What Happened Next?

What Happened Next? England’s Boys of ’66

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This week marks the 50th anniversary of England winning the World Cup in 1966. The winning line-up is well remembered, but what of their international careers after July 30, 1966? Today we recall what subsequently happened when they represented their country.

George Cohen

England’s right back George Cohen initially remained a regular after the 1966 triumph and played seven more times until November 1967, when he featured in a 2-0 home win over Northern Ireland. Sadly that was to mark the end of the Fulham player’s international career after 37 caps, as Cyril Knowles and Keith Newton were selected in the matches that followed. It meant Cohen was the first member of the World Cup winning XI to leave the international scene, but he would also be the first to retire from playing when injury problems meant he had to hang up his boots a few months before his 30th birthday in 1969. Such disappointments were later put into perspective when he successfully fought cancer.

Ray Wilson

Cohen’s fellow full back Ray Wilson would remain a regular for two years after the World Cup triumph. He won 12 more caps, taking his tally to 63. Wilson played in both the semi-final and third-place match at the 1968 European Championship, but the latter game against the Soviet Union would be his last for England. His career at the top was coming to an end and he would soon leave Everton for Oldham Athletic.

England’s World Cup winning XI would all play in the next three matches before the side gradually began to change.

Roger Hunt

When England faced Scotland in April 1967 in their fourth match after winning the World Cup, Roger Hunt was the first member of the celebrated XI to miss a game as he was replaced by Jimmy Greaves. But Hunt remained in demand for his country and had scored their first goal after the World Cup when he netted against Northern Ireland in October 1966. His last goal for England came against Sweden in May 1968, going on to play at Euro ’68. But after that he only appeared in two friendlies against Romania during the 1968-69 season, the 1-1 draw at Wembley in January 1969 marking his 34th and last cap – 15 of them collected after the 1966 World Cup. Later in 1969 he left Liverpool for Second Division Bolton Wanderers, as his career at the top level ended.

Nobby Stiles

England manager Alf Ramsey stood by Nobby Stiles after the player was condemned for a bad challenge on France’s Jacues Simon during the 1966 World Cup. But the midfielder would soon lose his place in the side. He played the first four matches after the World Cup, but would then be absent for more than a year before being recalled for the third-place play off at Euro ’68 against the Soviet Union when Alan Mullery was suspended. By then Stiles had won the European Cup with Manchester United but his days as an international regular were over. He won just three more caps, the last of them against Scotland in April 1970. Stiles was part of England’s 1970 World Cup squad in Mexico but he did not feature in any of the matches, as his international career ended with 28 caps – the lowest tally of the 1966 winning XI. In 1971 he was allowed to leave Manchester United for Second Division Middlesbrough.

Jack Charlton

Like Stiles, England defender Jack Charlton would be part of the 1970 World Cup squad but was no longer a first choice player. Despite scoring twice in the first four matches after the 1966 World Cup, Charlton’s involvement became more sporadic and he did not play for England in the Euro ’68 finals in Italy. He returned to score against Romania in January 1969 and five more caps followed before the 1970 World Cup. He was left watching on for most of the tournament but was picked to start England’s 1-0 group stage win over Czechoslovakia. He was never picked again, with his England career having yielded 35 caps – 13 of them earned after the 1966 World Cup. Charlton continued to play for Leeds United until he retired in 1973.

Bobby Charlton

Jack Charlton was joined by his brother Bobby in leaving the England scene after the 1970 World Cup, as manager Ramsey began planning without his oldest players. The Manchester United star remained a key member of the side between 1966 and 1970, scoring a vital late winner against Spain in the first leg of the Euro ’68 quarter-final and then netting again in the third-place match against the USSR. By then he had won the European Cup with United and he had further cause to feel proud when he occasionally deputised for Bobby Moore as England captain. In April 1970 Charlton became only the second man to earn 100 caps for England, marking the occasion with a goal against Northern Ireland. The following month he scored his 49th and final goal for his country against Colombia.

Bobby Charlton’s England career ends in sad circumstances in 1970.

Aged 32, Charlton started all four matches for England at the World Cup in Mexico. But with England leading West Germany in the quarter-final, Charlton was substituted with one eye on conserving his energy for the next round. But they would not get there, England infamously losing 3-2 as Charlton’s international career ended in painful style with Ramsey being criticised for the substitution. Charlton bowed out with 106 caps and 49 goals – both England records at the time. He remained at Manchester United until retiring in 1973, although he would later resume playing duties while manager of Preston North End.

Geoff Hurst

England’s hat-trick hero in the 1966 World Cup final was one of five members of the side still involved after the 1970 World Cup. Still a relative newcomer even after the 1966 final, Hurst now properly established himself as a first choice forward and he would find the net during Euro ’68 against USSR. Other highlights included a hat-trick in a 5-0 friendly win over France in 1969 and scoring twice in a 4-1 victory over Scotland a few weeks later. Hurst scored the only goal as England beat Romania in their first match at the 1970 World Cup, but he would not net again during the tournament.

Geoff Hurst playing for England against Greece in 1971.

Hurst played a further right times for his country, helping them reach the quarter-finals of Euro ’72. During the first-leg defeat against West Germany at Wembley, Hurst was substituted and it would prove the end of his England career after 49 caps and 24 goals. Hurst’s first cap and finest hour had both come against West Germany and sadly his international finale was an anti-climax against the same opponents. The same year saw his long association with West Ham United end, as he moved to Stoke City.

Gordon Banks

Legendary goalkeeper Gordon Banks was firmly established as England’s number one by 1966, with this status remaining pretty much unchallenged over the next six years despite being sold by Leicester City to Stoke City following Peter Shilton’s emergence. Banks played in the semi-final and third-place match at Euro ’68 and remained the regular goalkeeper going into the 1970 World Cup. That tournament would be remembered for his unforgettable save against Brazil but also for missing the quarter-final defeat by West Germany due to illness. “Of all the players to lose it had to be him,” rued manager Ramsey.

Banks helped England reach the Euro ’72 quarter-finals, playing in both legs as they lost to West Germany. Shortly after that Banks kept goal in Home Internationals matches against Wales and Scotland, but sat out a friendly against Yugoslavia in October 1972 as Shilton kept goal. Just days later Banks was involved in a car crash that cost him his sight in one eye and ended his professional career.  He had earned 73 caps since making his England debut in 1963 and his class and experience was missed by England during their ill-fated qualifying campaign for the 1974 World Cup.

Bobby Moore

England’s captain in 1966, Bobby Moore, would unsurprisingly remain almost an ever-present in the ensuing years. He helped England reach the semi-finals of the 1968 European Championship and two years later he was seen as pivotal to their hopes of retaining the World Cup. Moore was infamously accused of stealing a bracelet when in Colombia prior to the tournament and was arrested, but he showed great character upon his release to get on with the job in hand with England. He captained the side in all four matches in Mexico, making one of the most celebrated tackles in history during the iconic game against Brazil.

Moore continued to lead the side as they reached the quarter-finals of Euro ’72, although he would lose possession in the build-up to the first goal West Germany scored as they beat England 3-1 at Wembley. However, Moore was still captain of the side going into qualifying for the 1974 World Cup and in February 1973 he won his 100th cap in a 5-0 friendly win over Scotland. But in a qualifier away to Poland in June he would take the blame for the second goal England conceded as they suffered a costly 2-0 defeat.

Bobby Moore prepares to win his final England cap.

Moore became England’s most capped player by appearing in friendlies against the USSR and Italy a few days later, but he was left on the bench for the vital return match against Poland in October as England failed to make it to the World Cup. Moore returned to captain the side in a friendly against Italy the following month (Ramsey’s final home match as manager), but it was his last act. After 108 caps, his England career was over and he would soon leave West Ham United and drop into the Second Division with Fulham.

Martin Peters

As well as being one of the two men to score for England in the 1966 World Cup final, Martin Peters was one of just two players from the final to represent them after Ramsey left in 1974. When England won the World Cup Peters had only eight caps and two goals to his name. He went on to earn a further 59 caps and net 18 more goals, remaining a regular for eight years. He scored against Scotland in February 1968 as England earned the draw they needed to reach the European Championship quarter-finals, where he netted again in the win away to Spain. Peters would start all four matches for England at the 1970 World Cup, scoring against West Germany as he became the only player to net for the Three Lions against the same opponents at successive World Cups. But he was substituted in the closing stages and, like Bobby Charlton, watched on as the Germans came back to win and send England home.

Despair for captain Martin Peters against Poland in 1973.

Peters remained a key part of the England side under Ramsey, but he had to settle for coming off the bench when they drew away to West Germany and went out of Euro ’72 in the quarter-finals. Peters captained the side in a 7-0 win over Austria in September 1973 and did so again the following month for the do-or-die World Cup qualifier against Poland. He was the only player on the pitch who had featured in the 1966 World Cup final and it was to be a heartbreaking night as England failed to qualify after drawing 1-1. The clock was ticking on Peters’ England career. He appeared in Ramsey’s final two matches against Italy and Portugal, before being selected by caretaker manager Joe Mercer for the Home International defeat away to Scotland in May 1974. It was the only time Peters played under Mercer and permanent successor Don Revie would never select him. Peters continued to play top-flight football with Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City until 1980.

Alan Ball

As the youngest member of England’s World Cup winning side it was perhaps appropriate that Alan Ball should be the last one still representing his country. Ball remained a regular under Ramsey, helping England reach the semi-finals of Euro ’68 and featuring in all four games for them during the 1970 World Cup. Ball was again in the side for both legs of the Euro ’72 quarter-finals against West Germany and went into the qualifying campaign for the 1974 World Cup as one of just three players left from the 1966 final.

Ball played in the win and draw against Wales but the defeat away to Poland would mark a real low point. Ball became the second England player to be sent off when he lashed out as tempers flared in the 2-0 defeat. He would not play for his country again until he came on as a substitute against Portugal in Ramsey’s last match as manager in April 1974. Ball made no appearances under caretaker manager Joe Mercer but new boss Don Revie handed Ball the captaincy against West Germany in March 1975. He would captain the side on six occasions before controversially being left out by Revie as England visited Switzerland in September 1975. It marked a sad end to Ball’s 10-year England career, as he finished with 72 caps. He continued to play professional football until 1983 but his England days were long over. 

There were no longer any players from the 1966 final still appearing for their country after 1975, but as we shall see it wasn’t quite the end of the story for the Boys of ’66 and the England team.

And the rest…

Of the 11 England squad members who did not play in the final, there would be no further caps for Jimmy Armfield, Gerry Byrne, John Connelly, George Eastham, Ron Flowers, Terry Paine and Ron Springett. Jimmy Greaves played three more times for England after the disappointment of missing the 1966 final, all in 1967 with the last being a friendly win over Austria. Six of Peter Bonetti’s seven England caps were won after 1966, as he occasionally deputised for regular goalkeeper Banks. The most memorable was in the 1970 World Cup quarter-final against West Germany, where he was criticised for his display in a 3-2 defeat and never capped again.

Norman Hunter looks dejected after England fail to qualify for the 1974 World Cup.

Norman Hunter was the only non-playing squad member to properly establish himself later on, all bar four of his 28 caps being won after 1966. He would play in the Euro ’68 finals, come off the bench against West Germany in the 1970 World Cup and play in both legs of the Euro ’72 quarter-final against the same opponents. His last cap came in October 1974 against Czechoslovakia, a year after his costly mistake against Poland in the decisive World Cup qualifier.

But perhaps the most intriguing case concerned Ian Callaghan, the Liverpool winger whose England career looked over after winning his second cap against France during the 1966 World Cup. After a staggering 11-year wait he was recalled at the age of 35 for matches against Switzerland and Luxembourg in 1977, meaning he was the last member of the 1966 squad to appear for his country.

What Happened Next? England’s Boys of ’96

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This week marks the 20th anniversary of England playing Germany in the Euro ’96 semi-final. Today we look back at the subsequent international careers of the side that played that night.

David Platt

Euro ’96 saw David Platt start just two matches, having previously been such a major source of goals for England during the 1990s and often worn the captain’s armband. When he scored in the shoot-out against Germany it would turn out to be his last touch in an England shirt, as he would not win any caps under Glenn Hoddle. Platt had scored 27 goals in 62 caps, twice playing in major semi-finals.

Paul Gascoigne

Like Platt, Paul Gascoigne played in both momentous semi-finals for England in the 1990s. His European Championship was mainly remembered for his great goal against Scotland and near-miss against Germany. Gascoigne had enjoyed regular action under Terry Venables but he would have a more complex relationship with successor Glenn Hoddle, who took over after Euro ’96. Gascoigne played regularly during qualifying for the 1998 World Cup but his international career would infamously end with his omission from the final squad amid fitness concerns – his final cap coming against Belgium in Morocco just days beforehand. He had won 57 caps in a 10-year England career.

Stuart Pearce

Euro ’96 saw Stuart Pearce make amends for missing against West Germany in 1990 by scoring against both Spain and Germany in penalty shoot-outs, his joyful reaction to scoring in the former particularly memorable. It seemed to mark the end of his England years, but there would be more caps earned. He played six times under Glenn Hoddle, but his England career again appeared to have ended with his 76th cap against Italy during Le Tournoi in 1997. But two years later he was recalled at the age of 37 to play in European Championship qualifiers against Luxembourg and Poland under Kevin Keegan. This really would mark the end of a lengthy service to England that began in 1987.

Paul Ince

Midfielder Paul Ince played in four of England’s matches during Euro ’96, only missing the Spain game due to suspension. He continued to play regularly for his country, deputising as captain on several occasions including for the momentous World Cup qualifier away to Italy in 1997 when he played on with his head bandaged up. He started all four games for England at the 1998 World Cup. Having surprisingly not taken one against Germany in 1996 he was second up in the shoot-out against Argentina but failed to score as England lost out. In the next match, a European Championship qualifier against Sweden, Ince became only the sixth England player to be sent off. He went on to win nine more caps over the next two years, finishing his England career by starting all three matches at Euro 2000. In total he won 53 caps.

Alan Shearer

After a barren spell for England, Alan Shearer regained his scoring touch at the right time and was top scorer during Euro ’96. Following the tournament Shearer was installed as captain by Glenn Hoddle, a role he retained for the next four years. He scored five times during England’s qualification campaign for the 1998 World Cup and in the finals netted against Tunisia and Argentina (penalty). Six goals were scored during qualifying for Euro 2000, but prior to the finals he announced he would retire from international football once they were over. He netted the winner against Germany but like Ince his final cap would come in the 3-2 defeat by Romania, a match when Shearer scored a penalty. He had scored 30 goals in 63 caps for his country.

Tony Adams

England’s captain during Euro ’96 was Tony Adams, who just weeks later would reveal his struggle with alcoholism. He remained in the England side for four more years, but would only occasionally wear the captain’s armband after losing the role to Alan Shearer. He played in all four England matches at France ’98 but only against Portugal at Euro 2000. He wore the captain’s armband for the two matches after Euro 2000 against France and Germany but was never capped again, as his international career that began in 1987 ended with 66 caps.

Steve McManaman

Winger Steve McManaman started all five England matches during Euro ’96, but his appearances would be more sporadic after Glenn Hoddle replaced Terry Venables. McManaman’s only involvement at the 1998 World Cup was a substitute appearance against Colombia, but he would find more favour with Hoddle’s successor Kevin Keegan. McManaman scored in England’s opening match of Euro 2000 against Portugal but he was injured and did not feature again in the tournament. He featured in eight more England matches without completing a full 90 minutes, the last cap coming against Greece in October 2001. In total he played 37 times for his country.

Darren Anderton

Euro ’96 saw Darren Anderton play in all five of England’s matches but he had to wait almost two years to win another cap, playing in a friendly before the 1998 World Cup against Saudi Arabia. During the finals he played in all four of England’s games, memorably scoring against Colombia. Continued struggles with injury unfortunately led to the ‘Sicknote’ tag spreading and his last five caps would come under five different managers (including caretakers) between 1998 and 2001. He played no part in Euro 2000 and his 30th and final cap was earned against Sweden in November 2001.

Teddy Sheringham

Striking up a successful partnership with Alan Shearer during the tournament was 30-year-old Teddy Sheringham, who had been a relative latecomer to the international scene but would serve his country for a further six years. He started England’s first two games at the 1998 World Cup under Glenn Hoddle but earned just one cap during Kevin Keegan’s time in charge as he missed Euro 2000. But his international career wasn’t over yet and he would go on to score as England drew 2-2 against Greece to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. During the finals he started four matches, his 51st and final cap coming as England lost to Brazil and went out of the tournament.

David Seaman

Goalkeeper David Seaman enjoyed a successful tournament, saving a penalty during England’s win over Scotland and then  helping win a shoot-out with Spain. Seaman remained first choice goalkeeper for six years, appearing in every match they played at the World Cups of 1998 and 2002 and two games at Euro 2000 – missing the decisive defeat by Romania due to injury. Seaman was left tearful after being deceived by Ronaldinho’s winner for Brazil at the 2002 World Cup but did not retire from international duty, taking goal for European Championship qualifiers in October 2002 against Slovakia and Macedonia when aged 39. He took the blame for another goal conceded in the latter and it marked a sad end to his England career, which had produced 75 caps over 14 years.

Gareth Southgate

Euro ’96 saw defender Gareth Southgate begin to establish himself at international level, although many would sadly remember his involvement in the tournament for missing in the shoot-out against Germany. He remained prominently involved under Glenn Hoddle, although his only matches at the 1998 World Cup were against Tunisia and Argentina – the latter as a substitute. During Euro 2000 he was restricted to just a substitute appearance against Romania, broke surprisingly being deployed as a holding midfielder during Kevin Keegan’s final match against Germany in October 2000. Southgate remained involved under Sven-Goran Eriksson without starting regularly, not getting any gametime at the 2002 World Cup. His 57th and last cap was won against Sweden in March 2004. 

And the rest…

Of the rest of England’s squad, Steve Howey and Steve Stone were never capped again. Tim Flowers earned three more caps during the next two years, the same year as Les Ferdinand last represented his country. Jamie Redknapp’s England career continued to be affected by injury and he last appeared in November 1999 at home to Scotland. Nick Barmby was part of the England side that beat Germany 5-1 in September 2001, but his last cap was won the following month against Greece.

Robbie Fowler’s England career perhaps never took off as he hoped, his only other involvement in a major tournament being a substitute appearance against Denmark at the 2002 World Cup which marked his final cap. Perhaps the strangest case in the England squad was Ian Walker, who won just two more caps in 1997 and 2004 – the latter coming just before he went to Euro 2004 as a reserve goalkeeper. However, far more prominently involved were the young defensive trio of Sol Campbell and brothers Gary and Phil Neville – each continued to represent England until 2007, Campbell being the last member of the 1996 squad to be capped when he turned out during the defeat by Croatia.


What Happened Next? England’s Boys of ’86

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This week 30 years ago England were beaten 2-1 by Argentina in an infamous match at the 1986 World Cup. Today we recall the subsequent international careers of the players who featured for England in the match at the Azteca Stadium…

Terry Fenwick

After Diego Maradona had punched in his ‘Hand of God’ goal to give Argentina the lead, one of the most vocal complainants was Terry Fenwick. His efforts to convince the referee of what he had seen fell on deaf ears and unfortunately for him there wouldn’t be much of an international future either. He had to wait until February 1988 to win another England cap, when he played in a 0-0 draw in Israel. Sadly for him that would be the end of his England career after 20 caps, with any hopes of further caps effectively ended the following year when he spoke out about the set-up under Bobby Robson – something the England manager took him to task over in the 1990 edition of his autobiography.

Peter Reid

A latecomer to the international scene, Peter Reid celebrated his 30th birthday during the 1986 World Cup just over a year after making his England debut. The absence of more established midfielders gave Reid his chance in three games at Mexico ’86 and he performed well, although the lasting memory for some would be of him struggling to get near Diego Maradona ahead of the second goal! Injuries restricted his involvement in the 1986-87 title success for Everton and he had to wait until May 1987 against Brazil for his next England cap. He won three more after that, the last coming against Switzerland in May 1988 as he just missed out on a place in the Euro ’88 squad.

Glenn Hoddle
The stylish midfielder divided opinion between those who considered him England’s main asset and others who found him a luxury who they felt wouldn’t do the dirty work. Bobby Robson seemed to lie somewhere in between, starting him in all five matches during Mexico ’86 but in the period that followed seeming more reluctant to choose him. He won a further 15 caps, but six would come as a substitute. England’s defeat by the USSR at Euro ’88 saw Hoddle at fault for the opening goal and he would never be picked again – his total of 53 caps considered by the Hoddle fan club to be a poor return for a player of his abilities. He would later become England’s manager, again experiencing the pain of losing to Argentina at a World Cup in 1998.

Kenny Sansom

England’s left back slot had been dominated for several years by Kenny Sansom and he would remain first choice for the next two years and win a further 16 caps, despite growing competition from Stuart Pearce. During Euro ’88 Sansom took the blame for the goal England conceded as they lost to the Republic of Ireland, although he featured in the subsequent two matches at the tournament. But like Hoddle he was never capped again after the USSR match. Sansom paid for losing his place in the Arsenal side as well as the emergence of both Pearce and Tony Dorigo, as he finished his England career with 86 caps.

Terry Butcher

England central defender Terry Butcher would be no friend of Maradona after the Hand of God, saying more than 20 years later he would never forgive him for it. Mexico ’86 was the middle of three World Cups he featured prominently in and he remained a regular for the next four years, captaining the side on several occasions. He was greatly missed at Euro ’88, when he was ruled out through injury. The lasting image of him in an England shirt was when he was absolutely covered in blood during the 0-0 draw away to Sweden in 1989. Italia ’90 marked a natural parting of the ways, starting five games as Bobby Robson stood by him despite his long-serving player having appeared to heatbutt an opponent during a friendly in Tunisia. His 77th and final cap was won in the semi-final against West Germany, when he was substituted.

Peter Shilton 

The absence of Bryan Robson and Ray Wilkins meant goalkeeper Peter Shilton captained England in their final three matches of the 1986 World Cup, a tournament he would mainly remember for being beaten by the Hand of God. Shilton remained first choice for the next four years, even though Bobby Robson did briefly consider replacing the veteran after Euro ’88. That tournament saw Shilton earn his 100th cap against the Netherlands at Euro ’88 and against the same opponents at Italia ’90 the 40-year-old surpassed Pat Jennings’ UK record of 119 caps. He finished with 125 caps, announcing his international retirement after the third place play-off against Italy – departing following the same game as manager Bobby Robson. Shilton remains England’s most capped player, although Wayne Rooney is closing in on the honour.

Steve Hodge

Midfielder Steve Hodge would be the man who ended up with Maradona’s shirt after the World Cup quarter-final. His appearance in the match marked a meteoric rise to prominence, having made his England debut just three months before. He played in seven matches in 1986-87 but then won just one more cap until November 1989. Hodge worked his way back into the reckoning and was a part of the Italia ’90 squad, although he would be the only outfield England player not to play in any matches. The appointment of Graham Taylor as manager in 1990 would not work out well for Hodge as he played just two matches under him, the last one being away to Turkey in May 1991 as his England career ended with 24 caps – 16 of them earned after the 1986 World Cup.

Chris Waddle

One of two wingers brought on by England as they sought to get back into the game against Argentina, Chris Waddle remained prominently involved during the rest of Bobby Robson’s years in charge. This would include being part of the squad during Euro ’88 and Italia ’90, the latter tournament proving bitter-sweet as he played in a World Cup semi-final but missed in the shoot-out defeat by West Germany. Waddle was one of several established England players to fall out of favour under Graham Taylor. He played in Taylor’s first two matches, but had to wait a year to earn another cap against Turkey in October 1991. Waddle was never capped again as he finished with 62 England appearances to his name.

Gary Stevens

Confusingly one of two players of the same name in England’s 1986 World Cup squad, ‘Everton’s Gary Stevens’ started all five games in the tournament. He had to wait until the following May to win his next cap but after that he was a regular for three years, starting all three games at Euro ’88. It was at Italia ’90 his England career began to fall apart, as he was dropped after the opening game against the Republic of Ireland and didn’t return until the third place match against Italy. The arrival of Graham Taylor as manager didn’t help matters, Stevens earning just five more caps as he fell further down the poking order. He looked set to play during Euro ’92 after injuries to his rivals for the right back slot, but was himself then injured in a warm-up match in Finland. It was his 46th and final cap.

Trevor Steven

Midfielder Trevor Steven was one of four Everton players to start the match against Argentina, as he earned his 14th cap. Over the next six years a further 22 would follow, playing two matches at Euro ’88 and three at Italia ’90 – including a semi-final appearance as a substitute in the latter. Steven would have spells out of the side but he was part of the Euro ’92 squad, playing in matches against Denmark and France. This marked the end of his England career after four major tournaments and 36 caps.

Gary Lineker 

A goal against Argentina led to Gary Lineker finishing top scorer at the 1986 World Cup, while so nearly getting another that could have forced extra-time. He remained a regular for England after moving to Barcelona that summer, scoring four times against Spain in February 1987. Lineker surprisingly failed to score during Euro ’88, but it soon came to light he was suffering from hepatitis. He would endure a barren 1988-89 season, having to wait until April for his next England cap. After this he got back into his stride and scored four times during Italia ’90, including an equaliser in the semi-final against West Germany. Lineker became England’s regular captain under Graham Taylor, netting a crucial equaliser against Poland to take England to Euro ’92. He went into the tournament looking set to become England’s record goalscorer, but he fell one goal short and was substituted in the final group stage defeat by Sweden. It was an anti-climatic end to an England career comprising of 80 caps and 48 goals.

John Barnes

During the 1986 World Cup John Barnes only played for 16 minutes, but in that limited time he made a significant impact as he set-up Gary Lineker to score and then so nearly equalise. It would be up there with his goal against Brazil in 1984 as his most celebrated moment in an England shirt, with critics believing he did not deliver like he did for his club. That view was strengthened at Euro ’88, when he lacked the sparkle shown for Liverpool during 1987-88. But Bobby Robson continued to regularly select him and Barnes started England’s first five matches at Italia ’90. The appointment of Graham Taylor as manager in 1990 meant they were reunited after their Watford days, with Barnes remaining a regular although he only played twice between May 1991 and February 1993 amid injury problems – missing Euro ’92 as a result. Barnes played six times under Taylor’s successor Terry Venables but he would be out of the picture come Euro ’96, with Barnes earning his 79th and last cap against Colombia in September 1995.

Peter Beardsley

Capped for the first time in January 1986, Peter Beardsley worked his way into the England starting line-up for Mexico ’86 and was the only player other than Gary Lineker to score for them at the finals. He stayed firmly in Bobby Robson’s plans, despite the manager occasionally preferring a bigger man to partner Lineker. He played in two games at Euro ’88 and five at Italia ’90, but he would be another player to then fall out of favour under Graham Taylor. He played four times for the new manager but was never picked again by him after May 1991. That appeared to be the end of the international road for Beardsley, but the appointment of Terry Venables in January 1994 would herald an Indian summer to his England career. He earned 10 more caps with the last coming against China in May 1996. Beardsley narrowly missed out on a place in the Euro ’96 squad a decade after Mexico, having won 50 of his 59 caps since then.

And the rest…

Of the nine members of England’s squad who didn’t play against Argentina, Gary Bailey and Gary Stevens (the Spurs version) were never capped again while Kerry Dixon, Alvin Martin and Ray Wilkins would make their last appearances before 1986 was out. Viv Anderson, who had missed out on playing any matches in the 1986 World Cup, regained his place and won nine more caps with the last coming in May 1988.

Bryan Robson, whose tournament was blighted by injury, remained captain but a similar fate would strike him at the 1990 World Cup. He won just three caps after that, the last in November 1991. Mark Hateley won 10 caps over the next two years, later making a one-off return in March 1992 against Czechoslovakia. Chris Woods remained a patient deputy to Peter Shilton for the next four years, finally becoming regular goalkeeper in 1990. A loss of form led to him never being picked again after a 2-0 defeat to USA in June 1993, his 43rd cap.

What Happened Next? The Boys of Italia ’90

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In the week of the 25th anniversary of THAT match against West Germany during Italia ’90, we look at the subsequent international careers of the players to feature that night (plus a brief rundown on the other members of the squad).


Terry Butcher

Of the 12 players used by England against West Germany, stalwart defender Terry Butcher was the only one who did not win another cap for his country. First capped a decade earlier, Butcher had gone on to make 77 appearances and feature prominently in three World Cup tournaments. The end of Italia ’90 marked a natural conclusion to his international career at the age of 31. Four months later he became player-manager of Coventry City.

Peter Shilton

It came as little surprise when goalkeeper Peter Shilton retired from international football at the end of the tournament after 20 years and a record 125 caps. His final match would be the third place play-off defeat to Italy in Bari three days after the West Germany clash, as he bowed out at the age of 40. That Italy match would also bring the curtain down on Bobby Robson’s memorable eight-year reign in charge of England. 

Reserve goalkeeper Dave Beasant was never capped again, while Steve Bull (two more caps) and Steve McMahon (one more cap) never played for their country after 1990 was out.

Chris Waddle

A regular under Bobby Robson, winger Chris Waddle would not enjoy the same prominence under Graham Taylor. The Marseilles player played in the first two matches of Taylor’s reign but he had to wait a year for his next cap – a Euro ’92 qualifier against Turkey in October 1991 which proved to be the end of his England years with a total of 62 caps.

That Turkey match also marked the end of the long England career of Bryan Robson after 90 caps – just three coming under Taylor. Earlier in 1991 Steve Hodge won his final two England caps as he bowed out with a total of 24 appearances to his name.

Trevor Steven

The only English player to come off the bench in the semi-final against West Germany, for several years Rangers midfielder Trevor Steven seemed to be a permanent fixture in the England squad without cementing a regular starting place. He would have to wait until February 1991 to earn a cap under Graham Taylor and won just seven more in total before his international career ended against France during Euro ’92, with 36 appearances to his name.

Gary Lineker


Gary Lineker’s England career ends in anti-climatic fashion in 1992.

The 1990 World Cup saw Gary Lineker score four times and he had further good news a few weeks later when he was named captain for Graham Taylor’s first match in charge against Hungary (Bryan Robson was injured and previous deputies Terry Butcher and Peter Shilton had retired from international football). Lineker scored the only goal and he would enjoy a good season in 1990-91 as he closed in on Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 England goals. His priceless equaliser away to Poland in November 1991 took England through to the Euro ’92 finals. That tournament would mark an anti-climatic end to Lineker’s international career (he had announced beforehand he would be quitting international football as he prepared to move to Japan), being unable to get the goal he needed to equal Charlton’s record and infamously being substituted in the decisive group defeat by Sweden. Lineker had played 22 times under Taylor, as he finished with a total of 80 caps.

The defeat to Sweden also marked the end of Neil Webb’s England career with 26 caps – just six of them being won under Graham Taylor. Previous regular Gary Stevens won a mere five England caps under Taylor, the last being against Finland shortly before Euro ’92.

Des Walker

One of England’s main success stories at Italia ’90 was Nottingham Forest defender Des Walker, who had broken into the side in the wake of the Euro ’88 debacle and become established in the centre of defence. He moved to Italy with Sampdoria in 1992 and remained a first-choice player under Graham Taylor. But in 1993 he was struck by a chronic loss of form that included him conceding a crucial late penalty equaliser against the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier. His last England match would also be Taylor’s last – away to San Marino in November 1993. He won 34 of his 59 England caps under Taylor.

Tony Dorigo won his 15th and last England cap in October 1993 against the Netherlands – he had played 11 times under Graham Taylor as he struggled to dislodge Stuart Pearce from the left-back spot. Goalkeeper Chris Woods won his last cap against the USA in June 1993 – he had won 27 of his 43 caps while Taylor was in charge as he initially became first-choice following Peter Shilton’s retirement.

Paul Parker

Another player to emerge with credit from Italia ’90 was QPR defender Paul Parker, who replaced previous regular Gary Stevens for the second match against the Dutch and remained in the side thereafter. Despite moving to Manchester United in 1991, Parker featured only sporadically under Graham Taylor – winning just seven caps under him. He started the first England match under Terry Venables against Denmark in March 1994 but was never picked again, finishing with 19 caps to his name.

John Barnes ended his long England career in September 1995 against Colombia – of his 79 caps, 21 were earned following the 1990 World Cup. 

Mark Wright

Derby County defender Mark Wright had forced his way back into the England squad in time for Italia ’90 and he enjoyed an excellent tournament. He stayed in the side as Graham Taylor took over and would deputise as captain against the USSR in 1991, but injury ruled him out of Euro ’92. After playing against Spain in September 1992, Wright – now of Liverpool – was left waiting until the spring of 1996 to get his next international cap under Terry Venables. He played in friendlies against Croatia and Hungary but missed out on being involved in Euro ’96 as he finished his England career with 45 caps and one goal.

Peter Beardsley

Popular Liverpool attacker Peter Beardsley would struggle to fit in under Graham Taylor, despite scoring a speculative effort in the 2-0 win over Poland in a Euro ’92 qualifier in October 1990. After featuring four times in 1990-91, Beardsley was stuck on 49 caps for almost three years until Terry Venables took over in 1994. Beardsley – now back at Newcastle – was recalled at the age of 33 and enjoyed an Indian Summer to his England career, winning 10 more caps. The last came away to China shortly before Euro ’96.

David Platt

Another player to come to the fore for England at Italia ’90, David Platt was to spend the next six years as a regular in the England midfield and often served their main source of goals. He won a further 51 caps and scored 24 more goals (leading to respective totals of 62 and 27). His ability was recognised with a move to Italy in 1991, enjoying spells with Bari, Juventus and Sampsoria.  He was the only England player to score at Euro ’92 and four years later he was part of the side that again suffered heartache against Germany in Euro ’96. But Platt would never win another cap after Glenn Hoddle replaced Terry Venables following the tournament. 

Paul Gascoigne

The tears shed by Paul Gascoigne during the semi-final against West Germany led to ‘Gazzamania’ taking hold across the nation in the months that followed. He would win Sports Personality of the Year for 1990, while in 1992 he completed a big-money move to Lazio after recovering from serious injury. He stayed part of the England set-up for eight years but injuries limited him to just 40 more caps. The only major tournament he would feature in after this was Euro ’96, scoring a never-to-be-forgotten goal against Scotland. With the 1998 World Cup beckoning he was sensationally dropped from the tournament squad from Glenn Hoddle and never picked again – meaning his last cap was against Belgium in Morocco in May 1998. He finished with 57 caps and 10 goals for his country.

Stuart Pearce


Stuart Pearce banishes the memory of his penalty miss during Italia ’90 by scoring against Spain in Euro ’96.

If England took to the field during the 1990s, there was a fair chance Stuart Pearce would be playing at left-back. Despite the blow of missing a penalty in the shoot-out loss to West Germany, Pearce had otherwise enjoyed a decent World Cup and the Nottingham Forest defender would later feature during Euro ’92 and Euro ’96 – the latter seeing him exorcise memories of the 1990 penalty miss by scoring in shoot-outs against Spain and Germany. Pearce appeared to have ended his England career in 1997 with 76 caps, but in September 1999 the 37-year-old played against Luxembourg and Poland shortly after joining West Ham United. That proved to be the end of an England career that had brought appearances under five different managers – Bobby Robson, Graham Taylor, Terry Venables, Glenn Hoddle and Kevin Keegan. Pearce himself would later enter management, including a spell as boss of England Under-21s and being in interim charge of the seniors for a friendly against the Dutch in 2012.

The first man to go home from the 1990 World Cup squad would ultimately be the last man standing for England in terms of their international career. David Seaman later became first-choice goalkeeper and won a total of 75 caps – all bar three coming after Italia ’90. His last cap was won as late as October 2002 against Macedonia.