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An England XI of One Cap Wonders, with Lambert likely future addition

| 12.08.2013

Rickie Lambert could make his first appearance in an England shirt when the Three Lions face Scotland. The Southampton striker has been drafted in after an impressive showing in the Premier League last year, but with the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Andy Carroll absent through injury, an appearance in that tie could well be his last.

With the former Bristol Rovers and Rochdale striker on the verge of potentially joining the ‘One Cap Club’, we produce an eleven of One Cap Wonders that have appeared in an England shirt over the years.

Alex Stepney – One of Manchester United’s greatest ever goalkeepers, Stepney kept 192 clean sheets for the Red Devils. He played a key role in the European Cup winning side of 1968, with one piece of heroics drawing disbelief and applause from the great Eusebio. The likes of Gordon Banks and Peter Bonetti kept the Londoner out of the England side, with his solo appearance coming against Sweden in 1968, seven days before the European Cup final.

Mike Phelan – A man better known in recent times as Sir Alex Ferguson number two. The former Burnley and Norwich right-back earned a move to Manchester United in 1989 mysteriously winning an England cap in the same year, before moving on to his new role as the BBC’s Sir Alex impersonator.

Anthony Gardner – The Tottenham protégé was in essence a poor man’s Ledley King, his senior in the north London side. Despite making his debut in 2001 he never really got a run in the Spurs team until 2004, but when Sven got a sniff that he was English his sure-fire cap gun was drawn and Gardner was given a run out against Sweden. He went on to lose his place in the Spurs team and can now be found plying his trade at Sheffield Wednesday.

Neil Ruddock – It was safe to say Razor was, and continues to be, a larger than life figure. Famed for the ‘penny game whilst at Liverpool, drinking excessively and wearing massive shorts, the centre-back could actually play a bit as well. Ruddock would surely have played for England more than once if it wasn’t for his penchant for excess and tomfoolery.

David Unsworth – The former Everton defender possessed a hammer of a left foot and every successful side needs a set-piece specialist. Unsworth received his cap a year after the aforementioned Ruddock when he lined-up against Japan in a 2-1 win prior to Euro ’96. Sadly for Unsworth, then national team manager Terry Venabales always deemed him one of the best of the rest.

Joey Barton – Every midfield needs a hardman and they don’t come much more revered than the bastion of social media himself. Barton has been a controversial character throughout his career but behind that there lies a pretty decent footballer. The Scouser was a big talent when at ManCity before becoming embroiled in a wealth of trouble and was handed his debut and farewell against Spain in 2007.

David Dunn – A creative influence in an impressive Blackburn side Dunn was given his chance against Portugal in 2002. A technically gifted player, he missed out on more opportunities thanks to a wealth of options in the centre of the park. Hailed as Lancashire’s answer to Gazza, he never hit those dizzy heights.

Lee Bowyer – Lee Bowyer joins Barton at the heart of this ‘bad boy’ midfield. A combative player he became embroiled in a much publicised court case along with fellow Leeds youngster Jonathan Woodgate. His punishment was an appearance for his country against Portugal in 2002. Bowyer went on to have a scrap with one of his own players at Newcastle and was last seen at Ipswich in 2012.

Francis Jeffers – Much was expected of Jeffers after he joined Arsenal for £10m from Everton in 2001. He never quite cut the mustard with the likes of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Sylvain Wiltord. However, his international pedigree can’t be argued with as he found the net in his only outing for the national side against Australia in 2003. Last year he was plying his trade with Accrington Stanley and seen brandishing a broomstick at his father-in-law.

David Nugent – Another man with a 100 per cent strike rate to add to the forward line. The now Leicester striker was handed a cap by the generous Steve McClaren while he was still playing for Preston in the Championship. Famed for stealing a Jermain Defoe goal in the game against Andorra he never really hacked it at the top level.   

Dean Ashton – Probably the best player in our front three Ashton worked his way up from the lower leagues and made a big money move to West Ham for £7m in 2006. He was subsequently called into the England squad but was injured by Shaun Wright-Phillips in training and missed out. Injuries hampered his career and he was again called into the squad in 2007 but pulled out with a spinal problem. In 2008 he finally pulled on the Three Lions against Trinidad and Tobago.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Aaron Cox

Aaron has written for a number of top-level publications, including FourFourTwo and the Manchester Evening News. As well as being a fanatical Rochdale AFC fan and blogger, he shares a passion for rugby league and golf.