Born on January 15 in Cheltenham into a sporting family. His father Jeremy is a former professional tennis player. He is the grandson of former Football Association Secretary Ted Croker while his great uncle Peter Croker played for Charlton Athletic.
The Dier family move to Portugal when Eric is 10 after his mother is offered a job at Euro 2004. Portugal beat England on penalties in the quarter-finals after former Spur Helder Postiga scores in the 2-2 draw (and also puts away his spot kick) but the host nation lose by the only goal to Greece in the Lisbon final.
At prep school, his footballing potential is spotted by his PE teacher who recommends him to Sporting CP. They like what they see and he joins the Lisbon-based club.
Eric’s parents return to England but he stays in Portugal, living at Sporting’s academy.
Signs his first professional contract at the Estadio Jose Alvalade on April 10. By now we are also aware of his defensive talent as are Arsenal and Manchester United but he opts to continue his development in Lisbon.
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