Spurs striker Jermain Defoe returns to England camp following father's death 

 

 

By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 

 

 

Defoe has shown throughout his footballing career that he is a natural-born finisher and proven goalscorer


 

Jermain Defoe has rejoined the England squad in Krakow on Saturday making himself available for Monday's opening Group D match against France at Euro 2012.

The Tottenham Hotspur striker returned home to Great Britain from the team's training base in Krakow after hearing the news regarding the unfortunate and unexpected death of his father on Wednesday afternoon. 30-year old Defoe is expected to be named on the bench against France in Donetsk, with Manchester United's Danny Welbeck likely to start in attack ahead of him and Andy Carroll with Wayne Rooney suspended for the first two matches.

Defoe said: "I want to thank the fans, my family, friends, the England boys, the FA and manager for their support.I can't tell you how much it means to me. I love you all, may God bless you. A special thank you to Royal Marsden's doctors & nurses who looked after my dad. Very special people." 

The former Portsmouth striker arrived at the team hotel early on Saturday and left with the squad for a behind-closed-doors training session some thirty minutes later. England fly to Donetsk on Sunday to complete their final preparations for the match against France taking place on Monday evening at the Donbass Arena. Defoe appeared as a late substitute in England's final warm-up match whilst making a significant impact when hitting the post in a 1-0 victory over Belgium at Wembley.

He made his 47th England appearance in the friendly on 2nd June, a record thirty of which have been as a substitute, and he has scored 15 goals for his country including four in the qualification process for the Poland & Ukraine tournament. He also spent much of last season on the bench at his club Tottenham, with 17 of his 38 appearances as a substitute, but scored 17 goals for the White Hart Lane club.

Following news of his return home, a statement released on the Spurs official club website read: "Everyone at the club sends their sincere condolences to Jermain and his family."  

 

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