Kalvin Phillips became England player #1250 but find out more about those before him

Thursday 10 Sep 2020
Kalvin Phillips is congratulated by Gareth Southgate following his debut in Denmark

It was a big week for England debuts, as no fewer than six players were added to the Three Lions’ legacy list following the games in Iceland and Denmark.

First up were Phil Foden (1247) and Mason Greenwood (1248), who both picked up their maiden caps in last weekend’s win over Iceland in Reykjavik.

With both Conor Coady (1249) and Kalvin Phillips (1250) starting in the following game with Denmark in Copenhagen, another milestone was hit and then exceeded following the introduction of Jack Grealish (1251) and Ainsley Maitland-Niles (1252) from the bench.

And for Leeds United midfielder Phillips, he’ll now forever be the player to hit 1250, but what about those who came before him to hit similar milestones?

250 – Charlie Sagar

Born in Edgworth, just outside of Bolton, Lancashire in 1878, Charlie represented both Bury and Manchester United in his club career around the turn of the century.

As a striker, he had an impressive goalscoring record with Bury over a seven-year spell before also proving equally dangerous during two years at Old Trafford.

His England bow came on 17 March 1900 when he led the line for the Three Lions in their 68th game, against Ireland in the Home Championship. He also scored the second goal in a 2-0 win at Lansdowne Road in Dublin. He went on to collect another cap two years later against Wales.

Willis Edwards, back row, second from left, with Leeds United in the 1938-39 season


500 – Willis Edwards

The Derbyshire-born right-half began his career with local club Chesterfield, who spotted him while he was working in the pits, where most young men in that area would have to make their living. It was a life-changing moment, he made his debut in 1919 as a 16 year old and after seven seasons with the club, he joined Leeds United in 1925.

His move to Elland Road propelled him into the eyes of the England selectors and he made his international debut in game number 148 against Wales, a 3-1 loss at Selhurst Park on 1 March 1926.

He went on to spend 18 years with Leeds and made over 400 appearances, as well as collecting another 15 caps for the Three Lions, who he captained in his last five internationals.

Geoff Bradford, front row centre, is something of a club legend at Bristol Rovers


750 – Geoff Bradford

A true Bristolian, Geoff Bradford was a one-club man for his entire career with Bristol Rovers where he made his bow in 1949 and made over 450 appearances and scored 242 goals in a 15-year spell with the Gas.

A heroic centre-forward, he’s still seen as Rovers’ most successful player, famously turning down a move to Bill Shankly’s Liverpool in 1961 to show his loyalty as well as being the only player to be capped by England while with the club. 

His solitary England cap came in 1955 when, like Phillips 65 years later, he played against Denmark in Copenhagen alongside the likes of Billy Wright, Tom Finney and Jackie Milburn. It was a successful trip too, with Bradford getting a goal in a 5-1 win in what was England’s 298th game.

Neil Webb, our 1000th international, celebrates a goal for England against Denmark


1000 - Neil Webb

The Reading-born player became England’s 1000th international when he made his bow in a game against West Germany in September 1987 under the stewardship of Sir Bobby Robson.

After starting his career with his hometown club before moving on to Portsmouth, it was while he was playing for Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough that he was selected for international duty.

His debut, England’s 627th game, ended in a 3-1 defeat in Dusseldorf but Webb went on to win a total of 26 caps for his country and was in the squad for the 1990 World Cup.

He also went on to enjoy a club career which also saw him spend three seasons with Manchester United before he returned to Forest.

1250 – Kalvin Phillips

The Leeds United midfielder received his first call up at any level for England when Gareth Southgate picked him for the games with Iceland and Denmark in September 2020.

He’d just led Leeds to promotion from the Championship after coming through the academy ranks at Elland Road and was still to make his first top-flight appearance when he joined the squad.

But Southgate had seen enough and he was given his first cap in the 0-0 draw with Denmark at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.

By Nicholas Veevers