When they’re not mowing something, losing the battle against modern music or standing by to offer repair skills, it’s a father’s duty to hand down his wisdom to his sons. Here are some of fatherhood’s greatest hits for Father’s Day, as received by celebrities and civilians alike.
“Think carefully about what you can afford for the engagement ring – then double it.” The expression on my now-wife’s face proved how right he was. – Tim, editor
It’s OK to doubt yourself. My dad’s a bishop, and after a massive sermon on Christmas Day, he would turn to my mum and gesture to her, “Was that all right?”, which I’ve always thought is very human. – Hugh Dennis, actor
I had 11 of my dozen in one basket and one in the other, because to really make it as a footballer you have to be totally focused and believe in yourself even when other people don’t.
My dad taught me the difference between flathead and Phillips screwdrivers, how to swing a hammer, how to do all your shopping in one trip to save petrol, and that when you forge your father’s name to a letter for school, be sure he will never find out. – Nick, househusband
My granddad told my dad, and my dad passed it on to me: if you ever find yourself in a police station overnight, don’t sign anything until the morning. I’ve never had to use it, but just in case… – Rob, telesales manager
“Never leave a job on bad terms as you never know when you may need to ask to go back.” Having left and returned to at least three jobs over the past 15 years, it is advice I’ve definitely taken. – Robin, sales director
“Never get tattoos.” My dad said you don’t want anything on your body that you can’t change, because you never know when you might change your mind. Plus, if you had tattoos the police would always be able to find you, if you were up to no good… A pity I didn’t listen. – Erin Davis, son of Miles Davis
“My dad never quit in the middle of something. I decided I was going to make Alice the scariest villain in rock ’n’ roll and I wasn’t going to stop until I was done. Well, 45 years later, I still don’t feel I’ve hit my peak. So my dad taught me endurance.”
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“Always make allowances for the bloody fool in a car” – my dad used to cycle to and from work twice a day. – Joe, admin assistant
“Never take liquor into the bedroom. Don’t stick anything in your ears. Be anything but an architect. Live in a nice country rather than a powerful one. Power makes everybody crazy. Get somebody to teach you to play a musical instrument.” – Mark Vonnegut, son of novelist Kurt Vonnegut
On how to raise my daughter, my dad said, “When she falls, don’t run to her. If she isn’t passed out, she’ll probably be all right.” So far, so good… – Will, teacher
“Never finish your pint until the next one is in front of you.” – Ross, chef
“He would laugh at the most horrible things – including his own Alzheimer’s. I’ve always thought his was an interesting philosophy. Once he got sick, instead of calling it Alzheimer’s he would call it ‘Old-timer’s disease’. I would go: ‘Dad, you’re making a joke?’ He’d say: ‘What can you do? You can’t bloody do anything about it’.”
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“Be good, but if you can’t be good then be careful, and if you can’t be careful then remember the date.” – Lee, managing editor
“Bullies invariably sh*t themselves when you stand up to them.” – Adrian, facilities manager
“At home, I was always breaking things and annoying everyone. When I was eight, dad took me to boxing classes to divert my energy and keep me out of trouble. It made a huge difference to the way I saw life, and taught me discipline. It also taught me respect, because Dad made it clear that if I didn’t behave I wouldn’t be able to go back to the gym. If it wasn’t for him I’d have just wasted my life.”
“Women have deeper emotional wells” – arguably sexist, certainly well-meaning and probably true. – Andy, lawyer
Compiled by Gabriel Tate
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