Continuing the look at footballers to have played 100 or more times for England, here we focus on the international careers of Bobby Moore, Ashley Cole and Bobby Charlton.
Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore OBE (‘Chelsea’ was a family name) will forever be synonymous as being the only England captain to lift the World Cup after they had beaten West Germany 4-2 after extra time in 1966. The images of him wiping his muddy and sweaty hands prior to shaking the hand of Queen Elizabeth II were testament to his virtues, his abilities on the pitch triggered tributes from perhaps the greatest of them all, as Pele believed he was the greatest defender he ever played against.
Besides 108 caps for England, he equaled Billy Wright’s record of 90 appearances as captain. Domestically, Moore played more than 600 times during a career mainly with West Ham, where he was captain for over 10 years and lifted the FA Cup and European Cup Winners Cup, and later with Fulham. He was also named Player of the Year in 1964 and was the first footballer to be named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1966.
Moore played in three World Cup finals. His first experience was in Chile in 1962 where England ultimately lost to Brazil in the quarter finals. The year after he became the youngest ever England captain at just 22 and was made the permanent captain in 1964 by coach Alf Ramsey. During the 1966 final, his quick thinking set up two goals for Hurst in the final itself. Mexico 1970 was a less successful experience, as prior to the tournament he was accused of stealing a bracelet in Bogota, Columbia (the case was unsubstantiated and dropped) and England were eliminated in the quarter finals by West Germany.
Cancer claimed his life in 1993 at only 51, but his legacy lives on through his memorial fund which has raised over £18 million (by 2013). His ‘image’ lives on through the statue in his memory outside Wembley Stadium.
Ashley Cole has played for England 107 times and is probably the best left back they have ever produced. Now playing for Roma, his reputation was established by winning league titles with Arsenal, where he was part of “The Invincibles” that went unbeaten through the Premier League campaign of 2003-4 and was a losing finalist in the 2006 Champions League final. He joined Chelsea where he picked up a further league title and a Champions League winners’ medal in 2012, scoring in the penalty shoot out against Bayern Munich. He holds the record for most FA Cup winners’ medals at seven and has been part of the ‘Double’ (winning the league and FA Cup in the same season) with two different clubs.
Internationally, he made his debut in 2001 against Albania and has represented England at the finals of three World Cups (2002, 2006 and 2010) and two Euro Champs (2004 and 2012), but never advanced beyond the quarter final stages. He also holds the dubious record of most games for England as an outfield player without scoring a goal! He retired from international #Football after being surprisingly omitted from the 2014 World Cup finals.
Besides his footballing prowess, he is also commonly associated with the era of the celebrity WAGS (wives and girlfriends) through his past marriage to Cheryl of (pop group) Girls Aloud and (TV talent show) X Factor fame.
Sir Bobby Charlton is the all time record goalscorer for England with 49 goals from 106 caps, just one goal ahead of Gary Lineker.
Renowned for his ferocious shooting, he was a devoted Manchester United player during his playing career, and one of the fortunate survivors of the Munich air crash in the era of the ‘Busby Babes’ under the tutelage of the great (Sir) Matt Busby. As captain, he scored twice in the 1968 European Cup final as United became the first English club to lift the trophy. His 758 appearances for the Red Devils was the club record until Ryan Giggs overtook him, although he finished his domestic career playing for Preston North End and then Waterford United. He still holds the club record of 249 goals though. His long time association with the Manchester club was cemented when he joined the board of directors in 1984, which he still retains to this day. #CelebritiesCharlton’s England debut was in 1958 (shortly after the Munich disaster) when he scored in a four nil win over Scotland at Hampden Park. His international career included four World Cup finals in 1958 (although he didn’t play), 1962, 1970 and famously in 1966, when he played alongside his elder brother Jackie in England’s winning team. He scored twice in the 1966 semi final against Eusebio’s Portugal. A further reward for that 1966 season was his winning of the Ballon d’Or as the European footballer of the year.