A fixture at left-back for England during the 1980s, Kenny Sansom remains the country’s most-capped full-back, though Ashley Cole could soon change that.
Sansom’s abilities as a left-back – quick, calm, strong in the tackle and an excellent crosser – meant his career progressed quickly, and he made his debut for Crystal Palace aged 16 in 1975, going on to captain the England Youth team three years later.
By the end of the 1979/80 season, Sansom was widely regarded to be the best left-back in the country, winning the first of his eight consecutive PFA awards for his position in Division One, something no other top-flight player has come close to repeating.
Such form earned him a move to Arsenal, where he would stay for eight seasons, becoming the club’s most-capped player in the process. In the same summer he was one of England’s more consistent performers in the Three Lions’ underwhelming European Championship campaign in Italy.
In a nine-year England career, Sansom missed only a handful of games, playing at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups and bowing out in the disappointing European Championship campaign in West Germany in 1988.
Arsenal coach George Graham said: “Kenny was the best left-back in England for a decade.”