Former wonderkid, 28, quit football for Strictly Come Dancing after rainbow flick over Man Utd ace in training


KAI WIDDRINGTON’S fancy footwork extends well past the dancefloor.

The Strictly Come Dancing star, 28, decided against following his dad into football as he swapped his boots for tap shoes.

GettyKai Widdrington poses with dance partner Helen Skelton[/caption]

RexWiddrington’s twinkle toes could have been put to use in football[/caption]

PAThe Strictly star was on trial for Southampton’s academy[/caption]

And one current Manchester United ace may be glad he did after Widdrington, who was competing against him at Southampton’s academy, embarrassed him in training.

Kai – the son of Aldershot boss Tommy Widdrington – told talkSPORT’s Hawksbee and Jacobs show: “That was the best thing that happened to me you know.

“I always use the analogy of Billy Elliot, I mean my dad’s from the North East right and I’m telling my dad at 12 years old.

“I got a contract offer from Southampton to be a left-back and I’m a right-footed left-back so I could play with both feet.

“So I was half decent right and I was quite quick and I turned it down to dance with the British champion. Bearing in mind at this time I wasn’t very good, but apparently she fancied me right.

“So I was like ‘yeah go on then!’”


Widdrington’s competition for a full-back spot was United flier Luke Shaw, also 28.

He revealed to the Daily Mail: “I remember rainbow flicking Luke Shaw once in training.

“I’d never done that in my life, I was on trial wearing blades on an astroturf and getting rinsed, so I rainbow flicked.

“He’s probably not bothered now on quarter of a million pounds a week at Manchester United!”

Kai’s brother Theo plays under their former footballer father with the Shots.

But unlike Billy Elliot, he had plenty of support from his dad.

He added: “The tipping point for me was Sunday football was obviously on a Sunday and [dancing] competitions were on a Sunday. So I had to choose basically and I just loved dancing that little bit more.

“The conversation I had with my old man was like ‘listen Dad, I just love dancing that little bit more’ and to be fair to him, I was never worried to tell him. That’s how I knew it was going to be OK.

“You know, during the week where he’d be training with Salisbury or wherever else he was, he would drive me two hours to have an hour lesson then drive me back, he was the most supportive dad.

“He was and wasn’t the Billy Elliot dad!”

Action Images – ReutersLuke Shaw came through Southampton’s youth ranks[/caption]

Dad Tommy added: “Kai has no regrets about football. He is Premier League in terms of what he is doing.

“He was world champion at 14 in Latin American dancing. He could have signed for Saints when we moved to the south. The bloke who was left back at the time was Luke Shaw!

“I remember them saying to me when he went on trial ‘I am not sure he is better than the one we have got (Shaw) but we will keep him.’”

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