It's an international break and as we wait for Big Sam Allardyce's first England team to take to the pitch against Slovakia there is little to talk about. So lets think about some of the Whites who have put on the white shirt of England over the years. Over the years 31 current Leeds United players have racked up a total of 317 caps for England. The first of those was Willis Edwards in 1926, the last being Paul Robinson in 2003. There have of course been several former Leeds players to have played for England since such as James Milner, Aaron Lennon and Danny Rose but sadly they made their international debuts after leaving Leeds. Here are the top 11 most capped England players who won their caps whilst playing for Leeds United;
11) David Batty (1991-1993), 14 Caps
Debut: USSR on 21st May 1991 aged 22 years, 169 days
Last Game: Poland on 8th September 1999 aged 30 years, 279 days
Born Leeds in 1968. After signing professional in 1985 Batty was only 18 when making his debut and impressing with his tackling and speed as he was picked for England under 21's. He picked up England "B" honours as part of the Second Division Champion team in 1989-90. A superb ball-winner and passer he gained 14 of his 42 full England caps with Leeds before a surprise £2.75m transfer to Blackburn Rovers in 1993. He was their Player of the Year and added a further Championship medal to the one already won at Leeds in 1992. He joined Newcastle United for £3.75m in 1996 where he narrowly missed out on three. He returned home for £4.4m in 1998 for a 6 year stint at the club.
10) Willis Edwards (1926-1929), 16 Caps
Debut: Wales on 1st March 1926 aged 22 years, 307 days
Last Game: Wales on 20th November 1929 aged 26 years, 206 days
Willis Edwards, Top Left
Born 1903, Willis joined LUFC in 1925 from Chesterfield, he became the finest wing-half of his day. His splendid ball control, incisive passing and supreme heading ability earned him 16 England Caps and 11 appearances for the Football League. Made 444 appearances and scored 6 goals until 1939 and even then turned out in emergencies as a guest. Willis was a true Leeds Legend,later serving time also as a Trainer and Manager.
9) Rio Ferdinand (2001-2002), 17 Caps
Debut: Cameroon on 15th November 1997 aged 19 years, 8 days
Last Game: Switzerland on 4th June 2011 aged 32 years, 208 days
A supremely elegant footballer who defends with intelligence and guile, but also uses the ball when possession is gained. Leeds smashed not only the British transfer record, but also the world record fee for a defender to prise him away from Upton Park. Paying £18m for Ferdinand, a fee which sent shockwaves through the footballing world. The move undoubtedly benefited Rio, who improved his ability and claimed a spot in the England set-up as the old rearguard was phased out. At the 2002 World Cup he emerged as a truly world class defender. He was a rock as England went out to Brazil in the quarter-finals. He left for Man U for £29.3million. Player of the Year at Leeds in his final season, Ferdinand was a real favourite at Leeds, played 73 games for the club and scored three goals. Rio played for England 17 times whilst at Leeds winning 81 caps in total and scoring 3 goals.
8) Danny Mills (2001-2004), 19 Caps
Debut: Mexico on 25th May 2001 aged 24 years, 7 days
Last Game: Portugal on 18th February 2004 aged 26 years, 275 days
Born Norwich 1977, he initially played for his home town team. After a £4m transfer from Charlton Athletic in 1999, Danny found himself with only 20 appearances in his first season with Leeds, due to the re-emergence of Gary Kelly. He maintained enough form to be chosen at England under 21 level, including the European Championship winning team in Slovakia. An ideal player at EPL level he had the ability to play any of the back four positions and to push forward in midfield if need be. He regained his first team berth and won over his critics to become an important part of David O'Leary's team. Despite a few on-field indiscretions, he won a place in England's 2002 World Cup team, recovering from an initial poor performance to become a solid performer, as the team reached the quarter finals. He won 19 caps for England, all whilst playing for Leeds.
7) Allan Clarke (1970-1975), 19 Caps
Debut: Czechoslovakia on 11th June 1970 aged 23 years, 315 days
Last Game: Portugal on 19th November 1975 aged 29 years, 111 days
Christened "Sniffer" by the Leeds fan for his uncanny ability to look for and score goals out of nothing, he arrived at Leeds from Leicester, costing a record £165,000. He more than repaid Leeds by scoring 151 goals in 364 appearances for the Whites, including the goals that won Leeds the 1972 F.A. Cup and the Fairs Cup. In fact only Lorimer and Charles have scored more than "Sniffer" for Leeds. His attacking partnership with Jones and Lorimer is legendary and he was capped 19 times for England scoring 10 goals. Sold to Barnsley in 1978 he saw out his last footballing seasons as their player/manager, before returning in 1980 to unsuccessfully take the manager's job, at Leeds, seeing them relegated.
6) Nigel Martyn (1997-2002), 20 Caps
Debut: Russia on 29th April 1992 aged 25 years, 262 days
Last Game: Cameroon on 26th May 2002 aged 35 years, 288 days
Martyn became the country's first £1 million goalkeeper when joining Crystal Palace from Bristol Rovers in 1989, having made over 100 appearances for the West Country club. Leeds paid £2.25 million for him in the summer of 1996, then a record for a goalkeeper. He had a superb first season for the Whites as part of George Graham's Leeds revolution. His form continued to be a model of consistency and he was an ever-present between 1999 and 2002. He helped United to third place in the Premiership, a place in the Champions League and the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup. Replaced by Paul Robinson as first team keeper in 2002, he joined Everton in 2003 for a nominal fee. Played 273 times for Leeds and won 23 caps for England (20 of which whilst he was at Leeds) and was Leeds Player of the Year in 1997.
5) Terry Cooper (1969-1974), 20 Caps
Debut: France on 12th March 1969 aged 24 years, 243 days
Last Game: Portugal on 20th November 1974 aged 30 years, 130 days
Joined Leeds in 1961 as left winger, but Revie was unable to place him in the first team on a regular basis until 1967, when "T.C." replaced Bell at left back. Initially dependant on Hunter for defensive cover, he developed in ability and confidence in the following seasons, resulting in 20 full caps for England. T.C.'s old skills as a winger led him on many a foray down the left, to pass unerringly to the Leeds forwards - but it was he who scored the goal which won Leeds the League Cup in 1968. A broken leg at Stoke in 1972 subdued him somewhat and in 1974, after 240 games for Leeds, he moved on to Middlesbrough', then spells at both Bristol clubs and Doncaster.
4) Paul Madeley (1971-1977), 24 Caps
Debut: Northern Ireland on 15th May 1971 aged 26 years, 236 days
Last Game: Netherlands on 9th February 1977 aged 32 years, 142 days
The original "Super Sub" and the most versatile player ever to wear the Leeds shirt...and arguably in the whole history of the Football League. In his 724 first team appearances, spread over an incredible 17 year span at Leeds, he scored 34 goals, playing in every position except goal - perhaps hindering his international selection, as he never had a regular first team position at Leeds. Nevertheless, he still earned 24 full England caps. Paul retired from football in 1980 and worked firstly for a sport shop, before opening a decorating supplies shop in Horsforth.
3) Trevor Cherry (1976-1980), 27 Caps
Debut: Wales on 24th March 1976 aged 28 years, 29 days
Last Game: Spain on 18th June 1980 aged 32 years, 115 days
Born Huddersfield, 1948, he signed for his home town team in 1965 and captained them to the Second Division Championship in 1969-70. He moved to Leeds for £100,000 in 1972, and, while formerly almost exclusively a central defender, his ability to play midfield and full back made him a valuable acquisition. He won 27 caps for England and had the honour of captaining his country, but he was also one of the few England players to be sent off. He won a League championship medal in 1974 and played 477 full games and 8 as substitute, scoring 32 goals before joining Bradford City as player manager and led them to promotion to Division 2.
2) Norman Hunter (1965-1974), 28 Caps
Debut: Spain on 8th December 1965 aged 22 years, 40 days
Last Game: Czechoslovakia on 30th October 1974 aged 31 years, 1 day
A hard but skilful left half, nicknamed "Bites Yer Legs", he daunted opposition players at home and across Europe, with his bone crunching tackling. Despite playing second fiddle to the favoured Bobby Moore, he was still capped 28 times for England scoring 2 goals. In his 15 years at Leeds, he made 724 appearances, scoring 21 goals before moving on to Bristol City in 1976 and later, to Barnsley.
1) Jack Charlton (1965-1970), 35 Caps
Debut: Scotland on 10th April 1965 aged 29 years, 338 days
Last Game: Czechoslovakia on 11th June 1970 aged 35 years, 34 days
"The Giraffe" of Revie's Leeds team and one of the most talented and respected centre halves in footballing history. Big Jack spent his entire footballing career at Leeds, making an astounding 733 appearances over 21 years and scoring 96 goals. His height was used to great advantage at Leeds corner kicks and his surprisingly agile defensive ability kept out even the greatest strikers of his day. He earned the first of his 35 England caps at the age of nearly 30 and was an important part of the 1966 World Cup winning team. He scored 6 goals for England during his international career. Jack retired from playing in 1973 and had mixed fortunes as a manager at several clubs, but his best known managerial success was with The Republic of Ireland.
Marching on Together News