Football: It's Cheers to You, Mr Robinson; EXCLUSIVE HOW DAVID JAMES BURIED THE HATCHET

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVE KIDD

DAVID JAMES this week visited the Beneficial Foundation in Portsmouth (above) to encourage children to recycle waste and raise awareness for the Beneficial Materials Bank - one of Britain's most successful scrap stores.

The Beneficial Foundation provides education, training and rehabilitation to the disadvantaged, particularly those with learning difficulties and other disabilities.

The visit was part of Creating Chances, the Premier League's flagship community programme involving all 20 clubs and 200 of their players.

DAVID JAMES has promised to give Paul Robinson the fight of his life to reclaim the England No.1 jersey.

But he admits he no longer wants to throttle his goalkeeping rivals!

When he sat on the bench in his younger days, he used to wish disaster or injury on the first-choice keeper rather than act like a consummate team man.

Yet having been brought back into the England squad by Steve McClaren after a year in the wilderness, the Portsmouth keeper claims he will give Robinson his full support - despite the intense frustration and disappointment of being an understudy.

James, 37, arrived as a second-half sub after a Robbo clanger in last month's friendly against Germany ... only to be left out for the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Israel and Russia.

And he said: "My philosophy towards other keepers changed when Gerard Houllier ordered me to shake Brad Friedel's hand at Liverpool.

"It changed the way I acted as a person towards team-mates. At the time, I thought 'Why has he bought you, Brad? You've come here to take my place'.

"But Houllier forced me to shake his hand when I'd rather have shaken him by the throat ... and he was right.

"When you were out of the team you'd think 'I hope the keeper does this or that and then I get a chance' but then, ultimately, the team suffers.

"So as I have aspirations of playing for England in the European Championship Finals then it requires England to win qualifying games, and if Robbo is No.1 in those qualifying games then everything I do has to be geared towards England winning.

Having said that, if England win 5-4, three points is three points, isn't it? …