Who is Dominic Hyam? First Scotland call-up for Blackburn defender who says he is 'definitely more Scottish than English'

Scotland have handed a first call-up to Blackburn Rovers defender Dominic Hyam after losing Jack Hendry to injury ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Cyprus and Spain.

Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston has also been drafted as a late addition for the Hampden Park double-header after missing out on the initial 23-man squad named by Steve Clarke last week.

Hendry has not featured for Club Brugge since suffering a knee injury in their win over Gent on February 26. It was hoped he could recover in time for the international fixtures but he has now been forced to concede defeat, giving Hyam his chance.

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Scotland kick-off their Euro 2024 qualification campaign against Cyprus at Hampden on Saturday before welcoming former World and European champions Spain to the national stadium next Tuesday.

Blackburn defender Dominic Hyam (right) has earned a first call-up to the senior Scotland squad. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)Blackburn defender Dominic Hyam (right) has earned a first call-up to the senior Scotland squad. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)
Blackburn defender Dominic Hyam (right) has earned a first call-up to the senior Scotland squad. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Who is Dominic Hyam?

Born in Leuchars, Fife, where his dad Steve was stationed with the RAF, Hyam only spent the first year of his life in Scotland before moving to England. He started his career at Reading, but gained his first taste of senior football during loan spells with Dagenham and Redbridge, Portsmouth and Aldershot Town.

Explaining his Scottish heritage after receiving his first call-up to the Under-19s in 2014, Hyam said: "My dad was in the RAF from the age of 16 and used to be based at Leuchars in Fife. My mum was pregnant with me at the time and that's where I was born. He was only there for between six months and a year before we moved back down south.

"I've been there ever since, but I feel Scottish. I've got more Scottish than English in me because my dad's mum is from Dundee originally and mum's dad is from Glasgow. So I'm definitely more Scottish than English. At the back of my mind I've always thought I'd want to play for Scotland. I was never called up by England at any age group. I've just focused on playing for Scotland and that's still the case now."

Hyam progressed into the Scotland Under-21s, where he won five caps under then head coach Ricky Sbragia, who compared him to Leicester City and former Manchester United star Jonny Evans.

“The first time I saw Dominic was in a youth cup final two years ago between Leeds United and Reading. The strange thing was, on the team-sheet, it was only the Leeds’ line-up. The Reading team was just numbers so I didn’t know who was playing.

“So I just decided to put notes down next to each Reading player as I was watching. At the end of the game, I had one note next to Dominic’s number: Jonny Evans. He was coming out with the ball, looking very comfortable and relaxed on it. But he could also defend.

“He’s got speed and power so he stuck out. Instead of writing all that down when I’m watching games, sometimes I just try to think of a player. And with Dominic, it was Jonny who came to mind. On that night, he was excellent, they beat Leeds 3-1. He’s a good defender.”

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Hyam moved to Coventry City in 2017 and spent five years with the club before being sold to Blackburn Rovers last summer for £1.5million. He has since gone on to enjoy excellent form for Rovers, establishing himself as a key member of the side chasing promotion from the Championship. The Blackburn fans have also taken a keen liking to him and sing "Hyam the one and only," to the tune of the 1991 Chesney Hawkes hit, in his honour.

Speaking earlier this month, Hyam said it would “mean the world” to receive his first senior Scotland call-up at the age of 27 and follow in the footsteps of his former Under-21 teammates John McGinn and Scott McKenna.

He said: "I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me want to be there with them. They have fully deserved their call-ups and appearances. All I can do is focus on how I'm playing for Blackburn and see where it takes me, but that would mean the world to me."



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