Football: Last Time I Went to Wembley I Didn't Play. Oasis Did; BACK HOME England's Young Pretenders Usher in the New Era DAVID BENTLEY EXCLUSIVE England U-21 V Italy U-21 TV: LIVE ON SKY SPORTS 1 FROM 12 NOON, KO 12.30

The Mirror (London, England), March 24, 2007 | Go to article overview

Football: Last Time I Went to Wembley I Didn't Play. Oasis Did; BACK HOME England's Young Pretenders Usher in the New Era DAVID BENTLEY EXCLUSIVE England U-21 V Italy U-21 TV: LIVE ON SKY SPORTS 1 FROM 12 NOON, KO 12.30


Byline: John Cross

With Stuart Pearce on Man City duty, assistant Nigel Pearson leads the Under-21s

This is England's last game before June's U-21 tournament in Belgium

SOME Might Say David Bentley should be with the full England squad rather than making history with the Under-21s at the new Wembley.

But the Blackburn player will not Look Back In Anger as his only visit to the last Wembley brings back some Wonderwall memories.

"The only time I went to the old Wembley was for a concert to watch Oasis," he said. "It was a brilliant day out. I was right at the front, going for it and I looked back and there was just a swarm of 100,000 people who loved it.

"I got right to the front because my mate's dad is manager of Paul Weller and that was a great experience because I was 14 or 15.

"Funnily enough, I'm going to see Noel Gallagher next week doing an acoustic set in Manchester.

"But playing at the new Wembley in the first proper game there will be a dream come true for me and I hope I'll be going back a bit more often."

Bentley has been in terrific form this season and his performances have led to calls for him to be promoted to the senior England squad.

The former Arsenal trainee was one of the reasons for Rovers' amazing run of form in the Premiership and an FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea.

That has led to the 22-year-old dreaming of a double date at Wembley this season and he intends to cherish every moment of today's occasion.

The game with Italy Under-21 at the pounds 798m stadium is needed to help secure a safety certificate in time for the FA Cup Final.

"I'm looking forward to being involved in the first match," said Bentley. "It will be a great buzz with all of my mates and my family going.

"It's an occasion which will go down in history. I keep lots of things from my career, all of my shirts and boots.

"My most special thing to date is my hat-trick ball from when we beat Manchester United. It's in a box at home, just like the box they keep the crown jewels in.

"My mum and dad kept a scrapbook. They've stopped it now but I think they'll do it again for this game and keep some mementos.

"But more importantly this game is a big occasion for me to show what I can do, and what more can you ask for?"

Bentley believes he has been unlucky not to get a call from Steve McClaren after his displays this season.

He has proved his versatility, playing on the right, the left, in midfield and up front but has been overlooked. …

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Football: Last Time I Went to Wembley I Didn't Play. Oasis Did; BACK HOME England's Young Pretenders Usher in the New Era DAVID BENTLEY EXCLUSIVE England U-21 V Italy U-21 TV: LIVE ON SKY SPORTS 1 FROM 12 NOON, KO 12.30
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