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England Debut For Tom Heaton

27 May 2016

Club captain Tom Heaton became the first Clarets player to earn an England cap since 1974 after coming on as a substitute in the 2-1 win over Australia.

Heaton, who earned 20 clean sheets on the way to a Sky Bet Championship title win, replaced Southampton’s Fraser Forster after 87 minutes at the Stadium of Light.

The Clarets last Three Lions representative was legendary midfielder Martin Dobson, who earned his fourth cap in a 2-2 draw against Yugoslavia in June 1974 under the stewardship of Sir Alf Ramsey.

Incidentally, Dobson made his England debut in a 0-0 draw against Portugal at Benfica’s old Estadio da Luz, which translates into English as the ‘Stadium of Light’.

Former goalkeeper Alan Stevenson was also called up for that fixture against Portugal and was on the bench on a night where the Clarets were playing Manchester United in a league game at Old Trafford.

It proved to be another successful Euro 2016 preparation fixture for Roy Hodgson’s men as they followed up their 2-1 win over Turkey at the Etihad Stadium last Sunday.

Marcus Rashford opened his international account after just three minutes as he converted Raheem Sterling’s cross from the left to become the youngest ever England player to score on his debut.

That was followed up by a second-half strike from Wayne Rooney, before Eric Dier’s own goal gave the Socceroos hope.

And for Heaton it will be a particularly memorable one, having represented England from Under 16 to Under 21 level before his senior bow.

The Chester-born stopper could also feature in the final warm-up game against Portugal at Wembley Stadium on Thursday 2 June before the UEFA European Championship finals in France.

Should he be named in the final 23-man squad and make an appearance at the finals, Heaton will also be the first Burnley player to make an appearance for England at a major tournament since goalkeeper Colin
McDonald played all four games in the 1958 FIFA World Cup.

Congratulations to Tom, from everyone at Burnley Football Club.

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