A SPORTSMAN who started playing squash as a way to keep his fitness up during the football season has been selected to represent England once again.

Tom Burton, from Hereford, will wear the national colours in April after being selected to play for England in the Men’s Over 60 Home Internationals- which are to be held in Cardiff.

To earn selection Burton, who is also the Herefordshire county coach, finished in the top five of the England rankings after competing in five regional competitions.

In the qualifying competitions Burton reached two semi-finals and three quarter-finals earning him a place on the six-man team.

The latest qualifying round saw Burton compete in the British Open and the National Squash Championships in Nottingham.

"Going into the Nationals I was confident that I would make the team providing I reached the quarter final," said Burton.

"This I achieved, before losing a very close match 3-1 to the number one seed and reigning British Open Champion Jeremy Goulding."

Burton started playing squash to keep fit while playing football for Pegasus Juniors. After his football days were over squash became Burton's main sport leading to him competing nationally and become Hereford Squash Tennis and Racketball Centre first team squash captain.

He has also represented England at three other Home Internationals in the over-55 age category.

"I am delighted to have been selected for which will be my fourth Home International series with this the first in a new age group," added Burton.

"It has been a lot of hard work and commitment throughout the season however the buzz of pulling on the England shirt makes it all worthwhile.

"The Home Internationals are amazing and have a real festival of squash with all the other age groups also competing. I have won all my other matches in previous years at the tournament, so I'm unbeaten and hoping to keep that up.

"There was a huge amount of people at the qualifying competitions and we had nearly 200 people at one event. In Wales, Scotland and Ireland there are nowhere near the same number of players.

"I suppose the hard part is getting in the England team."