Soccer

Declan Rice performed with Ed Sheeran as forfeit for turning up late to meeting

Declan Rice has revealed how he was once punished for turning up late to an England meeting by having to sing with Ed Sheeran.

The England national team’s camaraderie throughout Euro 2020 was well documented as they reached a major tournament final for the first time since 1966. And it will come as little shock that even their squad punishments were of the fun variety.

West Ham star Rice’s forfeit for turning up late to one of Gareth Southgate’s squad meetings landed the 23-year-old in hot water. But his forfeit of having to perform a duet cover of Oasis’ Wonderwall with Ed Sheeran ended up being “one of the best nights” of the midfielder's life.

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The Hammers skipper was asked to give the fascinating story more context on the Tubes & Ange Golf Life YouTube channel after Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale spilled the beans last November.

Rice chuckled before saying: “Unbelievable. I was late for a meeting. Five minutes late and Harry Kane said ‘You’ve got to do a forfeit’ so I said alright fair enough.

“There was a little rumour going around that Ed Sheeran was coming. Harry Kane emailed him and he came up to St George’s Park [England camp].

Which England player would you most want to perform a duet with? Let us know in the comments section.

“We had a barbecue that night, it was special. Everyone was sat there. Gareth [Southgate] let everyone have two or three beers and then he [Sheeran] just pulls out this guitar and he’s sat there singing.

“Then it was my turn to get up. Sang Wonderwall with him, had a blast and the night went on from there. I was a bit nervous but it weren’t bad at all.”

Rice added: “We was even crowd-surfing him, it was that good. Singing Sweet Caroline, Three Lions, obviously his songs as well. It was one of the best nights I’ve ever had.”

The Chelsea transfer target went on to play a crucial role at the heart of the midfield as England knocked out Germany, Ukraine and Denmark before a devastating penalty shootout loss to Italy. Rice’s continued brilliant performances for England have earned him 32 appearances, with many tipping him to take over the captaincy in the future.

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