Jack Butland has revealed he was gutted to hear his hero Joe Hart had been omitted from England's World Cup squad.
Hart had previously been a mainstay of the England team, having earned 75 caps, but a poor season on loan at West Ham, where he was in and out of the side, left his position untenable.
Butland will now be competing with Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope to be England's number one in Russia and he revealed he texted Hart as soon as the news broke.
"I think we all thought, 'wow'. It was a gutsy decision from the manager. I've spoken to Joe and I know he's devastated to miss out," he said.
"I've known Joe for a very long time. 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 get opportunities to tell people what you really think of them."
Back at it. pic.twitter.com/lTGeWBAEGM— England (@England) May 23, 2018
Hart drew attention in 2009-10 with an impressive loan spell at Birmingham City, a club where Butland learnt his trade after coming through the youth academy, and the current Stoke City goalkeeper praised the 31-year-old for being so influential in his development.
"When I was coming through at Birmingham, I wanted to be where he was," Butland said.
"I wanted to be the goalkeeper for Birmingham and England – he was both of those things.
"Over the last couple of years I've learned more from Joe than I ever could have expected. He has always been the first one to congratulate whoever has played, be it me, Jordan or Tom Heaton.
"That shows more about Joe as a person and character than any of the saves or great performances and I owe him a lot."
Butland also has a strong friendship with another former Stoke goalkeeper in 1966 World Cup winner Gordon Banks, who continues to inspire the next generation of England shot-stoppers.
"Gordon came to the training group and brought along his World Cup medal and it was a lot smaller than I thought," he said.
"He also brought a signed photo of him and Pele – of that famous save – and gave that to me.
"I've got a lot of connection from Gordon. He has done it and I know he would love me to do it as well."
|Pumas look to build on Jaguares progress in Rugby Championship|
|Super Cup glory will make Atletico strong - Simeone|
|Rugby Championship 2018: True status of Erasmus´ Springboks rebuild to be discovered|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Coutinho ready to be Barca´s next Brazilian superstar|
|Serie A 2018-19: Can Napoli, Roma, Inter or AC Milan overhaul Juventus?|
|Braves survive skirmish, loss of Acuna to top Marlins|
|Robertson handed surprise start, Hodge gets nod for Bledisloe opener|
|MLS Review: Wayne´s World as Rooney inspires DC United, LAFC win|
|Djokovic and Dimitrov survive but Zverev loses in Cincinnati|
|Rain halts Halep as Muguruza´s defence ends and Wozniacki retires|
|Ozil´s racism claims nonsense, says Kroos|
|Malcom lost for words after Camp Nou bow alongside Messi|
|Injured Fowler withdraws from play-off opening Northern Trust|
|Marcelo happy with Madrid squad amid transfer talk|
|Foles isn´t worried about Brady´s handshake snub|
|Eli Manning on Jalen Ramsey´s comments: ´Who?´|
|Cerezo: Atletico´s objective is to reach Champions League final|
|Judge´s recovery taking longer than expected|
|Ronaldo in the past as Casemiro backs Lopetegui after Madrid loss|
|With our ´cojones´ Atletico can beat anyone – Costa revels in Super Cup glory|
|Super Cup loss doesn´t change Real Madrid transfer policy, says Lopetegui|
|Griezmann: Super Cup triumph justifies staying at Atletico|
|Valverde defends Suarez performances|
|Simeone´s eclipses Aragones as Atletico´s top coach with seventh title|
|Rockets GM: LeBron James is ´the greatest ever´|
|Salihamidzic, Kovac not standing in way of Rudy exit|
|Jaguars DB Ramsey calls Bills QB Allen ´trash´|
|Real Madrid 2 Atletico Madrid 4 (after extra time): Saul stunner seals Super Cup glory|
|Ex-India Test captain Wadekar dies aged 77|
|Gundogan ready to step up in absence of injured De Bruyne|
|Djokovic overcomes illness to see off Mannarino|
|Diego Costa nets fastest UEFA Super Cup goal ever|
|Everton feared missing out on Mina after World Cup strike|
|Barcelona 3 Boca Juniors 0: Messi, Malcom net as Barca win Joan Gamper Trophy|
|All Blacks stick with Barrett as Mo´unga misses out altogether|
|Modric benched for UEFA Super Cup clash with Atletico Madrid|
|Cipriani charged with assault after Jersey nightclub incident|
|Hamburg 1 Bayern Munich 4: Wagner and Muller hit braces in comeback victory|
|WATCH: Messi scores first goal as Barcelona captain|
|Iniesta, Xavi and Puyol were great teachers, says new Barcelona captain Messi|
|Moses retires from international football|
|Goals, assists, set-pieces - The stats that show De Bruyne is almost irreplaceable for City|
|Bergeron wins mammoth 24-man U.S. Amateur play-off|
|Hart to Burnley "not rocket science", says Dyche|
|Leipzig, Schalke reject Rudy transfer rumours|
|Yedlin knee injury not serious, Newcastle confirm|
|Bartomeu satisfied with Barcelona squad amid Pogba links|
|Kevin De Bruyne suffers knee injury|
|Steelers QB Roethlisberger in concussion protocol|
|Kehrer to PSG not complete, say Schalke|
|Hopoate handed 10-year ban from NSWRL|
|Is this worth it? Injuries prompted Te´o to consider future|
|Croatia hero Subasic retires from international football|
|Iniesta makes it two in two for Vissel Kobe|
|Chelsea send out defensive duo on loan|
|Zaha 2023: Palace star means more than goals|
|De Jong set for Ajax stay despite Barcelona interest|
|Serena ´still at the very beginning´ of comeback|
|Ajax can benefit from Mourinho approach - Blind|
|Foley not convinced by reports All Blacks will drop Barrett|
|Zaha signs Crystal Palace extension|
|Burnley midfielder O´Neill makes A-League loan move|
|Godin yet to renew with Atletico Madrid amid transfer interest|
|Federer ´feeling better every day´ after Wimbledon disappointment|
|Kante comfortable with surprise new Chelsea role|
|Rugby Championship 2018: The numbers behind New Zealand´s dominance|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Bale ready to be Madrid´s shining light after five years in Ronaldo´s shadow|
|Rodgers unimpressed by absence of ´fit´ Boyata|
|Braves´ Acuna Jr. has arrived as a true MLB star|
|LA Galaxy 2 Colorado Rapids 2: Jackson´s deflected strike sees spoils shared|