Grealish opens up on COLLAPSING before first England session at 15

‘I was in the bathroom and woke up on the floor’: Jack Grealish opens up on COLLAPSING before his first England training session at 15, comparisons with Gazza… and how players arrived at St George’s Park to find family pictures in their bedrooms

  • Jack Grealish is regarded as one of England’s X-factor players for Euro 2020
  • There is plenty of public pressure on Gareth Southgate to star Aston Villa man  
  • Grealish spoke about how tight the squad are and competition for places 
  • He also revealed shocking story about collapsing on England duty as 15-year-old 

Jack Grealish has taken to life with Gareth Southgate’s England team like a duck to water but revealed a shocking start to life in the international set-up as a youngster. 

He ended up turning out for the Republic of Ireland age-group teams and explained just how that came about. 

Grealish said: ‘When I was young, 15 I think, I got asked to play for England and Ireland. I collapsed the day before training with England and got sent home.

Jack Grealish spoke about the incident that saw him play for Ireland as a teenager

But the Aston Villa star went on to add that he feels English and that is is a ‘dream come true’

Grealish played for the Republic of Ireland as a teenager before switching back to England 

‘I then trialled with Ireland and loved it. When you’re younger you just do what makes you happy. As I got older I broke through at Villa and I am English, I feel English and I’ve never looked back since.’

When asked to give more detail about the nature of his collapse as a 15-year-old, Grealish added: ‘I don’t know what happened, I was in the bathroom and woke up on the floor, the next day I was fine.’

Of course, the Aston Villa captain pledged his allegiance to England’s senior side and is now regarded as one of the most exciting players in the squad for Euro 2020. 

His attacking flair and flamboyant personality has drawn parallels with Paul Gascoigne, not least from the man himself, and the 25-year-old is flattered by comparisons but acknowledges he has a long way to go to mirror ‘Gazza’. 

He continued: ‘It made me happy that Gazza likes me as a player, every English person adores him, he was unbelievable, I grew up watching highlights and if I could get any performances close to that I’ll be happy.’

An issue for England sides at previous tournaments has been the boredom suffered in the confines of their hotel but Grealish heaped praise on the staff for setting up an incredible base at St George’s Park, even adding some personal touches.  

‘There’s everything in camp, they’ve done a great job, as homely as possible, I went into my room and there was photos of my family and dog in there, I don’t think you could get bored, it is an important thing,’ he added. 

‘It was crazy how football brought the nation together in 2018, my Nan watched every game and was loving it. I was desperate to be a part of this.  

Grealish is relishing the chance to perform on home soil and make his family proud

‘My family are so excited already, it would be a great feeling to watch me at a major tournament, hopefully I get on the pitch and do them proud.’

England kick-off their campaign at Wembley against Croatia on Sunday in a repeat of the World Cup semi-final. 

All eyes will be on Southgate’s team sheet and it will be fascinating to see whether Grealish makes the cut for the opener.  

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