, but everyone else was getting better.
“I kind of lost enjoyment out of it from that point of view. I used to play quite often but I don’t play any more.”
Owen has also spoken out in support of his son and the way he has dealt with the condition, telling the BBC: “If I could give him my eyes, I would. I would pay every cent I’ve got to make James see again. As a parent you just want everything to be perfect, and he is, but of course it was a sad time.
“Thinking about the future, will he be able to drive? Will he be able to work? All these things run through your mind. He’s just mentally very, very strong. He’s got a great mindset. I’ve got four children and I’m probably the least worried about James’s future.”