ENGLAND’S Jesse Lingard had a daughter with a fitness model lover.
The Man United ace spoke for the first time about “amazing” Hope — and how he is helping to raise his younger siblings.
Fans were intrigued when he recently posted a snap on Instagram of him pushing a pram.
One-year-old Hope’s mum is Rebecca Halliday, 34, an operations manager with a personal training firm.
She met Jesse, 26, on a night out in Manchester and soon fell pregnant.
The pair are no longer an item but remain on good terms.
A source said: “Rebecca takes Hope to see him every week. They both have her interests at heart.”
Jesse, who earns £100,000 a week, said in an interview yesterday: “My daughter is one now.
“She takes my mind off a lot of things I’ve had to deal with. She is brilliant, a great part of my life.
“I just want to be there as a father to show her the right way. I want her to be proud.”
The midfielder also stepped in to care for brother Jasper, 14, and sister Daisy-Boo, 11, after their mum Kirsty fell ill.
Jasper is now living with Jesse and being schooled at his house. Jesse, who has attended parents’ evenings, added: “My mum has had some things for years but never really got help. Now she is.”
Lingard’s form has suffered and he has received several rebukes from United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
In an interview with the Daily Mail he said: “I wasn’t performing and he was on me all the time. He wanted more from me.
“So I felt it was best to get everything off my chest and tell him why my head wasn’t right.
“So I knocked on his door.”
Earlier this season, his mother Kirsty became unwell.
Piled on to the mounting pressure of playing for the biggest football club in England, he now has had to adjust to life as a father figure as well as care for his entire family.
Lingard added: “I am normally quite bubbly and want to put smiles on people’s faces but people have seen the change in my ways.
“I have been down and glum; just worrying. I felt like everybody just passed all the stuff to me and it weighed on my shoulders. It was like ‘Here you go Jesse, you deal with this on your own.’
“It has been tough to see my loved ones struggling and then I have to come to work and try to do my job.”
Although things have been tough for Lingard of late, even amounting to losing his place in the England squad, opening up to United boss Solskjaer has been a turning point.
He has only started six Premier League games, but two of those starts have come in recent wins against Tottenham and Manchester City.
Lingard went on to admit: “I am a person who likes to deal with stuff on his own but it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.
“I always use the phrase Be Yourself but I have realised now that there are times when you just can’t be.
“My dad and older brother, Louie, have been great support but some of this stuff has broken my heart, you know?
“As a man I have to take this responsibility on and be there for everyone. I’ve had to mature and wise up.
“Sometimes when your worries are so deep you can’t function properly. Now it’s about getting back to my best and I feel I can do that.”
Given the honour of being chosen as the captain for United when Solskjaer chose a young squad to face Astana in the Europa League, Lingard hopes that is a sign that his manager still has faith in him.
Lingard knows how much it means to play for the Red Devils and still believes that the only thing stopping his team from improving is complacency.
For now, he can rest assured that the boss knows and understands the pain he has been going through, lifting perhaps any burden he might carry onto the pitch.
Lingard finished up by expressing how things have been improving for him since his chat with the boss: “My daughter is one now and it’s been amazing.
“She takes my mind off a lot of things I’ve had to deal with. She is brilliant; a great part of my life.
“My family is rally tight and I will always be there for them. As for my daughter, I just want to be there as a father to show her the right way.
“I just want her to be proud.”