Millwall star Aiden O’Brien revealed he snubbed the chance to play for England as a youngster.

Islington-born O’Brien received his first senior call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad for their crucial World Cup qualifiers.

Martin O’Neill’s men host Moldova on Friday before travelling to Cardiff for a potential Group D play-off decider three days later.

O’Brien, 23, was introduced to the international set-up after being recommended by Irish scout Mark O’Toole.

And he has represented the Republic at Under-17s, 19s and 21s level – and never thought of pledging his allegiance to the Three Lions.

O’Brien said: “It was Mark O’Toole, he’s the man who started me off so I’d give him huge love.

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“He said to [former Ireland U17 boss] Sean McCaffrey, ‘you’ve got to take this boy, he’s got an eye for goal’.

“I hit the ground running, scored lots of goals and that was it.

“I ended up being the number nine for the 17s, 19s, I don’t know what happened but I skipped the 18s, and then went to the 21s.”

O’Brien recalls the time he was approached by England.

He added: “I was like, ‘no, don’t be silly, green all the way.’”

O’Brien’s chances of playing some part in his country’s upcoming games have enhanced after injuries to strikers Kevin Doyle and Jon Walters.