Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope set to be a part of England's 1,000th international at Wembley Stadium

Nick Pope takes a moment to appreciate the pantheon of England greats who adorn the walls of The Crossbar and Lounge at the Hilton Hotel.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The Burnley goalkeeper is once again stationed at St George's Park - the impressive training base for the Three Lions located in Burton upon Trent - ahead of the nation's 1,000th international.

The 27-year-old takes his time to absorb every single snap shot within a carefully placed collage, which decorates one side of the plush facility

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The very fabric of England's rich history is there for all to see; many iconic moments and personalities are portrayed in both colour and black and white.

Goalkeeper Nick Pope trains with the England squad at St George's ParkGoalkeeper Nick Pope trains with the England squad at St George's Park
Goalkeeper Nick Pope trains with the England squad at St George's Park

When he finally takes a seat the Soham-born stopper, who has one cap for his country, starts to process some of the names that have gone before him.

Gordon Banks, Peter Shilton, Ray Clemence, Ron Springett and Chris Woods were all before his time, he was born a couple of months before the UEFA Euro 1992 tournament in Sweden afterall.

Arsenal legend David Seaman was the effigy implanted in Pope's mind having made 75 appearances, the same number as his Clarets team-mate Joe Hart.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"David Seaman was the first big one for me, with the ponytail," recalled Pope. "He was obviously a legend at Arsenal and for England as well.

"He was a great goalkeeper to watch, the big save I remember from him was against Sheffield United at Old Trafford in the semi-final of the FA Cup.

"It was a massive save from [Paul] Peschisolido. I remember that as clear as day so that's one save I remember as far back as I can go. He was a top goalkeeper."

Pope, who also learned his trade alongside Paul Robinson at The Barnfield Training Centre, added: "You're educated, but I'd like to think I know a bit myself from growing up and watching with a massive interest in football.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I got a few names of the pictures on the walls [at St George's Park]. You do get an education in what the Three Lions mean, historically as well as in the present with us as a team and what it represents.

"You get a lesson in that and, for myself, the general knowledge of every England player from the teams when I was growing up."

England's first ever international was a goalless draw against Scotland in Glasgow on November 30th, 1872.

Gareth Southgate's side can mark the nation's 1,000th international fixture, staged at Wembley Stadium, with qualification for the European Championship finals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They take on Group A rivals Montenegro on Thursday. "You don't envisage anything like this when you're a kid, it's just football," said Pope.

"As much as you want to play, and keep playing, I don't think I ever thought about England or international level.

"Being a schoolboy at Ipswich Town the dream and the biggest possibility was to play in that first team. Anything to do with England was way out of my mind to be honest."

The 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan and South Korea was the first tournament that Pope can recall vividly, watching from home as a schoolboy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But he'll have a front row seat when England mark this significant milestone. "I remember 2002 really clearly, that would be the first one," he said.

"It was in South Korea and Japan and I was 10. That's as far back as I can go. I know what happened in '98, but I think I've learned more from videos and pictures than from actually seeing anything live. I'd say 2002 was my first real memory of a major tournament."