Jermain Defoe flies home from Euro 2012 after England striker’s father tragically passes away
Jermain Defoe has flown home to London after the striker was rocked by the news that his father Jimmy has died. The Tottenham star could now miss the opening game against France on Monday due to the bereavement with the 29-year-old granted permission to leave England’s base in Poland to be with his family. Defoe was part of manager Roy Hodgson’s 23-man party who arrived in Krakow on Wednesday but is expected to return ‘in due course’.
The Football Association confirmed the news this morning, adding that the player is expected to return at some point and no replacement is being called up.
It is not known at this point whether Defoe will be back prior to Monday’s Group D opener against France in Donetsk. The FA statement read: “England striker Jermain Defoe has returned home to England this morning following the passing of his father overnight. “Jermain will re-join the England Euro squad in due course. There will be no replacement player called in.
“We would ask all media to respect Jermain and his family’s privacy at this difficult time.”
Defoe’s father, who was believed to have been ill for some time, was aged 49.
Tottenham passed on their condolences to the forward.
A statement on the Barclays Premier League club’s official website read: ‘Jermain Defoe has returned home from the England squad base in Poland this morning after receiving the sad news of the passing away of his father overnight.
‘Everyone at the Club sends their sincere condolences to Jermain and his family.’
Tributes and message of support instantly poured out on social networking site Twitter.
Ipswich and former Arsenal forward Jay Emmanuel Thomas was one of the first to send his sympathies to Defoe. He posted: ‘Rest In Peace Jimmy Defoe 7/6/2012’.
It is the latest family tragedy to hit Defoe. In 2009 he was left reeling after his 26-year-old half-brother Jade was murdered following an attack in east London before his grandmother passed away at the funeral.