From Whiston to Wembley: Gerrard led by example

Monday 21 Jul 2014
Gerrard's first England goal came against Germany in Munich in 2001

Steven Gerrard, inspirational captain for club and country, is the third most-capped player for England. He scored 21 goals in his 114 appearances and featured in six major tournaments, three of them as skipper.

The Liverpool midfielder first pulled on an England shirt for the U16s four times in 1996, playing alongside Michael Owen, Wes Brown and Michael Ball. He was subsequently capped for the U18s and Under-21s before Kevin Keegan gave him his senior bow in a Wembley friendly against Ukraine on 31 May 2000.

Steven Gerrard after collecting his 100th cap for England.

Gerrard won his 100th cap for England against Sweden in November 2012

It was the day after his 20th birthday, as Anfield team-mate Robbie Fowler and Tony Adams scored in a 2-0 victory.

Gerrard impressed enough to be included in Keegan’s squad for the Euro 2000 Finals in Belgium and Holland, where he came on for Owen during the 1-0 win against Germany in England’s second group match in Charleroi. It was England’s first competitive victory over the Germans since the World Cup Final in 1966.

Gerrard then missed the 2002 World Cup in the Far East through injury but had contributed significantly in the qualifiers, the highlight being a superbly-struck goal in the 5-1 defeat of Germany in Munich.

A fully-fit Gerrard was an ever-present in the Euro 2004 Finals in Portugal, scoring in the 3-0 win against Switzerland in Coimbra, and by that time he had worn the captain’s armband for the first time. Sven-Goran Eriksson gave him that honour for a friendly in Sweden on 31 March 2004, England losing to the only goal scored in Gothenburg.

He was regular in the side as qualification for the next World Cup in Germany in 2006 was secured and established himself as a world-class player with two goals in his five appearances. He curled in a brilliant left-footer to clinch victory over Trinidad & Tobago in Nuremberg and headed powerfully home in the 2-2 draw with Sweden in Cologne.

Steven Gerrard

Gerrard in action for the Three Lions during Euro 2012


England missed out on the Euro Finals of 2008 but qualified in fine style for the World Cup two years later. Gerrard scored twice in the crucial 5-1 qualifying win against Croatia at Wembley and Fabio Capello made him captain for the tournament in South Africa. He put a confident England side ahead just four minutes into their opening fixture with USA but it finished in a 1-1 draw and England were subsequently eliminated by Germany in the Second Round.

The following season began with Gerrard as skipper again and he notched two goals in the first match, a 2-1 win against Hungary in a Wembley friendly, before helping England to make an encouraging start to their qualifying campaign for the Euro 2012 Finals in Ukraine and Poland.

Gerrard was England’s captain for those Finals – and for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil – and his total of 38 matches with the armband placed him fifth in the all-time list behind Bobby Moore, Billy Wright, Bryan Robson and David Beckham.   

The fans voted him England Player of the Year in 2007 and 2012. 

Steven Gerrard and Roy Hodgson

Gerrard was named as England Player Of The Year in both 2007 and 2012

Key Stats

    Caps:114 (third in England’s all-time list)
    Debut: 31 May 2000 v Ukraine in Wembley friendly (age 20)
    Goals: 21 (18th in England’s all-time list)
    First goal: 1 September 2001 v Germany in World Cup Qualifier in Munich
    Captaincies: 38 (fifth in England’s all-time list)
    First captaincy: 31 March 2004 v Sweden in Gothenburg friendly
    Tournaments: Euro 2000, Euro 2004, World Cup 2006, World Cup 2010, Euro 2012 and World Cup 2014
    Last match: 24 June 2014 v Costa Rica in World Cup Finals in Belo Horizonte 


2000: Makes England debut in Wembley friendly v Ukraine on 31 May (England win 2-0)
2000: Makes tournament debut for England v Germany at Euro 2000 in Charleroi on 17 June (England win 1-0
2001: Scores first England goal v Germany in World Cup Qualifier in Munich on 1 September (England win 5-1)
2004: Captains England for the first time in Gothenburg friendly v Sweden on 31 March (England lose 0-1)
2004: Scores first England goal in a tournament v Switzerland at Euro 2004 in Coimbra on 17 June (England draw 1-1)
2010: Captains England for the first time in a tournament v USA in Rustenburg on 12 June (England draw 1-1)
2014: Makes last England appearance v Costa Rica in World Cup Finals in Belo Horizonte on 24 June (England draw 0-0).


By David Barber FA Historian