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Joe Hart is tipped to emulate Gordon Banks

Joe Hart
Hart is challenging David James and Robert Green to start against USA

England goalkeeper Joe Hart has been tipped to emulate Gordon Banks by his father Charlie Hart.

"Starting for England would be very special, but I always knew he would make it to the top," he said.

"My all-time hero from when I was a kid is Gordon Banks, and I'd like to think Joe will be up there with him.

"What's more, this is a lad from little old Shrewsbury performing on the world's greatest stage. It just proves anyone from anywhere can make it."

Hart has now won three caps for England after four years in the Premier League.

He's come a long way since he first popped into the world back in April 1987, but whether he's playing for England or Birmingham or Manchester City, he's still our little boy

Charlie Hart

After working his way up the youth ranks at hometown club Shrewsbury Town, he signed for Manchester City for £600,000 as a 19-year-old in May 2006 - having made 58 appearances for the Shrews.

He made a name for himself last season with a string of impressive performances on loan at City's Premier League rivals Birmingham - catching the eye of England coach Fabio Capello and his staff.

"For Joe to play for England in South Africa would be unbelievable," his father told BBC Radio Shropshire.

"I remember when he was playing for the under-eights in Shrewsbury. He got kicked in the mouth and cried his eyes out. But having played sport myself, I just told him he'd be all right - and we just carried on.

"He's come a long way since he first popped into the world back in April 1987, but whether he's playing for England or Birmingham or Manchester City, he's still our little boy.

"I'd have given anything to have gone out for my country, stood there for the national anthem - it's something special. If that happens for Joe in this World Cup, then I'll be the proudest dad of all."



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see also
Shrews coach calls for Hart place
10 May 10 |  Shrewsbury


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