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26th Mar 2017

Jonathan Wilkes takes credit for Jermain Defoe’s scoring return to international football

You know, Robbie Williams' mate...


It’s silly when you think that there was ever any doubt that Jermain Defoe would get a recall to the England squad.

With Harry Kane’s ankle ligament troubles, the 34-year-old is currently the highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League available to Gareth Southgate – a stat that’s even more impressive when you consider that his goals have come for a struggling Sunderland side.

After not featuring during the midweek friendly in Germany, Defoe started the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania on Sunday afternoon, marking the occasion with a goal after 21 minutes.

After plenty of time away from the national side – time in which he’s spent a spell with Major League Soccer side, Toronto – many (Clive Tyldesley included) were quick to point out the last time Defoe was seen wearing an England shirt.

That night came just last year, in the pre-Euro 2016 Unicef fundraiser, SoccerAid.

Traditionally played the week before a major football tournament, the game sees an England side comprising of (usually) retired footballers and celebrities take on a Rest of the World side, also made up of ex-pros and celebs.

Defoe played and scored twice in last June’s event, playing alongside the likes of Jack Whitehall and that one off The Only Way is Essex who’s married to Michelle Keegan.

Another of his teammates that night was charity football match veteran, Jonathan Wilkes, a man arguably most famous for being (organiser) Robbie Williams’ mate.

After watching Defoe give non-Soccer Aid England the lead on Sunday, Wilkes was quick to take credit for the role he and the rest of those involved in Soccer Aid played in his return to England duty.

Catch up with this week’s episode of 888Sport Football Friday Live