West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice became the 42nd player in the club’s history to represent England when he made his debut against the Czech Republic last Friday.
Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate handed the 20-year-old his first start for the national side during Monday’s 5-1 Euros 2020 qualifiers’ victory over Montenegro, and the Hammers will surely be proud of one of their own.
Bobby Moore, who earned 108 caps remains the only former West Ham player that featured for that long for England, but there is huge belief that Rice can go all the way and establish himself as a regular in the Three Lions’ starting XI for years to come.
The London Stadium club’s joint-owner David Gold believes the youngster can follow in Moore’s footsteps and establish himself as a hero going forward.
“The West Ham fans are craving a new hero and they’ve got one in Declan,” the 82-year-old told The Sun
“He is special, no question about it. He is an England captain of the future in my mind.”
“He has a long way to go for sure but there are similarities between Declan and Bobby Moore. I saw Bobby when he first turned out at Upton Park.”
Moore, a West Ham and England legend cum hero lifted the World Cup with the Three Lions in 1966, winning the FA Cup and
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup with the club.
The former defender donned the club’s famous colours for 16 years, and his 647 games for West Ham rank him third among the club’s former and current players for total appearances.
It remains to be seen if West Ham can hold on to Rice for that long, or if the player can go on to reach Moore’s heights and achievements for club and country.
However, he is slowly establishing himself as a fans’ favourite, and he could become a West Ham hero soon as Gold has pointed out.