In this set of Connections we discover which Tottenham men have led the national side and every aspect of their performances including uncovering more records held by Tottenham men.
We include the youngest and the oldest Tottenham players to feature for England. There are the debutants and the players with the shortest international careers.
We remember the old Under 23 internationals and discover the Tottenham links at manager and player level as well when the international side came to White Hart Lane.
We start with the Tottenham men who have captained the England side. Please note this figures are only for people who started the game as captain and doesn’t include those that took over during the game. The first Tottenham captain of England was Vivian Woodward who lead the side 14 times, 12 while he was at Spurs, in his 23 appearances. February 15th 1908 was the fateful day the first time a lilywhite led the country. Woodward was the 34th man to skipper England in their 92nd game and was 28 years old when his side won 3-1 in Belfast V Ireland. He was followed Arthur Grimsdell who led England for the first time on 9th April 1921 in a game V Scotland in Glasgow. This game was just two weeks before he lifted the FA Cup. He led the team three times in his six appearances.
We have to wait to November 1950 for the third man who was Alf Ramsey. He led the England team V Wales. Alf would win 32 caps and lead the side on three occasions. Ramsey was the manager when he appointed the next Tottenham captain, Alan Mullery for one match in November 1970 a win away to Malta. The next skipper from Tottenham was Martin Peters. Martin was captain in four of his 67 internationals the first being in May 1971 V Wales.
In 1975 Gerry Francis was captain although he never played for us he was the Tottenham manager later. 1981 and Ray Clemence then at Liverpool led the team V Brazil. Gary Lineker (left) was the next Tottenham man to captain the side V Hungary in 1990. Gary played 80 times and was captain on 18 occasions. The 101st man to skipper the England team was Sol Campbell doing so three of his seventy three appearances. He was followed by the latest man on our short list, Scott Parker in 2012 V Holland. Scott made 18 appearances and skippered the side just once. Parker was the 111th man to do the job, till date their has been 114 in total.
Gary Lineker is the oldest Spurs player to lead England at 31 years and 201 days beating Parker by 82 days. Although Woodward was older but had moved to Chelsea by then. His last captaincy at Tottenham came when he was a mere 29 years old. The youngest (and 16th overall) was Sol Campbell at 23 years and 254 days. Lineker was substituted as captain on four occasions and Campbell twice, only once while he was at Spurs.
If we turn to the list of goals ring captains, only two of our captains have scored when leading the side. Woodward is the top of the captains table with 23 goals whilst Lineker is joint sixth on the list with ten.
At the time of writing 1,211 men have represented England (1). Dele Ali (number 1210 - top) is the latest and three of the last five debuts have gone to Spurs players. The youngest Spurs player was Aaron Lennon at 19 years and 49 days V Jamaica in 2006. He beats the then Chelsea Jimmy Greaves by 37 days and Alli by 131 days. Aaron is 18th overall. The oldest Spur is Teddy Sheringham at 36 years and 80 days which puts him 13th overall. Ray Clemance and Ted Ditchburn both also played after their 35th birthday.
The Tottenham man with the shortest international career is Ryan Mason wit just 16 minutes. Ryan is quite a veteran as he is 11th on the list. The leader of that group has just two minutes recorded.
The oldest debut is Bill Nicholson who clocks in at 32 years and 113 days. Other Tottenham players to make late starts to their England career were Arthur Willis, Harry Clark and Bert Bliss all who were 31 years.
Whilst Steve Perryman was a mere boy at 30 years old as was Les Medley. Whilst Bill is the 28th in the oldest debutant list he is behind Jack Tresadern who would later manage the club who first played at 32y and 200 days.
The first England Under 23 international was on 20th January 1954 and the manager on that night was Bill Nicholson. Nicholson would in fact manager the side for its first 16 matches up to September 1958, he took over at Tottenham the following month. The first player from Tottenham was Alf Stokes (above) who netted twice in their fourth game a 5-1 win V Denmark at Portsmouth in September 1955. Nicholson also selected Maurice Norman 3 times, Vic Groves, Terry Dyson (one goal) and Jim Illey. As well as Jimmy Greaves at Chelsea 5 times who hit two on debut. Two more in his second game the first after fifty seconds and finished with six goals under Nicholson. Post-Nicholson, Les Allen, Cyril Knowles (who scored) and Steve Perryman all represented the country. There was also pre-Spurs involvement from Greaves (and a hat trick), Allan Mullery, Martin Peters, Terry Venables, Martin Chivers, Ralph Coates, Ray Clemence, Roger Morgan, Gerry Francis and Peter Taylor.
Records for some of the earlier Under 23’s is a little sketchy so apologies to anyone I’ve missed. In March 1961 the Under 23’s came to White Hart Lane and beat West Germany 4-1. The Under 23’s involved into Under 21’s as it was thought this would aid player development.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
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Notes - 1- As at November 6th 2015. The same disclaimer for the series remains in place.
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