Leeds United academy graduate Danny Rose has revealed Thorp Arch was a "great place to grow up" ahead of Thursday's World Cup warm-up fixture against Costa Rica at Elland Road and opened up about his recent battle with depression.
The 27-year-old returns to Leeds on Thursday evening as England take on Los Ticos (8pm) in the final friendly of their warm-up fixtures ahead of this summer's quadrennial tournament in Russia which kicks off on June 15.
Rose, who is originally from Doncaster, joined the Whites as a schoolboy but left the club for Tottenham Hotspur in a deal worth £1m without making a senior appearance following United's relegation to League One in 2007, Thorp Arch though holds a special place in his heart despite leaving the club at the tender age of 16.
Having learned his trade in the youth ranks Rose is looking forward to his return to West Yorkshire as he fights for his Three Lions spot under the stewardship of boss Gareth Southgate and revealed he still reminisces about his time at United with fellow national team squad member and ex-Leeds midfielder Fabian Delph.
“It was a great place to grow up and I really enjoyed it,” Rose told the FA's website.
“As far as academies go, I started pretty late really. I grew up in Doncaster and I first came to Leeds when I was 11 or 12 and I was here for four or five years. Growing up in the north, at that time, Leeds United were probably the best academy along with Manchester United, without a doubt.
“I used to get called up to train with the first team quite a bit towards the end of my time there, but I used to ask if I could stay with the youth team because I enjoyed playing with the academy so much.
“Whenever I meet up with Fabian Delph, we always talk about those days and how good they were.”
Rose though has made headlines for another reason in the build-up to the Elland Road fixture having opened up on his recent battle with depression which has earned praise from fans and media alike.
"It's no secret that I've been through a testing time at Tottenham this season," he added during his pre-World Cup media duties to several national papers.
"It led to me seeing a psychologist and I was diagnosed with depression, which nobody knows about. I haven't told my mum or my dad, and they are probably going to be really angry reading this, but I've kept it to myself until now.
"My uncle killed himself in the middle of my rehab, and that triggered the depression as well.
"Off the field there have been other incidents: back home in August my mum was racially abused in Doncaster. She was very angry and upset about it, and then someone came to the house and nearly shot my brother in the face - a gun was fired at my house.
"England has been my salvation and I can't thank the manager and the medical staff enough. It was really hard, and being referred to a doctor and psychologist by the Spurs club doctor helped me massively to cope."
South Yorkshire born Rose believes his injury at Spurs earlier this campaign was the trigger point for his struggles off the field and added that his desperation reached breaking point as he resorted to a number of painkillers and injections in a bid to get fit.
"I was getting very angry, very easily," Rose revealed. "I didn't want to go into football, I didn't want to do my rehab.
"It all stemmed from my injury when I was advised I didn't need an operation. I don't know how many tablets I took to try and get fit for Tottenham, how many injections I took trying to get fit for Tottenham. I had cortisone and platelet-rich plasma injections trying to be fit for my club.
"I had to have an operation four months down the line - after all that football I missed, when the team was flying and I was playing really well, the team were playing really well.
"I'm not saying I've had worse treatment than anybody else, but it was difficult and that was the start of it."