On-song Webster finally given England stage

Adam Webster finally gets his England debut
Adam Webster finally gets his England debut

For Adam Webster, this time it was no Pompey initiation ceremony standing on a chair in a Cardiff hotel.

This rendition of the national anthem was performed in front of a live stadium audience.

What’s more, the 17-year-old was proudly sporting the Three Lions on his chest at the time.

Webster made his England debut in a 2-0 win over Italy on Wednesday in a team skippered by Gosport-born John Swift.

West Wittering youngster Webster played the full 90 minutes for Noel Blake’s under-18s at Mansfield.

Among the crowd was the Blues player’s dad, joined by his uncle and cousin who had travelled from Oxford.

A moment to treasure for Webster, who has experienced a momentous 2012 in football.

Less then 12 months ago he was in the first year of an Academy scholarship.

His breakthrough into the first-team set-up saw him perform Oasis’ Wonderwall alongside Sam Magri as part of the club’s initiation ceremony ahead of a fixture at Cardiff in January.

The audience that day were the likes of Greg Halford, Liam Lawrence, David Norris, Jason Pearce and Dave Kitson.

Such was the bad reception to Wonderwall, Webster had to instead sing the national anthem.

And on Wednesday night at Field Mill in front of 5,000 fans, he took centre stage again – only now as a Pompey first-team player and England international.

Webster said: ‘I was so proud to get the call-up and finally play for England.

‘I never thought this would happen to me. I really didn’t.

‘When I signed my scholarship, who would have thought I would be even training with the first team let alone representing England?

‘Before the match I stood there singing the national anthem, which was a quality moment. Thankfully, I know the words!

‘I remember when me and Sam Magri had our Pompey initiation last season and did Wonderwall.

‘The lads didn’t like it and told us to do something we knew the lyrics to. That ended up being the national anthem!

‘I found out last Friday about the call-up and was among seven or eight debutants on the night.

‘That helped me settle in and we did really well on the pitch considering we had been together for such a short space of time.

‘Personally, I thought I had a good, solid game. I played left-back for 55 minutes and then moved over to centre half for the last 35 minutes.

‘We definitely deserved to win. Hopefully there will be many more games for me.’

After the match, Webster was taken back to his Copnor digs by his designated Football Association driver.

His mementoes from the game in the form of two England shirts currently lie on top of his chest of drawers.

It has truly been a remarkable recent journey for the ex-Chichester High School for Boys pupil.

He added: ‘It has to rank in my top three footballing moments.

‘Probably behind my debut against West Ham and this season’s Yeovil game.

‘I’ve just got to keep my head down and keep on training hard with Pompey.’