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24th May 2018

Jack Butland sent Joe Hart a text following World Cup squad snub

"He’s been my hero since I was 14 years old."

Darragh Murphy

Joe Hart

Jack Butland will be without his hero when he joins up with his England teammates for World Cup duty.

Butland has looked up to Joe Hart since he was a teenager and the Stoke City goalkeeper was stunned to learn that national team manager Gareth Southgate made the decision to leave Hart at home for the trip to Russia.

Hart has done little to justify a place among Southgate’s best three stoppers for this summer’s tournament, having flattered to deceive on his season-long loan with West Ham.

Several errors have seen Hart’s previous reliability questioned and, for the first time since 2010, he will play no part for England in a major competition.

Butland has claimed that the entire squad was shocked about the omission and revealed that he felt it was only right to text Hart to thank him for all of his help in his development.

“We all thought, ‘Wow’. It was a gutsy decision from the manager. I’ve spoken to Joe. I know he’s devastated to miss out,” Butland told The Guardian.

“I texted him once the squad had been announced and said ‘I’m absolutely gutted for you’.

“He’s been my hero since I was 14 years old and I still look up to him.

“It was important for me to tell him that because you don’t often get opportunities to tell people what you really think about them.”

Joining Butland in Russia will be Everton’s Jordan Pickford and Burnley’s Nick Pope, while the first-choice ‘keeper remains to be seen.

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