Dancing On Ice’s Ryan tells of rising from life in the shadow of sporting dad

Ryan Sidebottom has told how being compared to his sporting all-rounder dad meant he was often told he was “not good enough”.

The cricketer has been nicknamed the Skate-Off King by former teammates after repeated appearances in the bottom two on Dancing on Ice .

But he revealed he learnt the art of positivity from his dad.

Arnie Sidebottom played cricket for Yorkshire and England, and football for Manchester United and Huddersfield Town.

Ryan said: “Because of my dad playing cricket and football, there’s always that nepotism, ‘Oh he’s only there ’cos of his dad’. In younger days, I had a lot of people try to put me down.

“I had a coach for the under 15s, he said I should give up cricket as I’d never be good enough – and he said it in front of all the other kids.

“I was really upset, but my dad said, ‘What do you want to do? Do you want to work down the mine like my dad did, or do you want to prove him wrong and get fitter and stronger?’”

Ryan, now 41, chose the latter. “I turned it into a positive, ‘I’ll prove you wrong’. That’s me as a person,” he said.

He also revealed how his dad worries about his performances, saying: “He’s an absolute nervous wreck. He came to one of the shows, but Mum said he didn’t dare watch.”

Ryan is paired with professional skater Brandee Malto. He said: “We know I’m not the greatest skater. We have fun together. I know, deep down, I won’t win, but it’s about more than that.”

It was an attitude he had playing cricket for Yorkshire and Notts, winning five county championships, plus playing 22 Tests for England. His ex-teammates have been giving him plenty of ribbing for his flamboyant tight lycra outfits on the ice.

Ryan, who is dating Maddie Costigan, said: “They were saying, ‘You could have done with losing a bit of weight’.” He added: “Oh right, cheers lads.”

Ryan, however, has had the last laugh as he has lost almost a stone during his seven weeks on the show.

  • Dancing On Ice is on ITV, on Sunday at 6pm.

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