Wednesday, August 19, 2015

England Greatest All-time team for Black English players

Black residents constituted around 3 per cent of the United Kingdom's population in 2011. The figures have increased from the 1991 census when 1.63 per cent of the population were recorded as Black or Black British to 1.15 million residents in 2001, or 2 per cent of the population, this further increased to just over 1.9 million in 2011. Almost 97 per cent of Black Britons live in England, particularly in England's larger urban areas, with most (over a million) Black British living in Greater London.

Viv Anderson became the first Black player to play for the English senior national team in 1978 when he lined up against Czechoslovakia in November.  Less than a year later, Laurie Cunningham made his debut and became an idol for a generation of Black footballers in England.  He would become the first British player to play for Real Madrid a few months after his national team debut.  Luther Blissett was the first black player to score for England, and he also scored a hat trick on his debutIn the 1980's, John Barnes become an icon at Liverpool, where he would be voted as one of the greatest ever player for Liverpool in 2006.  He was also the first Black player to feature in a World Cup Finals for England.  Paul Ince was the first black player to captain England while Ashley Cole became the first black player to earn 100 caps.

The 1979 testimonial match for Len Cantello of West Bromwich Albion F.C. consisted of a match between an All-White team vs an  All-Black team. The All-Black team was the Cyrille Regis & Laurie Cunningham XI.  The match was considered "progressive" at the time. 

This is my 23 member all-time England team for Black players. I have selected an all-time team for England: here.

Laurie Cunningham

The Team
At the time of writing, David James is the third all-time Premier league appearance record holder. He starred for Liverpool as one of the "Spice Boys" in the 1990's.  However, his reputation suffered after a series of blunders, earning the nickname of "Calamity James".  He later played for Aston Villa, West Ham, Portsmouth, Manchester City, etc. He picked up 53 caps for England.  He was the starting keeper at the European Champions in 2004 and the World Cup Finals in 2010.
David James
GK: Alex Williams
Alex Williams made 125 league appearance for Manchester City in 1980's. He helped City to win promotion out of the Second Division in 1984–85. He made the PFA Team of the Year for Division 2 in 1984-1985. He also played for Port Vale. However, he was forced into early retirement in September 1987 due to a recurring back injury.  He won the 1980 UEFA European Under-18 Championship and 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Championship with England.  

GK: Derek Richardson
Richardson began with Chelsea, but never played a game for them.  From 1976 to 1979, he played about 30 games with QPR which then in the top tier, making him the first Black goalkeeper since Arthur Wharton to play in that level.  He later played for  Sheffield United, and Coventry City.  He also played at international level for England at youth and semi-professional. In 1979, he played in a benefit match for West Bromwich Albion player Len Cantello, that saw a team of white players play against a team of black players.

RB: Viv Anderson

In 1978, Viv Anderson became the first Black player to play for the England in a full international team. He would earn 30 caps between 1978 and 1988 scoring two goals.  He was on two World Cup team: 1982 and 1986, and two European Championship team: 1980 and 1988. He was a part of Brian Clough's Nottingham Forrest team that won back-to-back European Cup in 1979 and 1980.  He also played for Arsenal, Manchester United and and Sheffield Wednesday. 
Viv Anderson
RB: Kyle Walker 
Kyle Walker started with boyhood club Sheffield United and made his name with Tottenham Hotspurs after loan spells with Queens Park Rangers and Aston Villa.  In 2017, he joined Manchester City for one of the most expensive fees. He won the treble in 2023.  At the time of writing, he has over 81 caps.  He went to the European Championship in 2016 and 2020 and the World Cup Finals in 2018 and 2022.

CB: Des Walker
Des Walker played 59 times for England from 1988 and 1993.  He started in all of England;'s games at the World Cup Finals in 1990. He was rated as one of the best defender at that Finals.  For club football, he mainly played for Nottingham Forrest and Sheffield Wednesday.  He played one season at Sampdoria in then 1992-1993 season.   He was Forest's player of the year three times. On four straight occasions at Forest he was selected for the PFA Team of the Year.

CB: Sol Campbell
Sol Campbell was considered one of the best defenders of his generation.  He was a member of Arsenal's "Invincibles" that went undefeated in 2003-2004 season.  He spent 9 seasons for Tottenham Hotspurs and served as its captain before moving to its rival Arsenal on a free transfer that sparked a controversy.  He later played for Portsmouth. For England, he earned 73 caps in 11 years.  He went to three World Cup Finals: 1998, 2002 and 2006.

CB: Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand became the youngest defender to play for the Three Lions at the time in 1997.   He played 81 times for England  between 1997 and 2011 and was a member of three World Cup squads.  At one point, he was the most expensive British footballer and also broke the world's record transfer fees for a defender twice.  He started with West Ham and was sold to Leeds United in 2000.  Two seasons, he joined Manchester United.  He won the Champions' League with them in 2008. He also played for Leeds United and West Ham.
Rio Ferdinand
CB: Ledley King
Ledley King spent his entire career with Tottenham Hotspurs between 1999 and 2012.  He was among the best defender in the Premiership during his prime, but his international career was limited by a golden generation of great English centre backs.  He only had 21 caps between 2002 and 2010. He went to the 2004 European Championship and 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, but missed the World Cup Finals 2006 due to an injury.

LB: Ashley Cole 
Ashley Cole was considered one of the finest leftbacks of his generation.  He was voted the England Player of the Year in 2010. He played in 3 World Cup Finals.  He played 107 caps between 2001 and 2014.  He is also England's most-capped full-back in history.  He played with Arsenal, but moved to its rival Chelsea in 2006.  In 2014, he moved to AS Roma.  He won the Champions' League in 2012 with Chelsea.  He is playing in the MLS for LA Galaxy since 2016.
Ashley Cole
LWB/LW: Ashley Young 
Ashley Young started his career at Watford.  In January 2007, he transferred to Aston Villa.  He established himself in the first team at Villa Park and won the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2009. In 2011, Young signed for Manchester United for an undisclosed fee. He has gone on to win every trophy available in English football.  He also played for Inter Milan. From 2007, he played 39 times for England.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the son of former England international Mark Chamberlain.  He made his name with Southampton.  He signed for Arsenal in 2011 after a single season at the senior level.  Between 2017 and 2023, he played for Liverpool, winning the 2018–19 Champions League and 2019–20 Premier League.  In 2023, he joined Besiktas in Turkey.  Between 2012 and 2019, he had 35 caps.  He participated at the European Championship in 2012 and the World Cup Finals in 2014.

DM: Paul Ince
From 1992 to 2000, Paul Ince was capped 53 times between 1992 and 2000.  He was a key player for England at the Euro 1996, the World Cup 1998 and the Euro 2000.  For his club career, he started with West Ham in 1986, but his best known stints were with Liverpool, Inter Milan and Manchester United.  He also played for Middlesbrough and Wolverhampton Wanderers. He is one of the few players in football history who played and starred for both Liverpool and Manchester United.
Paul Ince
CM/AM: Jude Bellingham
Jude Bellingham started with Birmingham City before he moved to Borussia Dortmund in 2020 making him the most expensive 17 years old in history.  In 2023, he won the Bundesliga Player of the Year.  That summer, he moved to Real Madrid where he had a starring role. At 17 years, 136 days, he became England's third-youngest full international when he played against Republic of Ireland in 2020.  He played in the 2022 World Cup Finals.

CM: David Rocastle
David Roscastle's best club career was spent with Arsenal where he won two league titles.  He was sold to Leeds United for a club record in 1992, but he never settled with the club due to injuries and other reasons. He was capped 14 times for England. England never lost a single match in any of the games he played. Despite for being a good footballer, surpisingly, he was left out of all major tournaments during his international career. He died at the age of 33 from a form of cancer.
David Rocastle
AM/RWF/FW: Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling broke into the Liverpool lineup as a 17 years old in 2012, where he became their star players until 2015.  In the spring of 2015, he had a contract disputes with the club.  He moved to Manchester City for 44 million pounds.  He made his national team debut in 2012.  He played at Brazil 2014.  At the time of writing, he is widely considered to be England's greatest hope for the future. He won the 2019 FWA Player of the Year. Liked John Barnes, he was born in Jamaica.

LW: John Barnes

John Barnes was widely considered to be one of the greatest Liverpool players, where he formed one of their greatest team playing alongside Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge and Ray Houghton.  Before joining Liverpool, he played for Watford.  At Watford, he also helped them to the Final of the FA Cup in 1984.  He was voted PFA Player of the Year in 1988 and FWA Player of the Year in both 1988 and 1990.  He played 79 times for England between 1983 and 1995.  He helped England to reach the semifinal of Italia 1990.
John Barnes
LW: Laurie Cunningham
Cunnugham was considered to be the first Black star player in England and an icon for a generation of Black English players. With Cyrille Regis and Brendon Batson, they formed an all-Black attack that was known as "The Three Degrees" with West Bromwich Albion.  In 1979, he moved to Real Madrid and became the first British player ever to play for the legendary club. He returned to Manchester United in 1983. He was only capped 6 times by England and was overlooked for Euro 1980, despite starring at La Liga the season before.

Leslie was the only black professional player in England during his time with Plymouth Argyle. Leslie enjoyed a 14–season spell with Argyle, having joined the club from Barking Town in 1921.  He was called up to England in 1925 as a non-travelling reserve, but the call-up was withdrew. It has been speculated because of his skin color.  He would have become the first Black player to represent England.  He was born in England.

Born in Jamaica, Blissett is best known for his time at Watford, whom he helped win promotion from the Fourth Division to the First Division. He holds Watford's all-time records for appearances and goals, having played 503 games and scored 186 goals.  He played briefly for AC Milan, where he was a cult hero.  He was one of the first Black footballers to play for England and the first one to score.   In total, he had 14 caps.
Luther Blissett
Regis was know for being a member of the legendary strike force with Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson at West Bromwich Albion in the 1980's.  The strike force known as "The Three Degrees" consisted of three Black attackers. They were credited to be breaking the racial barrier in English football.  Internationally, he was also the third Black player to play for England and was capped 5 times.  

His professional career lasted from 1988 to 2008, and is mostly remembered for his time with Manchester United, who paid a British record transfer fee to sign him from Newcastle United. Cole spent six years with Manchester United and won nine trophies, including the Treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in 1999.   He is the 4th All-Time leading scorer in the Preimer League.  With England, he only played 15 times.

ST: Ian Wright
Wright was a legendary striker with Arsenal.  Before joining Arsenal, he was a hero with Crystal Palace.  At the time of writing, he was their highest goal scorer since the War.  In 1991, he joined Arsenal.  He spent 7 seasons with them, winning all three domestic trophies and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1994.  Despite being a top scorer in the domestic league(he scored over 20 goals every season from 1991 to 1998), he only played 33 times for England and was never selected for any of the major tournaments.
Ian Wright
Honorable Mention
Matt Murray, Derek Richardson, Wes Brown, Joleon Lescott, Chris Smalling, Wes Brown, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Kieran Tripper, Ben Godrey, Gary Charles, Nathaniel Clyne, Glen Johnson, Micah Richards, Kyle Walkers-Peter, Ryan Bertrand, Danny Rose, Kieran Gibbs, Dele Alli, Ruben Loftus Cheek, Kalvin Philips, Carlton Palmer, Ricky Hill, Michael Thomas, Danny Wallace, Stan Collymore, Jermaine Pennant, Aaron Lennon, Shaun Wright-Philips, Mark Chamberlain, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Benjamin Odeje, Jermaine Jenas, Fabian Delph, Brendon Batson, Macus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Jadon Sancho, Daniel Sturridge, Darren Bent and Darius Vassell, Jesse Lingard, Macus Redford, Les Ferdinand and Danny Welbeck, Emile Heskey, Luther Blisset, Jermain Defoe.

Squad Explanation
-- The original team was created in 2015.  I redid the team in December 2023 at the same team I created British Jamaican All-Time team.  
-- The idea of this blog team came after I watched a documentary on Laurie Cunningham who inspired a whole generation of Black players in the United Kingdom.
-- The testimonial match for Len Cantello of West Bromwich Albion F.C. consisted of a match between an all-White team vs an all-Black team. The All-Black team was the Cyrille Regis & Laurie Cunningham XI.  The match was considered "progressive" at the time, but it was somewhat politically incorrect by now.
Len Cantello testimonial match with an All-Black team
-- In 1978, Viv Anderson became the first Black footballer to be capped by England at the senior level.  A year later, Laurie Cunningham joined him.   Then, in 1982, a wave of Black footballers made their senior national team debut and made a statement in the English league. It started with Cyrille Regis who was capped before the 1982 World Cup Finals.  He formed the famous "Three degrees" trio with Cunningham and Brendon Batson in West Bromwich Albion F.C.  After the World Cup Finals, he was followed by Ricky Hill, Luther Blissett, Mark Chamberlain, Danny Wallace and John Barnes under manager Bobby Robson. By that time, Barnes and Blissett formed a famous duo in Watford.  Danny Wallace was making a name in Southampton, Chamberlain in Stoke and Hill in Luton.  Meanwhile, Alex Williams became the first Black goalkeeper to have a major role in the modern era of the English league.  The early 1980's was a breakthrough era for Black footballers in England.
-- In 2023, the English FA published an article about Ten Black iconic figures from English football.  The male players mentioned were Arthur Wharton. Viv Anderson, John Charles, Benjamin Odeje, Cyrille Regis, John Barnes and Luther Blissett.  John Charles was not the Welsh player who played for Leeds United and Juventus, but a former West Ham defender who became the first Black footballer to play for an England representative side in 1962 when he played for England's youth team.  In 1971, Benjamin Odeje was the first Black footballer to play for England's school boy national team. 
-- For a long time, people thought that Laurie Cunningham was the first Black player to have represent England when he played for England U-21 in 1977. Viv Anderson was the first to receive a senior cap. Later, BBC discovered the first Black player to have represent England was actually Benjamin Odeje who played for England School Boys in 1971.  Odeje came from Charlton Athletic youth team, but never played for their senior side. I put him on honorable mention for breaking the racial barrier.  But from the article above, John Charles already played for England Youth team in 1962.  
-- Please look at England's Black Players - Chronological  from the English FA's official website.
-- Andrew Watson was actually the first Black to play in the English league, but he played for Scotland between 1881 and 1882, which made him ineligible for this team. 
-- Ian Wright and David Rocastle were best childhood friends.  Both were left off every single major tournament. Was it racism that both were overlooked? 
-- David James was the first Black goalkeeper to represent England at the senior level.  Since his time, England had not capped another Black goalkeeper at the senior level.  In fact, not many Black goalkeepers are playing in the English league.
-- Alex Williams won the 1980 UEFA European Under-18 Championship and 1984 UEFA European Under-21 Championship with England.  He held down a place for Manchester City in the 1980's.  He was an icon and hero of many Black goalkeepers from the United Kingdom.  I did not know if racism played a part in England snubbing him for a senior cap since he was playing in the same generation as Ray Clemence, Joe Corrigan, Peter Shilton, Chris Woods and Gary Bailey.  The competition was fierce during his prime.
-- Arthur Wharton was the first Black player to become professional footballer.  He was on the original team, but in 2023, I did question whether he was British since he came from Ghana.  
-- Born in London, Shaka Hislop played for T&T internationally.  He would have been on this team if he chose to play for England.  Matt Murray was highly rated, but injuries kept him from reaching his full potential.  He played a single game in the Premier League.  Wes Foderingham did play many games for Glasglow Rangers.  He had more Premier league experience with Sheffield United than Murray.  Jamal Blackman was a lower division player playing in England.  But Derek Richardson seemed to be the obvious third choice.  He was the first Black goalkeeper since Wharton to play in the English league.  In QPR, he used as an understudy to Phil Parkes, but from 1976 to 1979, he played about 31 games with QPR which then was in the top tier.  He actually broke the racial barrier before Alex Williams did by playing in the First Division.  
-- Sol Campbell and Rio Ferdinand are on my England's All-Time team.  For England, Campbell was named on the Team of the Tournament in both 2002 World Cup Finals and Euro 2004.  He was considered one of the best centrebacks in the world of his generation. Rio Ferdinand was at one point the most expensive defender in the world and his performance in Manchester justified his transfer fee.  He was perhaps England's first great ball-playing centreback.  
-- Des Walker was another sure-in defender. On four straight occasions, he was selected for the PFA Team of the Year between 1989 and 1992.  He was even named in the PFA Team of Century between 1977 and 1996.  
Des Walker
-- The fourth central defender was more difficult. Ledley King only earned 21 caps because he was playing in the same generation as John Terry, Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher, Jonathan Woodgate, Phil Jagielka, Wes Brown, and Joleon Lescott.  Even through his knee issues plagued him throughout his career, he was often ranked among the best ever central defender from the Premier League era.  He was a legend in Tottenham Hotspurs.
-- I could not find a spot for Wes Brown, Joleon Lescott and Chris Smalling.
-- As England's first Black international senior player, Viv Anderson was an automatic selection for the rightback position.  In 2015, I took Paul Parker from the 1990 World Cups.  In 2023, I replaced him with Kyle Walker. Walker had over 80 caps for England.  At the time of writing, he was named on the PFA Team of the Year on three occasions. He was a big part of Manchester City's continental treble in the 2022-2023 season.  
-- In April, 2022, I added Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James to honorable mention.  Both Alexander-Arnold and James are still an emerging talent as of December, 2023.  Kieran Tripper was named in the PFA Team of the Year in the 2022-2023 season, but he was not going to challenge Anderson or Walker for a place on the team.  Ben Godrey, Gary Charles, Nathaniel Clyne, Glen Johnson and Micah Richards and Kyle Walkers-Peter all played for England.
-- Paul Parker was best remembered for his stint with Manchester United from 1991 to 1996.  He also played for Queens Park Rangers, Fulham, Derby County, Sheffield United, Chelsea and Farnborough Town.  He earned 19 caps for England.  He was the starting rightback for England at the World Cup Finals in 1990 as England had the best ever finish since 1966.
-- When I created this team in 2015, Ashley Cole was the only good leftback.  He is on my England's All-Time team.  In 2020, I added Ashley Young to the team.  At the time of the creation of the team, Young was still a winger.  However, Louis van Gaal turned him into a wingback shortly afterward in Manchester United.  He held down a place with Manchester United.  He also played the position at the 2018 World Cup Finals where he was ahead of Danny Rose. Rose probably played more times as a leftback for England than Young, but Young was a more famous player.  Ryan Bertrand and Kieran Gibbs was also put on honorable mention.
-- Paul Ince became England's first ever Black captain during the tour of the United States in 1993.  Dele Alli rose to prominence with Tottenham and became a star player at the 2018 World Cup Finals. He was one of the most sought-after midfielders in the world at one point.  So I added him to the team in 2021.  Dele Alli was already on the PFA Team of the Year twice at the time.  But in 2023, I decided to replace him with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.  Alli's career had declined dramatically since around 2020.  Oxlade-Chamberlain's career was more completed.  With Liverpool, he won the 2018–19 Champions League and the 2019–20 Premier League. He was well-decorated. In Arsenal, he was mainly used as a right winger or wingback, but he preferred to play as a central midfielder, a position where he played in Liverpool. I also considered Kalvin Philips. He was named as the England's Player of the Year in the 2021-2022 season after England finished second at Euro 2020.  The award was a big achievement.  The tournament was also England's best finish in a senior international tournament since 1966.  However, he had some issues since he moved to Manchester City in 2022.  He actually only played two great seasons in the Premiership at the time of writing (2023).   I decided to keep him on honorable mention because of how Dele Alli went downhill after I selected him.  Philips needed a few more seasons to prove himself.  I also looked into Ruben Loftus Cheek, Carlton Palmer, Ricky Hill and Michael Thomas.
-- David Rocastle only played 14 times for England, but he never lost a game.  For his club career, he was Arsenal's best player as they won the league title in 1989.  He is a member of my Arsenal All-Time team.  That team included the likes of Liam Brady and Patrick Vieira. His teammate Michael Thomas scored the winning goal in the dying minutes of the last match of the season against Liverpool that decided the title.  However, I only selected Rocastle while leaving out Michael Thomas. Raheem Sterling won the 2019 FWA Player of the Year. He achieved more than most Black players in England.  In the 2022-2023 season, Jude Bellingham was playing liked the best player in the world fpr Real Madrid.  I knew that Dele Alli's previous selection led me not to pick young players prematurely, but Bellingham is a generational talent.  I took a gamble on him, but not on Philips.
Jude Bellingham
-- Ricky Hill was a part of the generation that saw a wave of Black footballers taking English football by storm in the early 1980's.  There was a sense of fascinations about that period, but I only put him on honorable mention.  
-- Raheen Sterling would operate as my main right side attacker.  Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also played in that position.  Theo Walcott played 564 senior games in the Premier League, scoring 129 goals largely from the right wing, and played 47 times for England. He remains England's youngest debutant and the youngest scorer of an international hat-trick.  But his career overall seemed unfulfilled.  Bukayo Saka already won the England Male Player of the Year twice, but he still needed more time. So I decided stay with just Sterling and Oxlade-Chamberlain. I had no room for Jermaine Pennant, Aaron Lennon, Shaun Wright-Philips and Mark Chamberlain.   
 -- The left wing was much easier to select.  I had two of the best players on the entire team. John Barnes was born in Jamaica, but he played for England. His career with Liverpool FC was well-known.  Laurie Cunningham inspired many Black players in the United Kingdom.  They forced Ashley Young to the left wingback position.  Trevor Sinclair made honorable mentions. Mark Chamberlain was also considered.  He could play both sides of the wings. 
-- Ian Wright is a member of the Premier League Hall of Flame.  As of 2023, Rio Ferdinand and he were the only Black players in the Hall.  For international football, however, he was somehow ignored by most England managers. Only Mick Channon played more times for England without being selected for a World Cup or European Championships squad. However, during Channon's England career, which spanned the years 1972–1977, England failed to qualify for either of these tournaments, while during Wright's time, England qualified for two European Championships and one World Cup.  I rewarded him a place on the team based on his club career.
-- Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson were nicknamed the "Three degrees" for a trio of Black footballers starring for West Bromwich Albion F.C. in the late 1970's. They paved the way for Black footballers in England.   Regis was one of the iconic Black figures honoured by the English FA (see above).  He was as famous as Cunningham who was selected as a wide player on this team.  I put Batson on honorable mention.  
Cyrille Regis
-- Luther Blissett was similar to Cyrille Regis.  He still holds Watford's all-time records for both appearances (503) and goals (186).  He played alongside John Barnes under manager Graham Taylor with Watford in the early 1980's.  There were some romantic notion of a pair of Black attackers tearing up the English league in the early 1980's. As mentioned above, it was a period that set the foundation for other Black players.  Blissett also helped Watford to jump from the Fourth Division to top flight runners-up in a relatively short period.  His reputation however was tarnished by his move to AC Milan, but his association with AC Milan turned him into a cult player in Milan.  His name had some cultural impact so I took him over some contemporary players.
-- In Newcastle, Andy Cole won the Golden Boot in the 1993-1994 season, where he scored a stunning 41 goals in 45 appearance.  In Manchester United, he did not live up to his record breaking transfer fees, but he redeemed himself by forming a legendary partnership with Dwight Yorke while winning the treble.  He was named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2000.  Heskey also impressed in Leicester, but he was nowhere close to Cole's career in Newcastle.  In Liverpool, he also earned a reputation of being insufficient.  He did not have Cole's statistics.  Jermain Defoe was less well-known than Andy Cole or Emile Heskey because the prime of his career was spent in Tottenham.  Cole is the 4th highest goal scorer in  Premier league's history with 187 goals and Defoe is 9th with 162.  Heskey is 27th with just 110.  Heskey had 62 caps and only 7 goals while Defore played 57 times scoring 20 goals.  Cole only had 15 caps and a single goal.  This did affect his status with this team.  However, Defoe was also ignored by different England manager for most big tournaments in his prime while Heskey went and played in four major tournaments.  But Cole suffered by playing at the time when England preferred the partnership of Alan Shearer and Terry Sheringham.  Glen Hoddle controversially left him off the 1998 World Cup team, where Michael Owen arrived on the scene.  Heskey's 7 goals in 62 appearance was also unimpressive.  I decided to take Andy Cole whose club career was much more impressive.  Daniel Sturridge, Darren Bent and Darius Vassell, Jesse Lingard, Macus Redford, Les Ferdinand and Danny Welbeck were behind them.
-- Then, I selected Jack Leslie.  He received a call-up by England in 1926, but the English FA later withdrew it presumedly after they learned that he was Black.  He would have been the first Black player to be capped by England over 50 years before Viv Anderson.   He was more historical significant than most players on this blog.

Starting lineup
-- Unfortunately, two of greatest Black players in England's history played on the same position.  So I could not start both Barnes and Cunningham.  While Cunningham is a Black pioneer, Barnes was among the greatest wingers in the history of English football. I could have used Barnes in the middle where he played at the end of his career, but I preferred to use him in his best position.


  1. James
    Alexander-Arnold Campbell Ferdinand A.Cole
    Rocastle Bellingham Barnes
    Saka Defoe Rashford

    I take Lincoln's word for Rocastle. is a good source.