Jermain Defoe flies home from Euro 2012 after death of father

Striker returns home after death of father

Striker Jermain Defoe has returned home from the England football squad’s Euro 2012 base in Poland today after receiving the sad news of the death of his father overnight.

Beckton-born Jermain flew back to England after hearing that his father Jimmy has died following his battle with throat cancer.

The Tottenham star could now miss the opening game against France on Monday.

A statement from the Football Association said: “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.’

Defoe left England’s hotel ten minutes before the rest of the squad boarded a coach for their first training session in Poland having only arrived in the country on Wednesday evening.

It is understood Mr Defoe senior, who lived in Forest Gate, had been ill for some time.

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The former decorator lived in a small shared flat in Forest Gate.

He married Jermain’s mother Sandra in 1981 but the couple split soon after Jermain was born in 1982.

Tottenham Hotspur passed on their condolences to the forward. A statement on their website said: “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.”

England players paid their respects to Jermain, who grew up in Beckton and is currently a supporter of many local charities, at press conferences this afternoon.

Jermain recently visited his former primary and secondary schools in Newham to meet with youngsters