Brighton defender Lewis Dunk has revealed that he idolised and even used to try and emulate Chelsea legend John Terry when playing in the park as a child.
The 26-year-old earned his first call-up to the England senior side ahead of the UEFA Nations League fixtures against Croatia and Spain, with his boyhood hero recently calling time on his career amid managerial interest from Aston Villa.
Dunk has come through the academy system at Brighton, helping Chris Hughton's side earn promotion to the Premier League in 2017 and maintaining their top-flight status during the previous campaign.
Now, the hard-hitting centre-back who is known for his tough and no-nonsense defending, has revealed his appreciation for the five-time Premier League winner.
"I watched Terry from a young age and I used to pretend to be him in the park with my mates," said Dunk, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"He loves defending — he likes to play, too, but didn’t mind shoving his body in the way of a shot and getting hurt."
Gareth Southgate's side continue their UEFA Nations League Group A fixtures when they travel to Croatia on Friday, with a trip to Spain three days later.
Dunk will be faced with some stiff competition in Southgate's squad, with Joe Gomez, John Stones, and Harry Maguire all expecting to start in the Three Lions' back three in Rijeka.