England international Jack Butland decided to sign for Barnsley after a phonecall with former Reds goalkeeper and current national team coach Dave Watson on Thursday morning.
Royston man Watson later spoke to the Chronicle and said that Butland's 93-day loan deal from Stoke City – arranged after Luke Steele picked up a back injury in training on Tuesday – would be 'good for all parties.'
"Jack rang me and I told him it would be tough following in the footsteps of one the greatest goalkeepers of all time in myself," joked Watson, who played 206 games for his hometown club before his career was ended by injury.
"I know what a great club Barnsley is and I told him that. It is ironic that he is one of the 'keepers I work with for England and now he will be playing for my hometown club."
Watson says he will come to Oakwell and watch Butland, 20, when his club Norwich City are not playing. He believes the Bristol-born stopper is going to be one of England's best ever.
"He is a fantastic lad and a great prospect but he needs to be playing games and Barnsley is a good move for him. He has got an unbelievable talent and temperament and he could be one of the great goalkeepers. It would be great if Barnsley proved to be a massive part of his development.
"He will give his all to get Barnsley out of the situation they are in now. It might take him one or two games to get to his best but, when he does, the Barnsley fans will love him because they love players who give everything and that is exactly what Jack does.
"He won't see it as a short-term fix to get him in the Stoke team. "He will totally focus on Barnsley for the time that he is there."
Butland was Great Britain's goalkeeper in the London Olympics and became England's youngest ever stopper when he made his debut against Italy last year. This means he is the first former England player to join Barnsley since Keith Curle.
Butland was a highly-rated prospect in the Birmingham City academy and has played for every England age group from under 16s to senior level. He spent most of the 2011-12 season on loan at Cheltenham Town. He broke into the Blues side last season and played every league match despite moving to Stoke for a reported £3.3million in January and being loaned straight back to St Andrews.
He has not been able to oust Asmir Begovic as Stoke's number one and manager Mark Hughes elected to field veteran Thomas Sorensen for the League Cup win at Tranmere Rovers on Wednesday night, with Butland on the bench.