By Emma Elsworthy
Modern kids consider Little Mix, Lionel Messi and Harry Potter ‘heroes’ – but mum tops the list.
A study carried out among six to 13-year-olds placed a string of celebrities and sporting legends in the top 50.
But even Barcelona and Argentina ace Messi, considered the greatest footballer ever, wasn’t able to replace mum at the top of the pile.
Even dads managed to gazump the five-time Ballon d’Or winner by securing second place.
TV funnyman turned children’s author David Walliams also made the top five, as did ex-England and Real Madrid legend David Beckham.
Children are clearly awe-struck by their favourite teachers at school too, voting them into sixth place.
Adventurer and wildlife enthusiast Steve Backshall also made the list, along with Prince Harry and massively popular YouTubers stampylongnose (CORR LOWERCASE S) and Zoella.
A spokesman for Fireman Sam, which carried out the research of 1,000 kids via OnePoll.com 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.
“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 ex-England captain and Everton new-boy, 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 17th place, above fictional characters such as Jack Sparrow, Hermione Granger and Wonder Woman.
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, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William.
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 said most of their favourite heroes feature in television programmes, and 53 per cent most admired 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 said they want to do the same job as their favourite hero, while 66 per cent dream of meeting them.
The spokesman added: “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.”
TOP 50 KIDS’ HEROES
3. Lionel Messi
4. David Walliams
5. David Beckham
6. My teacher
9. Harry Potter
10. Little Mix
11. Ed Sheeran
13. Simon Cowell
14. Ariana Grande
15. Iron Man
18. Fireman Sam
19. The Incredible Hulk
20. Ant and Dec
22. Jack Sparrow
23. Wonder Woman
25. Luke Skywalker
26. Hermione Granger
27. Olly Murs
28. Wayne Rooney
30. The Rock
31. Usain Bolt
33. Justin Bieber
34. Harry Styles
35. Darth Vader
36. Willy Wonka
37. Han Solo
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