Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk revealed that manager Chris Hughton was the one who told him about his call up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad on Sunday morning.
The academy product has joined up with the national side ahead of the UEFA Nations League fixtures with Croatia and Spain over the upcoming week, and the central defender spoke about the unconventional nature of how he discovered the news.
He said, “I received the news on Sunday – I woke up and had a missed call from the manager [Chris Hughton] and I wondered what was going on!
“He left a voicemail for me and said to call back, and when I did he told me the good news.
“It was nice that it was him that was able to tell me, and it was the best news I’ve had in my career.
“To get called up and then be able to come to a place like this and be recognised for my performances is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
The 26-year-old made his debut for the Seagulls in May 2010 and has since gone on to become a pivotal part of the club’s rise through the divisions to the Premier League, now fulfiling a childhood ambition of being involved with his country.
“This is what you dream of as a boy when you start playing the game and there’s millions of young lads running around parks at the moment doing exactly that.
“I was one of those and I’ve worked hard to show what I can do - that’s been rewarded by my inclusion in the squad.
“It was such a proud moment to get the call from our manager and I’m so happy to be here.”
Dunk is one of a number of faces who have risen through the divisions and been selected for the England side in recent years, and he spoke positively about the experiences of the lower divisions and highlighted their impact on his career.
“Some people say about Gareth [Southgate] coming to watch matches but I just always focus on being my best in every game, but he’s clearly seen me and given me a chance, so it proves that it’s worked.
“I’ve come through League One and the Championship – a few of the boys have done it.
“Playing in those leagues at a young age as you’re growing up as a footballer really benefits you, there’s nothing like going into a battle with a striker at that level who’s fighting every week.”