Young people often follow in their parents' footsteps. A person's behaviour, opinions and actions will doubtlessly filter through to their children, and the same can be said about a person's career - as they have inside knowledge of their chosen field, this will influence the son or daughter, and the likelihood of them entering the same field is high. This is also the case in football, with professional players' kids often getting into the sport, where they can benefit from the parent's knowledge, experience and connections.
However, when your father is one of the greatest footballers of all time, sometimes it can place a burden on those young shoulders, especially when you're playing the same position as them. And when that position is goalkeeper, the most scrutinised of all, then there is a lot to live up to. Kasper Schmeichel, however, is doing just that.
The son of Man Utd and Denmark legend Peter, Kasper was born in Copenhagen in 1986, and in 2002, signed terms with Man City, where Schmeichel Sr enjoyed a fantastic season helping the newly promoted team consolidate their place in the Premier League after years in the wilderness.
As he learnt his trade, he was loaned out to Darlington, Bury and Falkirk, gaining valuable first team experience, before making his debut for City in August 2007, against West Ham. Against Arsenal, he kept a clean sheet and saved a Robin Van Persie penalty, further endearing him to the fans and earning him plaudits, but with the Thaksin Shinawatra takeover, all of a sudden City were expected to challenge for honours, a big ask for the fledgling keeper.
Another loan period at Cardiff followed before Schmeichel decided to leave the City of Manchester stadium, and with Sven Goran Eriksson, with whom he worked at City, coming to Meadow Lane, he signed up for Notts County.
An eye opening signing for the then League 2 team, the transfer fee was undisclosed but believed to have broken the club record, but straight from the off, it was clear Schmeichel was a cut above the rest. Keeping a clean sheet in his debut against Dagenham and Redbridge, he made the first-team goalkeeping position his, and by October the then 23-yr old had won the Player of the Month award.
Tall and imposing, the young keeper played with grit and determination beyond his years, and any defensive slip-ups led to him angrily reprimanding and gesticulating to the other Notts players, in a manner reminiscent of his father. His goalkeeping style was also like Schmeichel Sr - he'd throw himself at any loose ball, and use every which part of his body to stop it going anywhere near the goal. He was also fond of going up into the opposition box if Notts were behind, and nearly scored a prodigious overhead kick against Morecambe away.
Schmeichel's statistics speak for themselves - During his year with the Pies, the club conceded 0.67 goals per match - 29 goals conceded in 43 league appearances - and kept 24 clean sheets. A whirlwind season ended with the League 2 Championship and most importantly, promotion into League 1.
If that wasn't enough, the keeper showed himself to be a true gentleman and agreed to be released, forfeiting his contract and all future wages, rumoured to be around £15,000 a week, plus bonuses, with the club facing an uncertain future after the boardroom and takeover issues which beset the club. Director Ray Trew agreed this to be "a huge concession by such a young man" and helped the club survive after a very turbulent period.
After such a scintillating season, it wasn't long before bigger clubs showed their interest, and despite reported interest from Bayern Munich and Chelsea, Schmeichel opted for Leeds where first-team football was a certainty. More individual plaudits and nominations came his way as he was nominated for Player of the Month in August and won the Sky Sports POTM gong the same month. Injuries restricted his appearances but he still played 40 games, including a draw against Arsenal at the Emirates which earned an FA Cup replay.
His time at Elland Road, however, ended acrimoniously, as Leeds accepted an offer from Leicester for the young goalkeeper, reuniting him with Sven Goran Eriksson. Manager Simon Grayson claimed it was "going to be difficult" for a new deal to be agreed at Leeds, whilst Schmeichel refuted these claims publicly, expressing his shock at being transfer listed.
It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because Leicester and Schmeichel proved a match made in heaven. To this day the Dane remains with the Foxes and has proved instrumental in their ascent to the Premier League in 2014 and, despite suffering a broken metatarsal in training midway through the season that kept him out for a month, he was part of their amazing great escape in the latter stages of the campaign that kept them in the top flight.
Now 28 years old, his career has been one of fulfilment and stability since settling in Leicester, and to make things even better, he's become the Denmark national team's first-choice stopper. Quite frankly, it's nothing less than he deserves from the graft he's put in.
One thing is certain and its that he will always be remembered at Notts - it was an absolute honour to have Kasper Schmeichel at the Lane, and he will always be a fans' favourite for his style, performances, achievements and putting the club before himself. A true gentleman of the game and a Notts County legend.