7 footballers from our area who have played for England
- Credit: PA
As Gareth Southgate's England squad continue their quest to bring football home when they face Germany in their last-16 Euro 2020 tie on Tuesday, we look at seven footballers from our area who have pulled on the Three Lions shirt.
1. Jack Wilshere – Hitchin
Touted as a future Three Lions captain when he broke into the Arsenal and England team as a teenager, Wilshere was born in Stevenage and grew up in Hitchin.
The midfielder has earned 34 caps for country, with two of those games coming at the 2014 FIFA World Cup when Roy Hodgson’s side failed to qualify for the knockout round.
Wilshere’s England highlights include a man-of-the-match display in a 2-1 win over Brazil and scoring twice in a crucial 3-2 win over Slovenia to help his country qualify for Euro 2016.
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Injuries have stopped the 29-year-old fulfilling his undoubted potential, and he is unlikely to pull on the Three Lions shirt again having been released by Championship side Bournemouth earlier this year.
2. Adam Lallana – St Albans
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Born in St Albans before moving to the south coast aged five, the midfielder enjoyed a fruitful England career that saw him become a key player under a number of managers.
Following his Three Lions debut back in 2013, Lallana has gone on to earn 34 caps and score three goals for his country – including key strikes in qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup that would earn him the 2016 England Player of the Year Award.
He would be named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for that tournament as England reached the semi-finals, having also been part of the squad for the previous World Cup in 2014.
The former Southampton and Liverpool star is now at Brighton, but aged 33 and in the twilight of his career, it appears his international career is over.
3. Rodney Marsh – Hatfield
Despite being regarded as one of the finest attacking players of his generation, Hatfield-born Marsh saw his England career fail to hit the heights of his success at club level.
Between 1966 and 1972, the forward scored 106 goals in 211 games for Queens Park Rangers, but a testing relationship with England’s World Cup winning manager Sir Alf Ramsey saw him earn just nine Three Lions caps between 1971 and 1973.
Ramsey’s preference for hard working players who fitted into his system saw maverick players such as Marsh, Stan Bowles and Charlie George often left out his squads despite their form in the domestic game.
Recalling an incident between himself and the manager, Marsh said: “He said, 'Rodney you in particular. If you don't work hard, I'm going to pull you off at half time'.”
4. Ashley Young – Stevenage
A key player for Gareth Southgate’s side as they reached the last-four of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Young was born in Stevenage and attended John Henry Newman school.
Earning 39 caps and scoring seven goals for the Three Lions, the winger saw his international career hit its peak during the tournament in Russia, despite being deployed out of position at left-back.
Playing five games, his pace and crossing ability proved an important weapon as he set up Harry Maguire’s header against Sweden in the 2-0 quarter-final victory.
Before that, the 35-year-old had endured a sporadic international career having been part of the squad for Euro 2012, but failing to earn a call-up between 2013 and 2017.
His time with England now looks to have come to a close having not been selected since 2018.
5. David James – Welwyn Garden City
The most capped player on this list and a FIFA World Cup record holder, James was born in Welwyn Garden City and started his professional career at Hertfordshire side Watford.
Making his England debut under boss Glenn Hoddle back in 1997, the goalkeeper would play 53 times for his country, including appearances at Euro 2004, but he would have to wait until 2010 to play at a World Cup.
James was selected but not used for the 2002 and 2006 tournaments, but having become a favourite of manager Fabio Capello he would play three games in South Africa 2010, taking the place of Rob Green following his costly error in the draw with the United States.
In doing so, he became the oldest World Cup debutant aged 39 years and 321 days old, with his final Three Lions cap coming the 4-1 last-16 defeat to Germany.
6. Kevin Phillips – Hitchin
A prolific scorer with Watford, Sunderland and Southampton, the Hitchin-born former Baldock Town striker was unable to replicate his success at club level on the international stage, earning eights caps and failing to score.
His first appearance came under Kevin Keegan when he started a friendly against Hungary in 1999, with his last coming in 2002 as a half-time substitute in a friendly against the Netherlands.
Phillips was part of the Three Lions squad for Euro 2000, but did not play as the team went out in the group stages.
7. Harry Hibbs – Welwyn Garden City
The second goalkeeper on our list, Hibbs played 25 games for England between 1929 and 1936, providing the selectors with a solution to a position that had become a problem for the team.
Following the retirement of former Three Lions number one, Sam Hardy, 21 different goalkeepers had been selected for the squad between 1920 and 1929, with little success.
Hibbs, however, proved to be a reliable if unspectacular presence between the sticks following his debut in a 6-0 win over Wales at Stamford Bridge.
Following his retirement from football in 1939, he settled in Welwyn Garden City – going on to manage the town’s club for a year – where he passed away aged 77 in 1984.