PROUD dad Theo Walcott insists his best motivation to produce performances at the top level is to perform for his kids.

The 31-year-old has enjoyed a stellar return to St Mary’s since penning a season-long loan deal to re-join his boyhood club from Everton.

He met his now wife Melanie at Westquay Shopping Centre around a year before originally leaving Saints. The pair have stayed together since and have two young children, Finley and Arlo.

Former England man Walcott told talkSPORT: “The best motivation for myself is my kids. They are getting to that age where they can start to see me and see games.

“Every time they see a football match, they always think I’m playing – even if I’m sat next to them! It’s quite funny.

“They are slowly starting to get into it and that’s my drive and goal for it all, to be honest.

“You think completely differently when you have kids. A lot of things happen in the world and it doesn’t matter – it’s all about your kids and your family.”

Walcott is yet to lose a game as part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad since his return to the south coast.

He has helped Saints climb to fourth in the Premier League table – and insists he feels back at home at the place where it all began for him.

“Southampton - when I was a young kid coming through and it was a family club – it’s just something that fits well with where I am at in my career and my life as well,” he added.

“I want to do well, simple as that. I want the club to do well and I want personally to do well.

“I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I just want to go out there, express myself and enjoy it and I think the past few games you are slowly starting to see that.

“It’s been a bit like pre-season for me still – probably like a lot of players to be fair, still trying to play the catch-up game.

“But I feel young again, I feel like a kid and that’s what I want to be.”