It was a night of highs, lows and ultimately bitter disappointment for England fans.
The Three Lions have enjoyed a wonderful few weeks at Euro 2020 but saw their campaign end in woe after losing 3-2 to Italy on penalties during a dramatic showdown at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening.
While every player in the squad can hold their head high, one man who came away with real credit for Jordan Pickford.
The goalkeeper plays for Everton but made his break into the professional game after coming through the youth ranks with Sunderland.
After a number of loan spells away from the Stadium Of Light the player broke into the Black Cats’ first team where he established himself as one of the best young goalkeeper in the country before making a big-money move to Goodison Park.
Pickford still has plenty of friends and family around Sunderland but can also boast a few more around the country after making two wonderful saves during the penalty shootout against the Azzuri.
While England ended up finishing as runners up, Pickford attracted special praise from his former academy teammate and current Sunderland star Lynden Gooch who urged him to keep doing what he’s doing.
Gutted, proud of you Pickers keep proving the doubters wrong 🙌🏼🏴🔴⚪️ @JPickford1
— Lynden Gooch (@LyndenGooch) July 11, 2021
Taking to Twitter, Gooch said: “Gutted. Proud of you Pickers keep proving the doubters wrong.”
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It’s great to see players in the EFL getting behind the England stars.
Jordan Pickford remains a very popular figure around Sunderland and his performances for England on the world stage won’t see that change anytime soon.
Lynden Gooch is also a product of the club’s academy set-up and with him being set to play a key role under Lee Johnson this term, he’ll no doubt be hoping to channel some inspiration from his former academy teammate.