Remembering Billy Wright, our joint longest-serving captain

Wednesday 03 Sep 2014
Billy Wright ahead of the match against Brazil in 1956

Billy Wright, the first player to reach 100 caps for England, passed away 20 years ago today. 

He still holds the record for England captaincies, jointly with Bobby Moore, having led his country on 90 occasions. And he once made 70 consecutive England appearances - another record.

Wright was a one-club man with Wolverhampton Wanderers, turning professional at 17 in 1941. 

He started out as an inside-forward, was first capped by Walter Winterbottom as a wing-half and then became established as an inspiring centre-half. 

His tackling was always incisive and he was a consummate passer of the ball.

This model professional, who married singing star Joy Beverley, made his England debut against Northern Ireland Ireland - a 7-2 victory in Belfast in 1946 - and went on to play in the World Cups of 1950, 1954 and 1958. In his last international, in Los Angeles in 1959, England beat the Americans 8-1.

With Wolves he won three League Championships and one FA Cup. The 1952 Footballer of the Year managed Arsenal for four years and then worked in television.

By David Barber FA Historian