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  1. ITV Report

Footballer Kyle Walker speaks to ITV News about pitch invaders, racism and the England squad

"Just be yourself, it doesn't matter if your Asian or black, white, we're all the same, we all have a heart, we all have blood in our veins and that's it."

That was the advice for young footballers from England player Kyle Walker as he spoke about the issue of racism in the game and elsewhere.

The 28-year-old, who plays right back for Manchester City, was speaking ahead of the international break in which England play Czech Republic and Montenegro.

He discussed everything from pitch invaders to social media to the England squad.

  • The rise in pitch invasions

There has been a recent spike in pitch invasions recently which has caused many to call for a fresh look at the way players are protected.

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish and Manchester United's Chris Smalling were both assaulted by fans on the pitch during matches in the Championship and Premier League respectively.

On the Grealish incident Walker he told ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott: "It's scary, that man could have had anything on him, whether it be a knife or anything.

Jack Grealish was assaulted by a fan on the pitch who was eventually jailed. Credit: Sky Sports/PA

"Hat's off to Jack at how he dealt with it, he got back up and he let his football do the talking."

Walker says football is an entertainment sport and anyone running on the pitch is spoiling it for all the other fans.

He added how the decision taken by fans to run on a pitch is "selfish".

He said: "We all have families as I do, that I want to go back to and if you're trying to hurt me for some unknown reason, just because I play for a certain club or anything like that I think it's a little bit selfish."

  • A change in the England squad dynamic

Walker says there has been a big shift in the dynamic at Three Lions camps since he joined the set up as a 20-year-old eight years ago.

He says big names in the changing room, such as "Lampard, Gerard, Ashley Cole, Terry, Rio Ferdinand", made the experience for him daunting.

He said: "They tried to welcome me as best they could but when they've got other things to think about, I'm not sure they want to think about a 20-year-old."

With Gareth Southgate at the helm and a whole new line up, Walker says this is no longer the case for young players being called up.

Walker says new England players Callum Hudson-Odoi (left) and Declan Rice (right) will fit into the squad. Credit: PA

"Now there's a lot more of my age group and we're all into similar sort of things, whether it's Playstation or playing Fifa, we all mingle with each other," he said.

He says Declan Rice and Callum Hudson-Odoi, both new additions to the England squad, won't have the same problem when they make their debuts.

"I feel now they can come straight into camp and feel like they can sit down with anyone at the dinner table or go into anyone's room and play Playstation."

  • The rise of racism in football and elsewhere

Despite being one of England's most well known black footballers, Walker has never been directly subjected to racism but says it is "everywhere".

"I think it's just the world that we live in," he said, adding: "You can pin up banners, you can put t-shirts on keep racism out of football but it's not just in football.

"It's everywhere in the world that this happens."

He referred to people who stand up to racism, such as his England colleague Raheem Sterling, who has "come out and said it does need to stop" but says he doesn't know "if it's ever going to".

Raheem Sterling highlighted negative press coverage of black footballers. Credit: Instagram

Giving advice to young aspiring footballers who might be discriminated against, Walker said "just be yourself".

"It doesn't matter if your Asian or black, white, we're all the same, we all have a heart, we all have blood in our veins and that's it.

"It doesn't matter about the skin colour or anything, as long as you're a respectable person, you deal with your issues as you want to deal with them without offending others then that's fine with me."