After being handed the skipper’s armband by Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson today, Wayne told his official website: “To be named as the England captain is a dream come true for me personally and of course for my family.  It is something I will take massive pride in doing.

“As a kid I always loved the occasion of watching a big England game on the television.  Back then I had a burning ambition to play for my country.  Now to be appointed captain is beyond my wildest dreams.

“I would like to thank Roy and the coaching staff for having the belief and confidence in me to do the job.”

Wayne is due to lead the team out at Wembley on September 3 in a friendly against Norway before skippering the side in the first of the qualifiers for Euro 2016 away to Switzerland on September 8.

Talking of the latest honour to come his way in what has already been a star-studded career, Wayne went on: “I have played under some fantastic captains at both Manchester United and England and would hope that I have picked up some of their strongest qualities,

“I intend to speak with Steven about different aspects of the role.  We had a great relationship from the moment we played together for our country right up to our final game in Brazil.  I am sure if I ever need to seek his advice he will be there to help.”

Wayne also highlighted the significance of the England supporters in the teams future and how he believes he shares their mentality.

“I hope that I will have the full backing of the fans,” he said.  “I am their type of player once I am on that pitch.  My only thought is to win and give everything I have got and that sharing that desire will be the way I want to captain the team.”

“England fans have a massive role to play not just in helping me as the captain but the team as a whole.  When our fans sing the national anthem and support us in such numbers around the world I can promise you it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and is an enormous sense of pride for our country.”

Wayne has been a regular in the national team for a decade, representing his country in five major international tournaments beginning with a spectacular tournament debut at the age of 18 in Euro 2004 in Portugal.

He made his international debut a year earlier in 2003 and has since scored 40 goals in 95 games.  Already England’s all-time top scorer in competitive matches, his current total puts him well on course to exceed Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton’s overall tally of 49.

In terms of caps, Wayne is on the brink of joining an exclusive club of England centurions at just 28 years of age and it is possible that he could go on to break goalkeeper Peter Shilton’s record number of 125 appearances for the Three Lions.

“I have always had a special feeling playing for England,” Wayne said.  “When pulling on that shirt, I have always felt it is a huge honour and responsibility.  I hope to pass that knowledge on with the help of the other senior players to any of the young or new caps that join us.”

Wayne has made it clear that the future tournaments England will look to compete in are massively important, starting with Euro 2016 in France and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“I have said previously that I will not look on my England career as a success unless we win something and that is my attitude to playing football,” Wayne said.  There is no point turning up unless we believe we can win.”

“Obviously I will have many personal proud moments playing for England and none more so than when I walk out at Wembley for the first time as the manager’s appointed captain, but collectively we want to be known as winners as all professional footballers do.  We are now starting the cycle of two major international tournaments and reaching both finals and performing to our maximum is what we are aiming for.  Anything less I personally will not see as a success.”
Copyright 2014 Stoneygate 48 Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

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