George Mills heeded the advice of football-playing dad Danny to add a notable chapter to his family’s sporting story.
The 21-year-old was crowned British champion for the second time this year by timing his run perfectly to win the 1500 metres in 3 mins 51.39 secs.
He did so in the shadow of the Etihad Stadium, where England defender Danny spent three years playing his club football for Manchester City.
“I tried to stay patient,” George said after adding the outdoor title to the indoor version he won in February – in the absence of his holidaying father.
“That’s what my coach and my dad have been drilling into me for probably two years since I’ve been back racing from my injuries. Just wait, wait, wait and it will come.”
Mills jnr started life as a footballer, playing at Middlesbrough academy, but by his own admission was not quite good enough to make the grade.
“We used to watch tapes or DVDs of games, the 2002 World Cup particularly, where Dad played all of England’s games,” he told Athletics Weekly .
“It definitely inspired me rather than intimidated me. I saw what being a professional sportsperson involved and thought it looked really cool.”
He turned to athletics and enjoyed immediate success, winning the European Youth Championships.
“I always got a bit frustrated in team sports if someone made a mistake and let the rest down,” he added. “Athletics is just down to you. I really like that.
“I think we are pretty similar. We are both hard-working, resilient. He was a bit of no-nonsense player and I try and replicate that on the track.”
Performance of the day came from Daniel Rowden who outsprinted favourite Jake Wightman to win the men’s 800m in 1:45.94.
The 22-year-old, who had surgery in April last year, then set his sights on winning an Olympic medal in Tokyo.
“Can I contend? 100 per cent,” he said. “The trick is getting to the finals but once I am there, I believe I have the tools to be able to do some damage and push for the medals definitely.”
Wightman, who last month moved ahead of legends Steve Cram, Seb Coe and Steve Ovett in the all-time UK 1500m pecking order, was typically gracious in defeat.
“Never nice to get beaten,” he tweeted. “But when it’s by a run and athlete of that quality sometimes there’s not much more you can do.”
An emotional Holly Bradshaw won her eighth national pole vault title (4.35m) just 24 hours after the loss of her granddad.
"I've had a really rough 24 hours," she said. "My granddad was one of my biggest fans. I'm glad I came and became British champion. He would be really happy."
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