The Tottenham star could hardly sleep. He woke up at seven “terrified”. He waited almost another five hours before England No 2 Franco Baldini rang – and the Italian started with a joke to break the tension.
Jermain, who was at the house of his mother, Sandra St Helen, told the Mirror: “The call came at around midday so it felt like such a long wait.
“I was so nervous. He started with, ‘I’m really sorry, I’m afraid it’s bad news.’
“Then he says, ‘You can’t go on your holidays because you’ve got to go to South Africa.’
"I couldn’t believe it, it was like having Simon Cowell on the phone. I’m so excited now I just want to get out there. The other lads are the same. I spoke to Sean Wright-Phillips and he was doing cartwheels on the other end of the phone.
“I’m absolutely buzzing, I can’t believe it.”