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Wilshere: Beckham was my hero

Jack Wilshere has revealed former England captain David Beckham was his childhood hero and says playing for his country remains his greatest honour.

The Arsenal midfielder replaced Wayne Rooney in the second half of the Three Lions’ 1-1 draw with Russia in their opening Euro 2016 Group B game on Saturday.

Wilshere will hope to have done enough to earn a place in England boss Roy Hodgson’s starting XI for Thursday’s crunch clash with Wales – who top the group after beating Slovakia 1-0.

Ahead of facing Chris Coleman’s side, the 24-year-old spoke of his admiration for Beckham and recalled his memories of watching England at previous major tournaments.

“Growing up my England hero was David Beckham,” he told (which you can see for yourself in the video above). He was England captain and every time I watched him he gave 100%. 

“My favourite England memory as a kid was the World Cup qualifier against Greece. Beckham ran the game when we were struggling. We really needed a goal to qualify and he came up with that free kick.”

Wilshere suffered another injury-hit season with Arsenal last term but recovered from a broken leg in time to win a place in the England squad – something he says he doesn’t take for granted.

“Playing for England means everything to me,” he added. “When you grow up you want to play for your country and you dream of playing for your country in major tournaments.

“When you’re in the changing room and you put on the Three Lions it’s the best feeling.  Then you line up and hear the national anthem before a game and it’s a special moment. You can feel the crowd behind you."