On Wednesday, Steven Gerrard captained England in their friendly against Sweden. In doing so, he became the 6th member of an exclusive club – players who have won 100 caps for England.
Gerrard made his debut at Wembley against Ukraine in May 2000. This was the final home game before the team headed off for the European Championships in Belgium & Netherlands. England had arranged two back-to-back friendlies at Wembley, against Brazil and Ukraine. Gerrard’s performance against Ukraine was enough to see him make the trip to the Euros where he just made one appearance, as a substitute against Germany for Michael Owen.
Here is a breakdown of the other members of the club
Peter Shilton – 125 caps
Debut : v East Germany, Wembley, Friendly, 25th November 1970, 3-1
Tournaments : (5) - 1980 European Championships, 1982 World Cup, 1986 World Cup, 1988 European Championships, 1990 World Cup
100th Cap : v Netherlands, Dusseldorf, European Championships, 15th June 1988, 1-3
Last Cap : v Italy, Bari, World Cup Third Place Play-off, 7th July 1990, 1-2
Time to 100 caps : 19 years, 224 days
Shilton made his debut as a 21 year old in England’s first international since going out of the 1970 World Cup to West Germany. During that game Chelsea goalkeeper, Peter Bonetti, was drafted in at the last moment to replace Gordon Banks who was ill. England lost 2-3, having been 2-0 up and seemingly in control. Bonetti received much criticism for that performance and so it was obvious that Alf Ramsey would want to try out alternatives. It was the first time East Germany had played at Wembley and they were 2-0 down in the opening 20 minutes. But then Eberhard Vogel scored to become the first player to beat Shilton in an England shirt. In the same team that night were four members of England’s World Cup winning side of 1966, Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, Geoff Hurst and Alan Ball.
His 100th appearance was one to forget. At the European Championships in West Germany, England had been embarrassed by Republic of Ireland in their first match and were now up against one of the favourites, Netherlands. England lost all three matches during that tournament, although the Dutch game was probably their best performance of the three. Marco Van Basten scored a hat-trick that day.
Shilton’s final appearance for his country was in England’s final game of the 1990 World Cup when they played Italy to see who would finish third and fourth. England lost 1-2 to finish 4th, their best performance since they won the trophy in 1966.
Shilton could well have won more caps had he not had to compete against Ray Clemence for the England shirt during the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s.
David Beckham – 115 caps
Debut : v Moldova, Kishinev, World Cup Qualifying, 1st September 1996, 3-0
Tournaments : (5) - 1998 World Cup, 2000 European Championships, 2002 World Cup, 2004 European Championships, 2006 World Cup
100th Cap : v France, Paris, Friendly, 26th March 2008, 0-1
Last Cap : v Belarus, Wembley, World Cup Qualifier, 14th October 2009, 3-0
Time to 100 caps : 13 years, 43 days
David Beckham made his debut for England in Glen Hoddle’s first international as England manager. He replaced Terry Venables after England’s impressive performance in Euro ’96. Beckham had broken through to the Manchester United side in 1995. He was one of two players making their debuts that day, the other Andy Hinchcliffe of Everton.
He scored his first goal for England with a free-kick against Colombia during France ’98 World Cup. The next match, against Argentina, would make him famous (or infamous).
When England crashed out on penalties to Portugal in the European Championships in 2006, it looked as if Beckham had made his last appearance in an England shirt. Steve McLaren had continually overlooked him when he was in charge, but new manager Fabio Capello brought the influential Beckham back. He made his 100th appearance in a friendly in March 2008 in the Stade de France in Paris, when he was an LA Galaxy player. England lost 0-1 in a game which was seen as Capello’s first real test as England manager
Beckham’s last outing for his country was when he came on as a sub in a World Cup qualifier against Belarus in 2009. Beckham was used increasingly as a sub by Capello as 10 of his last 12 caps were earned when coming off the bench. There was much speculation as to whether Capello would take Beckham to South Africa for the Finals, but it never materialised.
Bobby Moore – 108 caps
Debut : v Peru, Lima, Friendly, 20th May 1962, Friendly 4-0
Tournaments : (4) - 1962 World Cup, 1966 World Cup, 1968 European Championships, 1970 World Cup
100th Cap : v Scotland, Hampden Park, Friendly, 14th February 1973, 5-0
Last Cap : v Italy, Wembley, Friendly, 14th November 1973, 0-1
Time to 100 caps : 11 years, 178 days
One of the most famous players to wear the England shirt and still the only England captain to lift a major international trophy. He made his debut at the age of 21, in a friendly against Peru in 1962 in a game used as build-up for the 1962 World Cup in Chile. Moore had been chosen in the squad for the finals, despite not having played for his country. But he went onto play in every match of that tournament as England reached the Quarter-Finals. Four years later he was captain as England hosted and won the 1966 tournament.
His 100th cap was in a friendly against Scotland arranged to mark the centenary of the SFA. On a snow-covered pitch, England ran riot with goals from Allan Clarke (2), Martin Chivers, Mick Channon and an own goal from Peter Lorimer.
His final game was a friendly at Wembley against Italy when a much changed side lost 0-1. The scorer that day was one Fabio Capello.
During his 108 appearances for England only lost 18 matches. He captained England in 90 of those matches.
Bobby Charlton – 106 caps
Debut : v Scotland, Hampden Park, Home International Championships, 19th April 1958, 4-0
Tournaments : (4) – 1962 World Cup, 1966 World Cup, 1968 European Championships, 1970 World Cup
100th Cap : v Northern Ireland, Wembley, Home International Championships, 21st April 1970, 3-1
Last Cap : v West Germany, Guadalajara, World Cup Quarter-Final, 14th June 1970, 2-3
Time to 100 caps : 12 years, 56 days
Charlton was selected for England for the first time in April 1958, just over two months after he had survived the horrific Munich air disaster. He scored as well as England beat Scotland, 4-0. Alongside him that day were two of England’s greats, Billy Wright and Tom Finney. Lining up against him was future Manchester United manager, Tommy Docherty.
His 100th cap was earned against Northern Ireland again in the Home International Championship. He scored in this one too, as did Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst. The Irish goal was scored by Charlton’s United team mate, George Best.
Two months later Charlton was seen in an England shirt for the last time in the World Cup Quarter-Final in Mexico 1970. That game was infamous for England being 2-0 up early in the second half and manager, Alf Ramsey, substituted Charlton who was finding the heat difficult to cope with. This released Beckenbauer from his marking duties and he was able to influence West Germany to go on and win the game. It was a sad way for a loyal servant to end his career, but his goal scoring record, 49, still stands.
Billy Wright – 105 caps
Debut : v Northern Ireland, Windsor Park, Home International Championships, 28th September 1946, 7-2
Tournaments : (3) – 1950 World Cup, 1954 World Cup, 1958 World Cup
100th Cap : v Scotland, Wembley, Home International Championships, 11th April 1959, 1-0
Last Cap : v USA, Wrigley Stadium, Friendly, 28th May 1959, 8-1
Time to 100 caps : 12 years, 242 days
Billy Wright holds the record jointly with Bobby Moore for captaining his country on 90 occasions. He made his debut in England’s first post-war international when they met Northern Ireland in Belfast in the Home International Championships. England won 7-2 with Middlesbrough’s Wilf Mannion scoring a hat-trick.
His 100th cap was earned in the same competition against Scotland at Wembley in 1959. He was the first player to reach 100 caps for England and the game was won thanks to a goal from future 100 club member, Bobby Charlton. At the end of the game Wright was given a standing ovation and carried off the pitch by his team-mates.
His final match was a friendly in Chicago against USA. Wright had played in the side who were humbled in one of England’s worst ever defeats when USA beat them 1-0 in the 1950 World Cup. England won this match, 8-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Bobby Charlton and a double from Ron Flowers. Wright had also played in England’s 6-3 beating of the same opponents, six years previously, but neither result could completely dispel the memory of that day in Belo Horizonte.
Steven Gerrard – 100 caps
Debut : v Ukraine, Wembley, Friendly, 31st May 2000 2-0
Tournaments : (5) – 2000 European Championships, 2004 European Championships, 2006 World Cup, 2010 World Cup, 2012 European Championships
100th Cap : v Sweden, Stockholm, Friendly, 14th November 2012,
Time to 100 caps : 12 years, 140 days
If Ashley Cole is picked for England’s game in San Marino next March, he will also join the 100 club. Whether Frank Lampard receives the 7 more caps he needs to join them too, remains to be seen, but 6 members, and possibly a 7th, is a long way behind USA who has 11 players with more than 100 caps. Cobi Jones (164) and Landon Donovan (144).are the most capped