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Lionel Messi, Spiderman and Mum and Dad are the top modern day children’s heroes, according to new research.

A study of the nation’s six to 13 year-old children show that while the likes of sports star Jessica Ennis-Hill and adventurer and wildlife enthusiast, Steve Backshall appear in the list, kids agree mum is a bigger hero.

And although mum takes the top spot in the top 50 list, dad is just two per cent behind in second place.

David Walliams also appears in the list of kid’s heroes – along with Prince Harry, Stampylongnose and YouTube star Zoella.

Harry Potter and Fireman Sam are included in the list too – in addition to David Beckham and Little Mix.

While British children are awe-struck by their favourite teacher at school, voting them into sixth place.

A spokesman for Fireman Sam, which carried out the research of 1,000 kids via to celebrate Prince George’s birthday said: “Iconic fictional characters and real life heroes such as Ariana Grande, Lionel Messi and Prince Harry are hugely important to children as they are growing up. Their love of these characters, real and fiction, helps to shape the nature of their play and development.

“We know little Prince George is a massive Fireman Sam fan, so we chose to commission this research to both celebrate his fourth birthday, and also to celebrate all the other heroes admired by children across the UK today.

“Some children think their Mummy or Daddy is their biggest hero – as we’re sure Prince George does – while others are in awe of characters which feature in films and television.”

The study shows mum and dad are joined by Justin Bieber, Harry Styles and England captain and Man Utd star, Wayne Rooney.

Other superheroes to feature highly in the list include Superman, Batman, Ironman, the Incredible Hulk and Thor.

But family members such as Grandmother and Grandfather take 16th and 17thplace, above fictional characters such as Jack Sparrow, Hermione Granger and Wonderwoman.

Star Wars has a wealth of heroes kids look up to – including Rey from the latest movie, Han Solo and Darth Vader.

Other Royals to make it into the list include Kate Middleton and Prince William.

While David Walliams’ co-stars on Britain’s Got Talent, Simon Cowell and Ant and Dec also feature in the top 50.

Just under half of children polled say most of their favourite heroes feature in television programmes, and 53 per cent most admire people or characters who help other people.

Being really kind (47 per cent), having the best super powers (27 per cent) or being really clever (39 per cent) also make a good hero.

More than four in 10 children want to do the same job as their favourite hero, while 66 per cent dream of meeting them.


1. Mum

2. Dad

3. Lionel Messi

4. David Walliams

5. David Beckham

6. My teacher

7. Spiderman

8. Batman

9. Harry Potter

10. Little Mix

11. Ed Sheeran

12. Superman

13. Simon Cowell

14. Ariana Grande

15. Ironman

16. Grandmother

17. Grandfather

18. Fireman Sam

19. The Incredible Hulk

20. Ant and Dec

21. Thor

22. Jack Sparrow

23. Wonderwoman

24. Matilda

25. Luke Skywalker

26. Hermione Granger

27. Olly Murs

28. Wayne Rooney

29. Stampylongnose

30. The Rock

31. Husain Bolt

32. Zoella

33. Justin Bieber

34. Harry Styles

35. Darth Vader

36. Willy Wonka

37. Han Solo

38. Neymar

39. Rey from Star Wars

40. Gareth Bale

41. Sir David Attenborough

42. Prince Harry

43. Kate Middleton

44. Finn from Star Wars

45. Prince William

46. Jessica Ennis-Hill

47. Indiana Jones

48. Steve Backshall

49. Bruce Lee

50. Will Smith

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