Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro Starlet Writes Name in England History Books; FOOTBALL

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro Starlet Writes Name in England History Books; FOOTBALL

Article excerpt

BORO'S England Under-17 midfielder Callum Cooke made history twice over as he linedup to face Gibraltar - and he could not be more proud of his "special day".

Not only was Cooke the firstever man to captain the Three Lions against FIFA'S newest members, but he was one of only two players alongside England women's captain Casey Stoney to captain a national side on the very day of the Football Association's 150th anniversary.

"It's so emotional to pull on that armband for England," explained the goal-scoring schemer after his appearance in the Under-17s Euro Championship in Armenia.

"Not just for me either. For my friends, my dad, who is my biggest fan, it's such a big thing.

"Just to captain my country is an unbelievable feeling and something I'll cherish, especially on such an historic day like Saturday."

Peterlee-born Cooke naturally admitted to being disappointed at not playing a part in the first qualifier against hosts Armenia last Thursday.

But he was pleased with how he and his team-mates adapted themselves in their thumping 8-0 win against the Gibraltans.

"I like to think of myself as a leader," he said, "and I kept my head held high after the Armenia match and I got the reward against Gibraltar.

"The first 25 minutes we kept the ball well, we created a few chances.

"I had one myself, and sometimes games like that can get frustrating.

"They were happy to sit and let us play, so we had to keep the tempo high to try and open them up and Adam Armstrong finally got the show on the road with a wonder strike."

John Peacock's men have since enjoyed a big win against the Republic of Ireland in the final first round qualifier in a match that decided who took top spot. …

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