New England call-up, Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings thought it was a prank when he found out he would be joining up with Gareth Southgate's side for their Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.
He found out through a text from a player liaison official - but initially believed it was one of his teammates making a joke. The 26-year-old signed permanently at Villa Park after a loan spell at the end of last season. He completed the transfer in July for a fee believed to end up costing Dean Smith's side €27.5 million (£25 million).
Speaking to the Aston Villa's club website, Mings said, “I thought it was a prank when I first found out. With it being the day of the announcement, it would have been the perfect time to do it! I got the text when I came in from training from the player liaison at England. I text back. She then called me and said ‘I’m not joking’. That was how I found out. It was only when I spoke to her on the phone that I realised she was being serious.
“It’s still not sunk in. I haven’t played for England at any level. International recognition is obviously a dream come true. I am delighted. It’s obviously been a long journey to get to this point so to get called up, I am over the moon. I join a long list of Aston Villa players to have been called up, including the England manager, of course.
Overwhelmed with emotion right now. I don’t know what else to say other than I’m incredibly proud to be called up to the @England squad. Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me up to this point pic.twitter.com/KztXT4AsAW
— Tyrone Mings (@OfficialTM_3) August 29, 2019
“I am fully aware of that history and those great players who have come before me and played for England. Hopefully, I get a chance to play. The lads were delighted when they found out. They are understandably as excited as I am. They are just as important to my performances as myself. Playing with these guys is a blessing. They help me each time we walk out on the pitch together. And the manager has shown faith in me. He’s obviously delighted, too.”