The announcement of six Yorkshire born footballers in Roy Hodgson’s provisional Euro 2016 squad prompted us at IFY towers to look back at some other England stars born in the Ridings. The list below profiles their high points (Whernsides) and low points (Spurn Points) in often mixed fortunes for the Three Lions.
1. David Seaman 1988-2002
Old “safe hands” from Rotherham made his England debut way back in 1988 against Saudi Arabia under Bobby Robson, before rising to take the number one jersey in the mid-90s under Terry Venables. Overall he played in two world cups and two European Championships in an England career spanning three decades. He holds the national record for appearing in the most consecutive seasons; fifteen.
Whernsides: Saving penalties, notably against Spain and Gary McAllister’s “Uri Geller” kick against Scotland which led to Gazza’s famous goal in Euro ’96 and against Miguel Angel Nadal in the Quarter finals. Being the best England goalkeeper since Peter Shilton.
Spurn Points: Being chipped from a 35 yard free-kick in the Quarter Finals of the 2002 World Cup by Ronaldinho and beaten straight from a corner by Artim Sakiri in a Euro 2004 qualifier against Macedonia. That ponytail.
2. David Batty- 42 Caps 1991-1999
The Yorkshire terrrier-like former Leeds midfielder gained England recognition back in 1991, under Graham Taylor, before finally becoming a regular during Glenn Hoddle’s reign. At one point he was a vital cog in the engine room of England’s midfield who would break up opponent’s attacks and give the ball to his more skilful team mates, such as Beckham and Scholes.
Whernsides: Making his debut aged 22 against the USSR in 1991. Helping England to qualify for the 1998 World Cup with a battling midfield display during a crucial 0-0 draw against Italy in Rome.
Spurn Points: Missing that crucial penalty against Argentina in the Second Round of the 1998 World Cup. Getting sent off during his final cap against Poland in 1999.
3. Gordon Banks 1963-1972
Perhaps the best England goalkeeper of all time, Sheffielder Gordon Banks is synonymous with all things 1966. Banks made his debut in 1963, replacing the out of form Ron Springett, before becoming an integral part of the famous World Cup winning squad. During a glittering England career he kept 35 clean sheets and was on the losing side only nine times.
Whernsides Winning the 1966 World Cup of course! Making THAT save against Pele’ in the 1970 World Cup.
Spurn Points: Contracting a mystery virus in Mexico the day before a crucial quarter final match against West Germany. England lost 3-2 with his replacement, the inexperienced Peter Bonetti at fault for two of the goals as the World Champions crashed out.
4. Kevin Keegan 1972-1982
Yorkshire footballing hero. Kevin Keegan was a huge star at club level but played during a barren period for the national side throughout the 1970s. He saved his best performances for the then annual Home Internationals against Scotland and qualifying matches where England ultimately failed to make it to a major tournament in the decade. Once he became permanent England captain, Keegan inspired his team mates to two major tournaments in the early 1980s.
Whernsides: Leading England to the European Championships of 1980 and the 1982 World Cup in Spain, giving England fans their first taste of tournament football in a decade.
Spurn Points: His flash header just wide of the post with the goal beckoning which would have sent the Three Lions through to the Quarter Finals. Being dropped after the ’82 World Cup by Bobby Robson and only finding out through the media.
5. Ron Flowers
Doncaster-born Ron Flowers found his footballing fame as being the creative force behind the great Wolves team of the 1950s. England recognition came in 1955 and he established himself as a dependable midfielder over the next ten years.
Whernsides: Scoring two goals during the 1962 World Cup. Becoming the first player to score a goal for England at a European Championships game in the same year. Being a penalty king, converting six out of six spot kicks during his England career.
Spurn Points: Not kicking a ball in anger during England’s successful World Cup winning campaign in 1966 and only receiving his World Cup medal in 2009, after a campaign to honour the entire squad for their achievement.