DECLAN RICE’S dad has revealed his shock at the West Ham star’s switch to England.
Highly-rated Rice, 20, announced last week his decision to play for the Three Lions.
The midfielder said that he was a “proud Englishman” despite having played at under-age level and in three senior friendlies for Ireland.
But disappointed dad Sean told pals: “I’m very Irish, my mum and dad were very Irish and Declan grew up in an Irish/English environment as a lot of people from London do.
“And so at the end of the day he had to make a choice and I have to support my son.
“I wouldn’t have thought for 100 years he’d run out in an England shirt but he’s got his reasons.
MOST READ IN FOOTBALL
“It’s just a shame really — fingers crossed it all goes well.”
Last March Sean travelled to Turkey to watch his son’s Ireland debut from the stands at the Antalya Stadium.
Rice tweeted after the 1-0 defeat: “Wasn’t the result we wanted tonight . . . but on a personal level delighted to have picked up man of the match on my debut.
“Very proud moment for me & my family. Big love to my dad who came all the way out to come and watch, love you.”
And he told reporters: “I knew the anthem well. It brought a little bit of a tear to my eye singing it and thinking of my nana and grandad. It was a special moment.”