List of England national football team captains

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England's men's and women's captains, Harry Kane (right, pictured at the 2018 FIFA World Cup) and Leah Williamson (left, pictured at a 2019 friendly)
Elizabeth II presents the Jules Rimet Trophy to England captain Bobby Moore, 1966; Moore is the only captain to lead England to a World Cup victory, and has the record for being the youngest men's captain (for a period he was, officially, the absolute youngest captain).
England captain Leah Williamson stands at the back of her team to be presented with the 2022 Women's Euro trophy by William, Duke of Cambridge; Williamson, the incumbent appointed women's captain, is the only captain to lead England to a Euro victory and the only captain to lead the women's team to an international title.

150 people have officially served as captains of the England national football teams. The current captains are Harry Kane (men's) and Leah Williamson (women's).

The first England captain was Cuthbert Ottaway; he captained England in the first ever international match, against Scotland on 30 November 1872. He went on to captain England on just one further occasion, the third international match, on 7 March 1874, against the same opposition. Alexander Morten captained England in their first international on home soil, 8 March 1873, also against Scotland, and was the first international captain to win a match. Having previously played for Scotland against England,[1] this was his only international appearance for England. Morten remains England's oldest captain.

The England women's team was authorised in 1972 by the Women's Football Association (WFA), originally unaffiliated with the Football Association (FA), with Sheila Parker as its first captain. The women's first international match was played against Scotland on 18 November 1972, in anticipation of the centenary of the equivalent men's match. Parker remained in her role for four years before being left out of the 1976 British Home Championship; her replacement, Carol Thomas (née McCune), was only 20 with five prior caps when she took the armband,[2] and retained it for nearly a decade. Women's players between 1972 and 1993 were not all officially recognised until 2022; there were also several prior to 1972, who were not sanctioned and are not recognised. Thomas is England's youngest official captain under the WFA; Keira Walsh is England's youngest official captain under the FA; Carol Wilson and Casey Stoney unofficially served as captains when younger than Thomas and Walsh.

Billy Wright set the record for most captaincies of his country in 1959, with 90. Bobby Moore, who remains England's youngest men's captain and the only England captain to have lifted the World Cup, reached 90 captaincies in 1973, sharing the record with Wright. Steph Houghton has the record for captaincies of the women's team, and outright second-most caps as captain behind Wright and Moore, with 72. Seven male players were captain in their only international cap, the last of these being in 1925.

Several women's matches have seen two players start as co-captains.[3][4] The most players to wear the captain's armband for England in one match is four, which has happened twice. On 3 June 2003, Michael Owen started as captain before Emile Heskey took over at half time, Phil Neville replaced him in the sixty-first minute, and Jamie Carragher was handed the armband in the eighty-seventh.[5][6] On 30 November 2021, Millie Bright started as captain before Ellen White took over at half time, Keira Walsh replaced her in the sixtieth minute, and Alex Greenwood took the armband in the seventy-first.[7][8]

Men's team[edit]

Captain chronology[edit]

  • Bold indicates current captain
  • Italics indicates still-active players
  • Source unless specified:[9]
Representative matches[10]
Tenure Incumbent
1870–1871 Ranji 1897 page 364-2 Charles W. Alcock.jpg Charles W. Alcock
Official international matches[a]
Tenure Incumbent Reserve captains[b]
1872–1874 Cuthbert Ottaway.jpg Cuthbert Ottaway
1873 Alexander Morten
1875 Charles W. Alcock
1876 Hubert Heron
1877 William Rawson
1878–1879 Arthur Cursham
1879 Henry Wace
1880 Charles Wollaston
1880 Francis Sparks
1881 Jack Hunter
1881–1887 Norman Bailey Charles Bambridge, Jack Hudson, Percy Walters
1888 Tinsley Lindley.jpg Tinsley Lindley
1889–1890 Percy Melmoth Walters.jpg Percy Walters Jack Brodie
1890 Arthur Melmoth Walters.jpg Arthur Walters
1891 Tinsley Lindley
1891 Preston north end art (Goodall).jpg John Goodall
1891 Billy Moon c1896.jpg Billy Moon
1892 Arthur Dunn
1893 George Cotterill Bob Holmes
1894 Preston north end art (Holmes).jpg Bob Holmes
1894 John Goodall
1895 Bob Holmes
1895 Wreford-Brown.jpg Charles Wreford-Brown[c]
1895 CunliffeGosling2.jpg R. Cunliffe Gosling[c]
1896–1901 GOSmith.jpg G. O. Smith[d][e] Charles Wreford-Brown, William Oakley, Ernest Needham
1902 RE Foster Cigarette Card.jpg R. E. Foster
1902 Frank Forman.jpg Frank Forman
1902 StiveBloomer.jpg Steve Bloomer[f]
1903 Howard Spencer - Aston Villa.jpg Howard Spencer
1903–1904 Bob Crompton.jpg Bob Crompton
1905 Stan Harris
1905 Howard Spencer
1906 Stan Harris
1907 Bob Crompton
1908–1910 Vivian Woodward.jpg Vivian Woodward Bob Crompton
1910–1914 Bob Crompton Vivian Woodward
1914–1918: World War I
1919 Arthur Knight
1920 Jesse Pennington 1912.jpg Jesse Pennington
1920 Joe McCall
1921 CharlesBuchan.jpg Charlie Buchan
1921 ArthurGrimsdell.jpg Arthur Grimsdell
1921 Ephraim Longworth
1921–1922 George Wilson Max Woosnam
1922–1923 Arthur Grimsdell
1923–1924 George Wilson Charlie Buchan, Basil Patchitt, Graham Doggart, Frank Moss
1924 Sam Wadsworth
1924–1925 Alfred Bower
1925–1926 Sam Wadsworth Billy Walker, Claude Ashton, Tommy Lucas
1927 Alfred Bower
1927 Jack Hill Fred Kean
1928 Roy Goodall
1928–1929 Willis Edwards
1929 Jack Hill
1929 Willis Edwards
1930 David Jack (1).jpg David Jack
1930–1931 Roy Goodall Alf Strange
1931–1933 Ernie Blenkinsop David Jack, Billy Walker
1933 Roy Goodall
1934 Tom Cooper footballer.jpg Tom Cooper
1934–1939 Eddie Hapgood crop (Tolnai Világlapja, 1939).jpg Eddie Hapgood Jack Barker, George Male, Sam Barkas, Stan Cullis
1939–1945: World War II
1946–1948 George Hardwick (1956).jpg George Hardwick Frank Swift
1948–1959 Billy Wright (1961).jpg Billy Wright Alf Ramsey
1959–1960 Ronnie Clayton.jpg Ronnie Clayton
1960–1962 Johnny Haynes crop.jpg Johnny Haynes Jimmy Armfield
1962–1964 Jimmy Armfield, CBE, opening the Heys Sports Complex, Oswaldtwistle, Sept 2012.jpg Jimmy Armfield Bobby Moore
1964–1973 Bobby Moore vs Josef Masopust 1963.jpg Bobby Moore Ron Flowers, Jimmy Armfield, Bobby Charlton, Alan Mullery, Martin Peters, Colin Bell
1974 Emlyn Hughes (cropped).jpg Emlyn Hughes
1975 Alan Ball (cropped).jpg Alan Ball
1975–1976 Gerry Francis Kevin Keegan, Mick Channon
1976–1982 Kevin Keegan 2.jpg Kevin Keegan Emlyn Hughes, Mick Mills, Phil Thompson, Trevor Cherry, Ray Clemence, Peter Shilton
1982–1991 Bryan Robson Thailand 2009-11-01 (2).jpg Bryan Robson Ray Wilkins, Peter Shilton, Terry Butcher, Peter Beardsley
1990–1992 Gary Lineker (cropped).jpg Gary Lineker Mark Wright, Stuart Pearce
1992–1993 Stuart Pearce (31651906441).jpg Stuart Pearce Paul Ince, David Platt
1993–1995 DavidPlatt.jpg David Platt Paul Ince, Tony Adams
1995–1996 Adams, Tony.jpg Tony Adams Alan Shearer
1996–2000 Alan Shearer 2008.jpg Alan Shearer Stuart Pearce, Paul Ince, David Seaman, Tony Adams, Sol Campbell
2000 Tony Adams Sol Campbell, Martin Keown
2000–2006 David Beckham.jpg David Beckham Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard
2006–2010 JohnTerry.JPG John Terry Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham
2010–2011 Rio Ferdinand-en.JPG Rio Ferdinand Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry
2011–2012 John Terry Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Scott Parker
2012–2014 SGerrard.JPG Steven Gerrard Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Gareth Barry
2014–2017 Wayne Rooney Euro 2012 vs Italy.jpg Wayne Rooney Gary Cahill, Joe Hart, Phil Jagielka, James Milner, Chris Smalling, Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane
2017–2018 Jordan Henderson 2018-06-28 1.jpg Jordan Henderson Gary Cahill, Joe Hart, Harry Kane, Eric Dier
2018–present Harry Kane in Russia 2.jpg Harry Kane Jordan Henderson,[12] Gary Cahill, Eric Dier, Raheem Sterling,[13] Harry Maguire, Kieran Trippier, Marcus Rashford[14]

Captains by tournament[edit]

  • Bold indicates tournament winners
  • Italics indicates tournament hosts
  • Source:[15]
Player Tournament(s)[g]
Billy Wright
Johnny Haynes
Bobby Moore
Kevin Keegan
Mick Mills
Bryan Robson
Gary Lineker
Tony Adams
Alan Shearer
David Beckham
Steven Gerrard
Wayne Rooney
Harry Kane

Women's team[edit]

Captain chronology[edit]

  • Bold indicates current captain
  • Italics indicates still-active players
  •    indicates player was captain for matches under the Women's Football Association[h]
Non-official England teams that represented England internationally
Tenure Incumbent Team
1933 Ethel Audaer Terry's Ladies Football Club[20][21]
1957–1966 Doris Ashley Manchester Corinthians/Nomad/All Stars Ladies[18][22][23][24][25][26]
1960 Margaret Griffiths
1969–1970 Sue Lopez British Independents[27][i]
1971 Carol Wilson
Official England teams
Tenure Incumbent Reserve captains[b]
1972–1976 Sheila Parker[29]
1976– Carol Thomas (née McCune)[2]
1983: WFA becomes a "County Association" of The Football Association[30]
–1985 Carol Thomas (née McCune)[2]
1985– Debbie Bampton.JPG Debbie Bampton[18]
1990– Gillian Coultard[3][18]
1993: The team becomes incorporated into The Football Association[31]
–1997 Debbie Bampton[3]
–2000 Gillian Coultard[3]
2000–2001 Mo Marley[3][32]
2001–2002 Tara Proctor.JPG Tara Proctor[33] Karen Walker,[4] Faye White[4]
2002–2003 Kaz Walker.JPG Karen Walker[4][34] Mary Phillip[4]
2002–2012 Faye White.jpg Faye White[4][35][36] Mary Phillip,[4] Kelly Smith,[37] Fara Williams,[4][38] Casey Stoney,[4][39] Rachel Yankey[40]
2012–2014 Arsenal LFC v Kelly Smith All-Stars XI (046) (cropped).jpg Casey Stoney[41] Rachel Yankey,[39] Alex Scott,[42] Steph Houghton,[39] Fara Williams,[39] Laura Bassett[39]
2014–2022 Arsenal LFC v Kelly Smith All-Stars XI (189) (cropped).jpg Steph Houghton[43] Fara Williams,[39] Karen Bardsley,[39] Jordan Nobbs,[44][45] Jill Scott,[39] Ellen White,[39] Laura Bassett,[39] Lucy Bronze,[46] Keira Walsh,[47] Toni Duggan,[39] Millie Bright,[48][49] Leah Williamson[48]
2022–present 2020-02-23 Arsenal WFC v Lewes L.F.C. 152 (cropped - Williamson).jpg Leah Williamson Millie Bright,[50] Ellen White,[51] Steph Houghton[52][j]

Captains by tournament[edit]

  • Bold indicates tournament winners
  • Italics indicates tournament hosts
Player Unrecognised tournament(s)[g]
Doris Ashley
  • 1957 European Cup[24]
  • 1960 Torneo Internacional De Futbol Femenino[22][53]
Margaret Griffiths
  • 1960 Torneo Internacional De Futbol Femenino[22][53]
Sue Lopez
Carol Wilson
Player Tournament(s)[g]
Carol Thomas (née McCune)
Debbie Bampton
Gillian Coultard
Debbie Bampton
Gillian Coultard
Mo Marley
Tara Proctor
Faye White
Casey Stoney
Steph Houghton
Leah Williamson

Captains by appearances as captain[edit]

Figures include all recognised matches up to 30 November 2022. Only confirmed captaincies of named captains are counted.

The default order for this list is by most appearances as captain, then chronological order of first captaincy.

  • Bold indicates appointed captain of England
  • Italics indicates still-active players
  • Sources unless specified:[k][9]
# Player England career Caps as captain Total caps First captaincy
1 Billy Wright 1946–1959 90 105 9 October 1948
1 Bobby Moore 1962–1973 90 108 29 May 1963
3 Steph Houghton 2007–present 72[58] 121 17 January 2014
4 Bryan Robson 1980–1991 65 90 17 November 1982
5 David Beckham 1996–2009 59 115 15 November 2000
6 Harry Kane 2015–present 56 73 10 June 2017
7 Carol Thomas (née McCune) 1976–1985 49–51[l] 56[l] 22 May 1976
8 Faye White 1997–2012 48[62] 90 7 March 2002
9 Gillian Coultard 1981–2000 38+[m] 119 25 November 1990
9 Steven Gerrard 2000–2014 38 114 31 March 2004
11 Alan Shearer 1992–2000 34 63 1 September 1996
11 John Terry 2003–2012 34 78 16 August 2006
13 Kevin Keegan 1972–1982 31 63 24 March 1976
14 Debbie Bampton 1978–1997 26+[m] 95 22 September 1985
15 Wayne Rooney 2003–2018 23 120 14 November 2009
15 Emlyn Hughes 1969–1980 23 62 11 March 1974
17 Bob Crompton 1902–1914 22 41 2 March 1903
17 Johnny Haynes 1954–1962 22 56 15 May 1960
19 Eddie Hapgood 1933–1939 20 30 14 November 1934
20 David Platt 1989–1996 19 62 17 February 1993
20 Casey Stoney 2000–2017 19 130 7 March 2009[n]
22 Gary Lineker 1984–1992 18 80 12 September 1990
22 Leah Williamson 2018–present 18[64] 39 17 September 2021
24 Mary Phillip 1995–2008 17+[m] 65 17 May 2003
25 Norman Bailey 1878–1887 15 19 12 March 1881
25 Jimmy Armfield 1959–1966 15 43 28 September 1961
25 Peter Shilton 1970–1990 15 125 25 May 1982
25 Tony Adams 1987–2000 15 66 12 October 1994
29 Viv Woodward 1903–1911 14 23 15 February 1908
30 G. O. Smith 1893–1901 13–16[d][e] 20 4 April 1896
30 George Hardwick 1946–1948 13 13 28 September 1946
32 Roy Goodall 1926–1933 12 25 31 March 1928
33 Sheila Parker 1972–1983 11 33[65] 18 November 1972
33 Fara Williams 2001–2019 11 172 5 March 2009
35 Ray Wilkins 1976–1986 10 84 22 September 1982
35 Stuart Pearce 1987–1999 10 78 8 June 1991
37 Jack Hill 1925–1929 8 11 2 April 1927
37 Gerry Francis 1974–1976 8 12 3 September 1975
37 Mick Mills 1972–1982 8 42 13 May 1978
37 Michael Owen 1998–2008 8 89 17 April 2002
37 Frank Lampard 1999–2014 8 106 9 February 2011
37 Jordan Henderson 2010–present 8 58 8 October 2016
37 Millie Bright 2016–present 8 64 13 April 2021
44 George Wilson 1921–1924 7 12 22 October 1921
44 Terry Butcher 1980–1990 7 77 12 November 1986
44 Paul Ince 1992–2000 7 53 9 June 1993
44 Rio Ferdinand 1997–2011 7 81 26 March 2008
44 Eric Dier 2015–present 7 45 10 November 2017
49 George Male 1934–1939 6 19 18 November 1936
49 Alan Ball 1965–1975 6 72 12 March 1975
49 Phil Thompson 1976–1982 6 42 22 November 1979
52 Percy Walters 1885–1890 5 13 13 March 1886
52 Willis Edwards 1926–1929 5 16 22 October 1928
52 Ronnie Clayton 1955–1960 5 35 17 October 1959
52 Mo Marley 1995–2001 5 41 4 June 2000
52 Gary Cahill 2010–2018 5 61 9 October 2015
52 Jill Scott 2006–2022 5 161 27 October 2015
52 Lucy Bronze 2013–present 5 100 1 March 2018
52 Harry Maguire 2017–present 5 32 7 September 2019
60 Tinsley Lindley 1886–1891 4 13 4 February 1888
60 Stanley Harris 1904–1906 4 6 25 February 1905
60 Sam Wadsworth 1922–1926 4 9 22 October 1924
60 David Jack 1924–1932 4 9 5 April 1930
60 Ernie Blenkinsop 1928–1933 4 26 9 December 1931
60 Thomas Cooper 1927–1934 4 15 14 April 1934
60 Martin Peters 1966–1974 4 67 19 May 1971
60 Tara Proctor 1995–2002 4 20 30 June 2001
60 Kelly Smith 1995–2014 4 117 28 September 2008
69 Robert Holmes 1888–1895 3 7 13 March 1893
69 Howard Spencer 1897–1905 3 6 14 February 1903
69 Arthur Grimsdell 1920–1923 3 6 9 April 1921
69 Alfred Bower[o] 1923–1927 3 5 8 December 1924
69 Billy Walker 1920–1932 3 18 21 May 1925
69 Alfred Strange 1930–1933 3 20 14 May 1931
69 Sam Barkas 1936–1937 3 18 23 October 1937
69 Alf Ramsey 1948–1953 3 32 15 November 1950
69 Ron Flowers 1955–1966 3 49 27 May 1964
69 Bobby Charlton 1958–1970 3 106 15 January 1969
69 David V. Watson 1974–1982 3 65 24 April 1981
69 Sol Campbell 1996–2007 3 73 24 May 1998
69 Karen Walker 1988–2003 3 83 24 February 2002
69 Ellen White 2010–2022 3 113 1 July 2017
83 Cuthbert Ottaway 1872–1874 2 2 30 November 1872
83 Charles Bambridge 1879–1887 2 18 18 February 1882
83 John Goodall 1888–1898 2 14 7 February 1891
83 Arthur Dunn 1883–1892 2 4 15 March 1892
83 George Cotterill 1891–1893 2 4 25 February 1893
83 Charles Wreford-Brown 1889–1898 2 or 3[c] 4 18 March 1895
83 Jesse Pennington 1907–1920 2 25 15 March 1920
83 Charlie Buchan 1913–1924 2 6 14 March 1921
83 Basil Patchitt 1923 2 2 21 May 1923
83 Frank Swift 1946–1949 2 19 16 May 1948
83 Mick Channon 1972–1977 2 46 28 May 1976
83 Rachel Yankey 1997–2013 2 129 29 July 2010[40]
83 Laura Bassett 2003–2017 2 63 7 March 2014
83 Jordan Nobbs 2013–present 2 69 11 March 2015
83 Joe Hart 2008–2017 2 75 13 November 2015
83 Raheem Sterling 2012–present 2 61 7 June 2019
99 Alexander Morten 1873 1 1 8 March 1873
99 Charles W. Alcock 1875 1 1 6 March 1875
99 Hubert Heron 1873–1878 1 5 4 March 1876
99 William Rawson 1875–1877 1 2 3 March 1877
99 Arthur Cursham 1880–1884 1 or 2[p] 6 2 March 1878
99 Henry Wace 1878–1879 1 or 2[p] 3 5 April 1879
99 Charles Wollaston 1874–1880 1 4 13 March 1880
99 Francis Sparks 1879–1880 1 3 15 March 1880
99 Jack Hunter 1878–1882 1 7 26 February 1881
99 John Hudson 1883 1 1 24 February 1883
99 John Brodie 1889–1891 1 3 2 March 1889
99 Arthur Walters 1885–1890 1 9 5 April 1890
99 Billy Moon 1888–1885 1 7 6 April 1891
99 R. Cunliffe Gosling 1892–1895 1 or 2[c] 5 6 April 1895
99 William Oakley 1895–1901 1 16 9 March 1901
99 Ernest Needham 1894–1902 1 16 18 March 1901
99 Reginald Foster 1900–1902 1 5 3 March 1902
99 Frank Forman 1898–1903 1 9 22 March 1902
99 Stephen Bloomer 1895–1907 1 or 2[f] 23 3 May 1902[f]
99 Arthur Knight 1919 1 1 25 October 1919
99 Joseph McCall 1913–1920 1 5 23 October 1920
99 Ephraim Longworth 1920–1923 1 5 21 May 1921
99 Max Woosnam 1922 1 1 13 March 1922
99 Graham Doggart 1923 1 1 1 November 1923
99 Frank Moss 1924 1 5 12 April 1924
99 Claude Ashton[q] 1925 1 1 24 October 1925
99 Tommy Lucas 1921–1926 1 3 24 May 1926
99 Fred Kean 1923–1929 1 9 21 May 1927
99 Jack Barker 1934–1936 1 11 17 October 1936
99 Stan Cullis 1937–1939 1 12 24 May 1939
99 Alan Mullery 1964–1971 1 35 3 February 1971
99 Colin Bell 1968–1975 1 48 23 May 1972
99 Trevor Cherry 1976–1980 1 27 31 May 1980
99 Ray Clemence 1972–1983 1 61 12 May 1981
99 Phil Neal 1976–1983 1 50 2 June 1982
99 Peter Beardsley 1986–1996 1 59 13 February 1988
99 Mark Wright 1984–1996 1 45 21 May 1991
99 David Seaman 1988–2003 1 75 10 September 1997
99 Martin Keown 1992–2002 1 43 11 September 2000
99 Gareth Barry 2000–2012 1 53 29 March 2011
99 Scott Parker 2003–2013 1 11 29 February 2012
99 Ashley Cole 2001–2014 1 107 29 May 2013[r]
99 Alex Scott 2004–2017 1 140 31 October 2013
99 Karen Bardsley 2005–2022 1 81 9 March 2015
99 Phil Jagielka 2008–2016 1 40 12 October 2015
99 James Milner 2009–2016 1 61 29 March 2016
99 Chris Smalling 2011–2017 1 31 27 May 2016
99 Keira Walsh 2017–present 1 54 4 September 2018
99 Toni Duggan 2012–present 1 76 8 November 2018[s]
99 Fabian Delph 2014–2019 1 20 15 November 2018
99 Kieran Trippier 2017–present 1 27 8 October 2020
99 Marcus Rashford 2016–present 1 41 6 June 2021

Captains by age[edit]

  • Bold indicates appointed captain of England (not necessarily at time of the relevant match/es)

Youngest captains[edit]

Players who started as captain at under 25 years of age.[70]

# Player Date of birth First captaincy Age #W #M
Age 20
1 Carol Thomas (née McCune)[t] (1955-06-05)5 June 1955 22 May 1976 20 years, 11 months and 17 days 1
Age 21
2 Keira Walsh (1997-04-08)8 April 1997 4 September 2018 21 years, 4 months and 27 days 2
Age 22
3 Bobby Moore (1941-04-12)12 April 1941 29 May 1963 22 years, 1 month and 17 days 1
4 Jordan Nobbs (1992-12-08)8 December 1992 11 March 2015 22 years, 3 months and 3 days 3
5 Tinsley Lindley (1865-10-27)27 October 1865 4 February 1888 22 years, 3 months and 8 days 2
6 Michael Owen (1979-12-14)14 December 1979 17 April 2002 22 years, 4 months and 3 days 3
7 Cuthbert Ottaway (1850-07-20)20 July 1850 30 November 1872 22 years, 4 months and 10 days 4
8 Jack Hudson (1860-10-11)11 October 1860 24 February 1883 22 years, 4 months and 13 days 5
9 William Rawson (1854-10-14)14 October 1854 3 March 1877 22 years, 4 months and 17 days 6
10 Percy Walters (1863-09-30)30 September 1863 13 March 1886 22 years, 5 months and 13 days 7
11 Stan Cullis (1916-10-25)25 October 1916 24 May 1939 22 years, 6 months and 29 days 8
12 Basil Patchitt (1900-08-08)8 August 1900 21 May 1923 22 years, 9 months and 13 days 9
13 Billy Moon (1868-06-07)7 June 1868 4 April 1891 22 years, 9 months and 28 days 10
Age 23
14 G. O. Smith (1872-11-25)25 November 1872 4 April 1896 23 years, 4 months and 10 days 11
15 Bob Crompton (1879-09-26)26 September 1879 2 March 1903 23 years, 5 months and 4 days 12
16 Charles Bambridge (1858-07-30)30 July 1858 18 February 1882 23 years, 6 months and 19 days 13
17 Marcus Rashford (1997-10-31)31 October 1997 6 June 2021 23 years, 7 months and 6 days[u] 14
18 Stan Harris (1881-07-19)19 July 1881 25 February 1905 23 years, 7 months and 6 days[u] 15
19 Norman Bailey (1857-07-23)23 July 1857 12 March 1881 23 years, 7 months and 17 days 16
20 Sol Campbell (1974-09-18)18 September 1974 29 May 1998 23 years, 8 months and 11 days 17
21 Gerry Francis (1951-12-06)6 December 1951 3 September 1975 23 years, 8 months and 28 days 18
22 Eric Dier (1994-01-15)15 January 1994 10 November 2017 23 years, 9 months and 26 days 19
23 Steven Gerrard (1980-05-30)30 May 1980 31 March 2004 23 years, 10 months and 1 day 20
24 Harry Kane (1993-07-28)28 July 1993 10 June 2017 23 years, 10 months and 13 days 21
25 R. E. Foster (1878-04-16)16 April 1878 3 March 1902 23 years, 10 months and 15 days 22
26 Debbie Bampton[t] (1961-10-07)7 October 1961 22 September 1985 23 years, 11 months and 15 days 4
Age 24
27 Wayne Rooney (1985-10-24)24 October 1985 14 November 2009 24 years and 21 days 23
28 Faye White (1978-02-02)2 February 1978 7 March 2002 24 years, 1 month and 5 days[v] 5
29 Hubert Heron (1852-01-30)30 January 1852 4 March 1876 24 years, 1 month and 4 days[v] 24
30 Leah Williamson (1997-03-29)29 March 1997 17 September 2021 24 years, 5 months and 19 days 6
31 Raheem Sterling (1994-12-08)8 December 1994 6 June 2019 24 years, 5 months and 29 days 25
32 Billy Wright (1924-02-06)6 February 1924 9 October 1948 24 years, 8 months and 3 days 26
33 Claude Ashton (1901-02-19)19 February 1901 24 October 1925 24 years, 8 months and 5 days 27
34 Francis Sparks (1855-07-04)4 July 1855 15 March 1880 24 years, 8 months and 11 days 28
35 George Cotterill (1868-04-04)4 April 1868 25 February 1893 24 years, 10 months and 21 days 29
36 Sheila Parker[t][w] 1947 18 November 1972 ~24 years and 11 months[x] 7
37 Arthur Cursham (1853-03-14)14 March 1853 2 March 1878 24 years, 11 months and 16 days 30

Unofficial young captaincies

Player Date of birth First unofficial captaincy Age
Age 18
Carol Wilson[t] June 1952 2 June 1971[y] ~18 years and 11 months
Age 20
Casey Stoney (1982-05-13)13 May 1982 25 February 2003[n] 20 years, 9 months and 12 days
Age 23
Georgia Stanway (1999-01-03)3 January 1999 15 November 2022 23 years, 10 months and 12 days
Age 24
Sue Lopez[t] (1945-09-01)1 September 1945 1 November 1969[y] 24 years and 2 months

Oldest captains[edit]

Players who started as captain at over 35 years of age.[72]

# Player Date of birth Last captaincy Age #W #M
Age 41+
1 Alexander Morten 1831 or 1832[73] 8 March 1873 41 or 42[73] 1
Age 40
2 Peter Shilton (1949-09-18)18 September 1949 7 July 1990 40 years, 9 months and 19 days 2
Age 36
3 Gillian Coultard (1963-07-22)22 July 1963 13 May 2000 36 years, 9 months and 21 days 1
4 Jesse Pennington (1883-08-23)23 August 1883 10 April 1920 36 years, 7 months and 18 days 3
5 Frank Lampard (1978-06-20)20 June 1978 24 June 2014 36 years and 4 days 4
Age 35
6 Debbie Bampton (1961-10-07)7 October 1961 11 May 1997 35 years, 7 months and 4 days 2
7 Billy Wright (1924-02-06)6 February 1924 28 May 1959 35 years, 3 months and 22 days 5
8 Billy Walker (1897-10-29)29 October 1897 7 December 1932 35 years, 1 month and 8 days 6
9 Stuart Pearce (1962-04-24)24 April 1962 24 May 1997 35 years and 1 month 7

Unofficial old captaincies

Player Date of birth Last unofficial captaincy Age
Doris Ashley ~1923[74][75] 17 July 1966[23] ~42

Disputed captains[edit]

These players may have officially captained England, but sources are either uncertain or differ.

Player England career Caps as captain Total caps
Harry Daft 1889–1892 1 or 0[76] 5
Vaughan Lodge 1894–1896 0 or 1[d] 5
George Raikes 1895–1896 0 or 1[d] 4

Captains of non-official matches[edit]

The following players have never captained England officially, but have started a match as named captain of a team representing England, with the match and/or team not officially recognised:

Only known, confirmed, non-official caps as captain are included.

Player England career Caps as captain First captaincy Ref(s)
Stanley Briggs 1899 1 23 November 1899 [77]
Ethel Audaer 1933 1 9 August 1933 [20]
Doris Ashley 1957–1966 5+ 2 November 1957 [24][74]
Margaret Griffiths 1960 1+ April 1960 [22]
Sue Lopez 1969–1970 2+ 1 November 1969 [27]
Carol Wilson 1971 4 2 June 1971 [27]

Unofficial captains[edit]

The following players have never been named, i.e. started a match as, captain, but were given the armband partway through a match after that game's captain was either sent off or substituted. As records for such mid-game changes are not often kept, this list will be incomplete:

Player England career Date
Gareth Southgate 1995–2004 25 May 2001[78]
Robbie Fowler 1996–2002 27 March 2002[79]
Danny Mills 2001–2004 12 February 2003[80]
Emile Heskey 1999–2010 3 June 2003[5]
Phil Neville 1996–2007 3 June 2003[5]
Jamie Carragher 1999–2010 3 June 2003[5]
David James 1997–2010 28 May 2005[81]
Gary Neville 1995–2007 1 July 2006[82]
Joleon Lescott 2007–2013 26 May 2012[83]
Michael Carrick 2001–2015 15 August 2012[84]
Alex Greenwood 2014–present 30 November 2021[8][85]
Mary Earps 2017–present 11 October 2022[86]
Georgia Stanway 2018–present 15 November 2022[87]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Football Association officially separated association football ("soccer") and rugby football ("rugby", itself unseparated) in 1872; prior to this, "football" games could be played as either format indiscriminately. The creation of another national football association, the Scottish Football Association, in 1873 allowed international games to be played (the first England vs Scotland game, though, preceded this foundation by several months). A codified set of FA rules for association football was firmly established in 1877.
  2. ^ a b Reserve captains are players that have taken the captain's armband on a one-off match basis when the incumbent is unavailable. Unlike unofficial captaincies the player is given the responsibility prior to the game and are officially recognised by the FA as having officially captained England, whereas unofficial captains receive the armband part way through a match due to the substitution or the receiving of a red card by the captain.[11]
  3. ^ a b c d Sources differ concerning the captaincy for England vs Wales, 12 March 1894. It was either Charles Wreford-Brown or Cunliffe Gosling.
  4. ^ a b c d The captaincy for England vs Ireland, 7 March 1896 is disputed between G. O. Smith (13 confirmed captaincies), and George Raikes and Vaughan Lodge, neither of whom had captained England in another match.
  5. ^ a b The match on 16 March 1896 may have been captained by Gilbert (G. O.) Smith.
  6. ^ a b c Bloomer captained two successive games in 1902, with the first, on 5 April 1902, seeing the 1902 Ibrox disaster occur. This match was, afterwards, declared null and void by the Football Association.
  7. ^ a b c Tournaments for which the player has been officially named as captain, not including tournaments where they have stepped up as a reserve captain or have been otherwise substituted for a match/es. Only major tournaments.
  8. ^ The Women's Football Association fielded their first England team in 1972, and was the governing body of women's football in England until the Football Association incorporated the team in 1993, marking a change in the formal organisation of it.[16] Few of the international matches contested by the team were considered official.[17] In 2019, women's sports history researcher Jean Williams found that "many of the games before 1993 were not recognised as official internationals, [...] and, though recognised by the FA with a virtual cap as representative games, many women players do not have more than one or two caps for their country as a result."[18] The WFA had so little funding that one woman hand-stitched caps for players.[18] The FA announced in 2022 that it would seek to recognise all former women's internationals.[19]
  9. ^ Women were banned from top flight football in England until 1972, with the early pseudo-international British Independents teams specifically disavowed and blacklisted.[28]
  10. ^ Houghton was named a vice-captain but did not wear the armband under Williamson.
  11. ^ Women's matches (Englandfootballonline.com indices):[27][3][4][39][49]
  12. ^ a b Contemporary to the end of her career, the Guinness Book of Records listed Thomas with 49 caps as captain from 56 overall international caps,[59] which it repeated in every edition through 1990.[60] When Thomas was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2021, they reported 51 caps as captain, still from 56 international caps.[61] Assuming Thomas captained every England women's match from her first cap as captain to the end of the 1985 Mundialito, the online record shows 50 matches (inclusive), at least four of which continue, as of 2022, to be considered unofficial;[27] the record does not show a 17 August 1985 game against Wales, which Thomas has stated is the only one during her era that she did not captain.[18]
  13. ^ a b c Some teamsheets from the appropriate period are unavailable, incomplete, or do not indicate captain.
  14. ^ a b Casey Stoney was first handed the captain's armband on an unofficial basis on 25 February 2003 (age 20) when captain Karen Walker was substituted off;[63] this captaincy is not counted as she was not named/did not start as captain. She first made an appearance as a named captain, starting the match as captain (as reserve for Faye White), on 7 March 2009 (age 26).
  15. ^ Alfred Bower was the last amateur player to captain England.
  16. ^ a b Sources differ concerning the captaincy for England vs Wales, 18 January 1879. It was either Arthur Cursham or Henry Wace.
  17. ^ Claude Ashton was the last player to be appointed captain for his solitary England appearance.
  18. ^ Cole was never a formal reserve or vice captain, but started with the armband as a gesture to celebrate his 100th cap. The match was actually Cole's 102nd cap, and there was reported surprise that he accepted the offer, as he had previously scorned the captaincy.[66]
  19. ^ Duggan took the place of captain Steph Houghton so that Houghton could defer her 100th England cap by a match to play it at home rather than away. Other recent stand-in captains were unavailable — Keira Walsh was injured,[67] Lucy Bronze also did not travel, and Jordan Nobbs was an unused substitute[68] — and manager Phil Neville said he selected Duggan due to her importance in the team.[69]
  20. ^ a b c d e WFA era
  21. ^ a b There are more shorter months between Rashford's birthday and his captain debut than there are for Harris; though the same number of months in age, as these months are shorter, Rashford is younger in days.
  22. ^ a b As 1876 was a leap year and January is a longer month, while Heron may seem to have been younger than White in number of months and days, he would have been a day older when accounting for the length of the months.
  23. ^ The FA announced in 2022 that it would award caps to the 1972 first official women's team, including captain Parker.[19]
  24. ^ Parker was appointed captain in 1972 aged 24.[65] She was 74 on 31 December 2021.[71] Provided she was 24 at the time of her first match on 18 November 1972, Parker must have been born in November or December 1947.
  25. ^ a b Wilson and Lopez' captaincies, which were not authorised and occurred while women's football was still banned in England, are not recognised by any official body.

References[edit]

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    "Carol Thomas (née McCune)". History of the Women's Football Association. 28 October 2018. Retrieved 14 October 2022.
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External links[edit]