Van Dijk only puts his name Virgil on his shirt (Reuters)

Many football fans may have wondered about Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk putting his name instead of his family name on his shirt, but the reason that was recently revealed carries within it a sad story.

During his playing career, Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk never put his surname on his shirts, as most footballers do, and had his first name printed instead.

According to his uncle, Stephen Fu Siu, Van Dijk chose to do so, due to a long-running dispute with his father, when he was 12 years old.

Stephen said that Van Dijk's father left his family while the future footballer was still a child, and their relationship became strained.

He added, "His father was separated from his mother and three children, including Virgil. The truth is that his father was not around for many important years, and his mother is the real hero of this story."

Van Dijk's uncle has been instrumental in his nephew's footballing debut by taking him to youth training and matches, but he still insists his mother deserves all the credit.

He highlighted all the work she did to support the family in her husband's absence as the key to Van Dyck's success.

"She had a full-time job and three children to take care of, so she didn't have a minute to herself. She spent every day going to work and then coming home and taking care of the kids and doing all the cooking," he added.

Van Dijk holds the English Premier League Cup (Getty)

He concluded, "Ron (Van Dijk) is a nice guy, but you have to be more than that to be a good father. You have to be there for your children."

Ron remarried and his new wife was very bossy, so he didn't see his children much.

Virgil was Liverpool's champion in winning the League Cup after scoring the 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the final match in the 118th minute of the match, which was held at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening.

Source: British press