Defiant Lauryn Goodman hits back at her critics as Mail joins her at Euros: She explains why ex-lover Kyle Walker 'isn't man enough to do the right thing' and reveals his 'secret promise' to their son

Sitting in the back of a cab on his way to watch his first England game, little Kairo Walker is buzzing with excitement. 'Where are we going, Kairo?' asks his mother Lauryn Goodman.

'To see Daddy!' comes his eager reply. And not just on the telly either, he says, fixing me with his glittering brown eyes. He's going to see him in real life!

It would take a heart of stone not to soften at the sight of this four-year-old, with cherubic blond curls, beaming with pride at the thought of seeing his father play for his country in the Euros.

Lauryn Goodman dressed Kairo appropriately in his favourite outfit, a replica England shirt with his father's number 2 and 'Daddy' written above

Lauryn Goodman dressed Kairo appropriately in his favourite outfit, a replica England shirt with his father's number 2 and 'Daddy' written above

Kairo is the son of Kyle Walker, the England vice-captain and Manchester City star, whose exploits off the pitch have, in recent times, generated as many headlines as anything he's achieved with his boots on.

In January, it was revealed that Kyle, 34, who is married to childhood sweetheart Annie Kilner, with whom he has four sons, had fathered another baby — a little girl — with 33-year-old influencer and reality TV personality, Lauryn.

Since then, there's been a bitter war of words between all three parties, as Kyle fights for his ­marriage and Lauryn battles for acknowledgment of her children by their father.

Kairo, of course, is oblivious to all this. And unlike the rest of the country, he wasn't remotely bothered about the 1-1 draw against Denmark on Thursday: he just wanted to see his daddy. It was the first time he'd ever seen him play in the flesh.

Before then, Kairo had settled for hoping to find his father's image in a packet of stickers for his Euros sticker book. He finally did so the day before, he tells me.

'I can't tell you how excited he was,' says Lauryn, in an exclusive interview with the Mail. 'He was jumping up and down.'

And it was for that reason that Lauryn was determined to take Kairo to Frankfurt's Deutsche Bank stadium, where I joined them for a day of drama and high emotions.

Of course, she'd dressed him appropriately in his favourite outfit, a replica England shirt with his father's number 2 and 'Daddy' written above, which she must have known was going to attract attention. That shirt stated Lauryn's intentions very clearly. There was no way she was going to let her son be sidelined.

Lauryn revealed to me that her main motivation behind the Frankfurt trip was to keep a ­promise Kyle had made to their son in 2022 — when she was secretly pregnant with their ­second child — and he was playing at the Qatar World Cup.

'Kyle told him on a FaceTime call that he would make sure he was at the next tournament because [Kyle] is getting older, and he knew there would perhaps not be any more opportunities.

'There was no way I wasn't going to take Kairo to the Euros,' says Lauryn. 'There was no way I was not going to uphold the promise that Kyle made to his son. This could have been his last chance so I wanted it to be something that Kairo could remember for ever.

'We are not here to please other people. It's about Kairo and what is best for him and what is going to make him happy.

'I won't be scapegoated or ­bullied and made to feel like a villain. My children are my number one priority and they always will be. Luckily I'm a strong woman and mother for them.' For those who have missed the scandal — among the most spectacular rows in Wag history — it began when Lauryn met Kyle in 2019, when he was on a break from Annie.

Despite his infidelity and the birth of son Kairo, Kyle and Annie stayed together in Cheshire while Lauryn raised her son hundreds of miles away in Brighton.

Kyle Walker chats to his wife Annie Kilner and family at England's match against Denmark

Kyle Walker chats to his wife Annie Kilner and family at England's match against Denmark

Then, last December, Lauryn dropped another bombshell: that the daughter she had given birth to last summer was also Kyle's, conceived when the two had briefly met up to settle paperwork over their son.

Annie threw Kyle out of their family home in Prestbury, Cheshire, and he moved into in a nearby apartment. However, after Annie gave birth to a fourth son in April, they have begun to mend their marriage, reportedly on the condition that Kyle cut off all contact with Lauryn and their children.

There are conflicting reports about whether Annie has forgiven Kyle yet. Sources claimed she only went to the Euros for the sake of the children, and certainly won't be staying in Germany 'playing happy families'. Instead, she is flying out for individual games.

Meanwhile, Lauryn is bringing up her children up as a single mum at a £2.4 million house in Hove, East Sussex, which Kyle bought for them as part of his maintenance commitments.

Unlike the other children of the England squad, including Kyle's sons with Annie — Roman, 11, Riaan, seven, and five-year-old Reign — who flew in on Thursday, there was no private jet for Lauryn and Kairo.

Instead Lauryn made her own way, flying commercial, which meant Kairo was up in the early hours to get to the airport.

'He'd been counting down the days,' she says. 'He was excited to go on the plane. He wouldn't stop talking about it. He kept saying when are we going to the Euros to see Dad?'

'We are not here to please other people. It's about Kairo and what is best for him and what is going to make him happy,' says Lauryn

'We are not here to please other people. It's about Kairo and what is best for him and what is going to make him happy,' says Lauryn

She knew there would be a backlash — and indeed there was.

Lauryn's critics, of which there are many — though she stresses, vehemently, that she really doesn't care about them — have accused her of hurting her child by thrusting his father in his face when there appears to be little chance of them ever having a typical father/son relationship.

There was also the remote, but very real, prospect of Lauryn and Annie coming face-to-face at the Euros match.

Despite their names being inexorably linked in headlines, the two women have rarely been in such close physical proximity. While there was an entire football pitch between them — and several rows of seating as they watched from opposite stands — there was a possibility they could have met.

And even more awkwardly, Kairo could have run into his big half-brothers, one of whom was wearing an identical football shirt to his own.

But Lauryn seems to view all this as little more than an ­occupational hazard. 'No, I wasn't fearful at all that I was going to bump into her,' she says defiantly.

'It doesn't cross my mind, I don't give it a thought at all. I couldn't care less. I just get on with things.

'I was there for Kairo, no one else, and if anyone has an issue with it, that's their problem, not mine.'

And Kairo does seem to be having the time of his life. Excitedly waving his England flag as we approached the stadium, he began singing along to the fans' chants, even punching the air as he cheered 'England'.

'He picked up the songs really quickly and loved singing them,' says Lauryn.

Lauryn's critics, of which there are many have accused her of hurting her child by thrusting his father in his face when there appears to be little chance of them ever having a typical father/son relationship

Lauryn's critics, of which there are many have accused her of hurting her child by thrusting his father in his face when there appears to be little chance of them ever having a typical father/son relationship

As with any young child attending their first football match, Kairo soaked up the atmosphere. But as we took our seats, there was only one thing he was looking out for.

'There's Daddy,' he said, pointing at him.

And there he was. For Lauryn, it was mission accomplished.

'It melted my heart,' she says. 'Finally he was there and able to cheer Kyle on. It was all he's been talking about for days.'

Kairo has enough knowledge of the game to recognise that it was Kyle who assisted Harry Kane's goal in the 18th minute, with Lauryn saying: 'It was so amazing that he could see that, Kairo knows so much about football.'

At one point, she says she felt like she was going to cry as Kairo stared up at his father on the big screen.

He didn't take his eyes off his father throughout. Even when he was offered a drink and something to eat, his reply was: 'I just want to watch the football.'

He kept up the commentary throughout the game. 'Yes Daddy . . . Brilliant shot, Daddy. . . my Daddy is in the right corner.'

Perhaps the proudest moment for Lauryn came when one fan noticed Kairo after the match and told him: 'Your Daddy played really well today.' 'It made me happy,' she says. 'It was a moment when people were including him.'

Lauryn did, though, make the decision to leave the game early — and not just because there were fears of a clash between fans.

After games, the England squad tend to go and see their families in the stands. Lauryn didn't want to run the risk of Kairo ­seeing his father jogging over to the other side of the pitch, rather than to him, and ruining his ­perfect day.

'We left five minutes early to avoid Kairo being upset and ­confused that his daddy went over to his siblings but not him,' said ­Lauryn. 'It would have been so sad for him and I wasn't going to risk that.

'I'm numb to it all now. We live a happy life in our bubble and we will continue to do so.'

Indeed, while there is little contact between Kairo and his father, it is football that bonds them.

Along with his England shirt, Kairo loves to wear a Manchester City kit which also has Kyle's squad number 2 on the back.

'He is obsessed with his shirt. He wears it all the time. His coach is a Manchester United fan and always teases him about his Manchester City kit, which Kyle gave him and has personalised with 'Dad' on the back.'

While Kairo had 'the best day ever', according to Lauryn, who also took her grandfather John to watch the match, there was an undercurrent of sadness.

'It made me so emotional because it's like Kairo doesn't understand what his dad has done yet,' says Lauryn.

'I know this is hurting Kyle, but he isn't man enough to do the right thing by his other two children. This is a characteristic that I don't want Kairo to have. I want him to be strong, not be a weak man when he grows up.

'They are humans, and they're not going anywhere, they have as much right as the others. And I will always fight their corner for them, as any mum would.

'It was so nice to see him idolise his dad but also so sad,' said Lauryn. 'To see Kairo's face light up in that stadium is something I will never forget,' she says. 'And I'm sure Kairo will never forget it either.'

And she will surely hope that the next time her little boy sees his father, it won't be in the pages of a sticker book.

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