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Pope Bridges 60-Year Gap

Clarets keeper wins second England cap as Euros beckon

18 November 2019

Nick Pope gained another footnote in the Clarets’ history as he won his second England cap.

Pope earned his first start for his country in England’s 4-0 in Kosovo as Gareth Southgate’s side completed their qualifying campaign for the Euro 2020 Finals.

And in doing so, the 27-year-old became the first Burnley goalkeeper since Colin McDonald to play in a competitive England fixture.

Pope’s previous England appearance came as a substitute in a pre-World Cup warm-up game against Costa Rica in June, 2018, while former team-mate Tom Heaton won his three caps in friendlies.

“My debut in Leeds seems such a long time ago so to come through this and everything that's gone on in between is a really special moment for me and my family,” Pope told broadcasters after the victory that guaranteed England a place among the top-six seeds for next summer’s tournament.

Nick Pope applause Kosovo.jpg

“On a personal level with my injury and everything like that, to play from the start and to play in a competitive fixture as well, it’s another level for myself. I’m just unbelievably proud.”

McDonald played in all of England’s games at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, with the last a 1-0 defeat to the Soviet Union which cost England a place in the knock-out stages.

McDonald was still voted the best goalkeeper in the tournament.

The Clarets’ goalkeeping strength was further underlined by Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who also kept a clean sheet as Northern Ireland drew 0-0 with the Netherlands.

Peacock-Farrell’s efforts weren’t enough to keep Northern Ireland’s hopes of automatic qualification alive as the Dutch and Germany secured their progression from a tough group.

But the Clarets’ summer signing – who could win a 14th cap in Germany on Tuesday night – will get a second bite at the cherry through the play-offs.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland face a big night in Dublin this evening (Monday) when they take on Group D leaders Denmark, knowing a win will take them past the Danes to the finals.

Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick is expected to start for Mick McCarthy’s side as they look to secure a second successive appearance at the European Championships.

And club-mates Robbie Brady and Kevin Long could also figure as Ireland – who also have the back-up of a play-off place – look for a first win in six games against Denmark.

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