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Butland contacted 'hero' Hart after World Cup snub

Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland said he was shocked and "gutted" at Joe Hart's omission from England's World Cup squad.

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate opted to name Butland, Everton's Jordan Pickford and Burnley custodian Nick Pope as his three keeper options in the 23-man squad to travel to Russia this summer.

It meant there was no place for 31-year-old Hart, despite him having 75 caps for his country and being the number one for England's past three major tournaments, not to mention starting in nine of their 10 World Cup qualifiers.

His inability to force his way into the Manchester City first-team and disappointing season-long loan at West Ham this past campaign appears to have resulted in his downfall.

However, Butland claims he was disappointed at his exclusion from Southgate's plans for the World Cup and contacted him to let him know.

"I've spoken to Joe. I know he's devastated to miss out and I'm gutted for him," he said.

"He's been my hero since I was 14 years old and I still look up to him now. It was important for me to tell him that because you don't often get opportunities to tell people what you really think about them.

"If Joe had been here that conversation never gets had. It was really important to me and hopefully he valued that as well."

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