Nick Pope in the middle of England’s goal
With around 63 minutes gone in England’s international against Costa Rica tonight, coach Gareth Southgate made four substitutions. Two of those, as it happened, were former Clarets Kieran Trippier and Gary Cahill who came on alongside current Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope who was making an international debut.
He didn’t have much to do with England going on to win the game 2-0; Marcus Rashford had scored the first goal with Danny Welbeck getting the second. Pope only had one save to make, a shot straight at him at his near post late in the game which he saved comfortably.
It’s just over two years since I reported Tom Heaton’s debut in a friendly against Australia played at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on 27th May 2016. That night he became the first Burnley player to win an England cap since Martin Dobson in 1974.
Michael Keane, Jack Cork and James Tarkowski have all followed with Pope making it five tonight and in doing so he became our 29th England international of all time.
It’s fully deserved too after a terrific debut season in the Premier League, brought about by Heaton’s injury. He made his debut as a substitute in our fourth league game of the season against Crystal Palace, keeping a clean sheet and he’s been an ever present since.
He’s had an outstanding season, one that has won him most of the player of the year awards from supporters’ groups and also the players’ player of the year award.
And just to think, when Heaton was making his England debut, Charlton were turning down Burnley offers for Pope.Share this page :