Athletic striker on his parents’ remarkable journey, rejecting Ghana and playing a record 203 league games in a row

“We were at home one day in Bilbao watching the television when something came on – I can’t remember exactly what – and I asked her again. My mum turned it off and said: ‘OK. The moment’s come for me to tell you. Sit down, I think you’re ready to hear the story of papa and me now. When she told me I was left cold. Hearing that leaves a deep impression. Wow. It’s like something in a film and my parents lived it.”

Iñaki Williams stops and takes a breath. He was 20 that day, already playing for Athletic Club. Pushed into the public eye, he had been asked his story but couldn’t tell it properly because he didn’t know. Parts had been written wrong, but he didn’t really know that either. He too had asked, desperate to find out exactly where he was from. “It ate away at me,” he says. Until, at last, Maria told him.

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