Beckham, Charlton and Shilton to receive awards at England v Belgium
UEFA will next week be honouring those players across Europe who have reached – and surpassed – 100 caps for their country.
And at the England v Belgium game at Wembley Stadium next Saturday, our fantastic five will each be honoured with a commemorative cap and medal during a presentation on the pitch at half time.
David Beckham, Sir Bobby Charlton and Peter Shilton, along with Bobby Moore's widow Stephanie and Billy Wright's daughter Babette, will be at the game to receive their awards.
The official match programme for the game will feature a special pull-out supplement dedicated to England's five Senior Team centurions, but will also look at seven other players to have pulled on the Three Lions shirt over 100 times.
Peter Shilton – 125 caps
‘Shilts’, England’s most capped player, was born in Leicester and turned professional with local club Leicester City in 1966. He was their youngest first-team debutant at 16 and was still first choice for his country at the age of 40!
Sir Alf Ramsey chose him to play in his first senior international in 1970. It was a Wembley friendly against East Germany, England’s first match after the Mexico World Cup, and the home side won 3-1 before 93,000 fans.
In his 20 years with England he featured in three World Cups and two European Championships. Italia 90 was his swansong as he appeared in all seven matches, making his last appearance as captain in the ‘Match for Third Place’ against Italy in Bari. It was his 23rd consecutive international.
David Beckham – 115 caps
‘Becks’ has enjoyed a fantastic career since signing his first professional contract with Manchester United and at 37 he is still going strong.
He had represented England at Youth (U18) and Under-21 levels before new England manager Glenn Hoddle selected him for his first match in charge, a World Cup Qualifier in Moldova in September 1996.
Peter Taylor, caretaker for one international, was the first England manager to see Beckham’s potential as captain. He handed him the armband for a friendly with Italy in Turin in 2000. He was skipper up to and including the 2006 World Cup in Germany, a run of 58 matches.
He became the fifth player in history to reach 100 England caps when he started in France in 2008, Fabio Capello’s second match at the helm, and surpassed Bobby Moore’s record haul for an outfield player a year later as a second-half substitute against Slovakia at Wembley.
Bobby Moore – 108 caps
‘Mooro’ was the player who received the Jules Rimet Trophy from HM The Queen after England had won the 1966 World Cup Final against West Germany on an unforgettable July afternoon at Wembley. He captained his country on 90 occasions, sharing the record with Billy Wright.
He was capped 18 times for England Youth (U18), then a record, and eight times for the Under-23s before Walter Winterbottom gave him his senior bow in a pre-World Cup friendly in Peru in 1962.
He impressed enough to be chosen for all four matches in the Chile Finals as England won through to the quarter finals. In the following year, at the age of 22 years 47 days, he became England’s youngest ever captain in a friendly in Czechoslovakia.
Ice-cool and a master strategist, he appeared in his last international at the age of 32. England lost 1-0 to Italy in a Wembley friendly and Fabio Capello scored the goal three minutes from time.
He passed away in 1993 at the age of 51. His statue stands at the front of the new Wembley.
Bobby Charlton – 106 caps
Now ‘Sir Bobby’, he is still a great ambassador for English football nearly 60 years after he joined Manchester United straight from school. He made his League debut five days before his 19th birthday, scoring twice in a 4-2 win against Charlton Athletic at Old Trafford.
He soon became famous for his powerful, accurate shooting and his ability to work himself into shooting positions. He survived the Munich disaster early in 1958 and in April of that year was handed his first England cap against Scotland at Hampden Park. Then 20 years old, he scored the third goal with a volley in a 4-0 victory watched by a crowd of over 127,000.
He was ‘Footballer of the Year’ for both England and Europe in 1966, the year in which he won the World Cup with England. His 30-yard ‘Bobby Dazzler’ against the Mexicans in England’s second match in Group 1. He scored twice to knock out Portugal in the semi-final.
His last international appearance, against West Germany in the 1970 World Cup quarter final in Leon, was his 106th and made him England’s most-capped player at that time. His tally of 49 England goals remains a record and it is one that may never be beaten. He scored in 13 successive seasons and in 27 different matches.
Billy Wright – 105 caps
Born in Ironbridge in Shropshire, William Ambrose ‘Billy’ Wright was the first player to reach a century of caps for England. He started out as an inside-forward, turning professional with Wolverhampton Wanderers during the war.
He was first capped as a wing-half, against Northern Ireland in Belfast in 1946 when he was 22. After that he missed only three of England’s next 107 internationals, including a run of 46 consecutive matches at centre-half. He had been moved into the middle of the defence at the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, when Winterbottom’s side reached the quarter finals for the first time.
Against Scotland in 1959, a 1-0 win for England at Wembley, he became the first player from any country to be awarded his 100th cap. Ninety of his final total of 105 were as captain, a record equalled later by Bobby Moore.
England won 8-1 on his last appearance, against USA in Los Angeles, and he retired as a player soon afterwards. Wright subsequently managed England Youth (U18s) and Arsenal, the latter for four years, before becoming a sports reporter for a Midlands TV company. He died in 1994.
England's other '100-Club members'
England Women's: Gillian Coultard – 119, Rachel Yankey – 117, Kelly Smith – 111, Fara Williams – 103, Casey Stoney – 101, Rachel Unitt – 100
England Blind Team: Dave Clarke – 133