List of England national football team captains

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Harry Kane, pictured here at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, has been England captain since 2018.

This article lists all the captains of the England national men's football team.

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 vs Scotland, and was the first international captain to win a match. This was his only international appearance.

Since then, Billy Wright went on to set the record for most captaincies of his country, with 90. Bobby Moore, who remains the only England captain to have lifted the World Cup, reached 90 captaincies in 1973, and shares the record with Wright.

List of captains[edit]

Elizabeth II presents the Jules Rimet Trophy to England captain Bobby Moore, 1966
Wayne Rooney, England's top goalscorer, was England captain from 2014-2017.

Figures include all recognised matches up to 24 June 2014. The default order for this list is by most appearances as captain, then chronological order of first captaincy. Only confirmed captaincies are counted.

#PlayerEngland careerCaps as captainTotal capsFirst captaincy
1Billy Wright1946–1959901059 October 1948
1Bobby Moore1962–19739010829 May 1963
3Bryan Robson1980–1991659017 November 1982
4David Beckham1996–20095911515 November 2000
5Steven Gerrard2000–20144011431 March 2004
6Alan Shearer1992–200034631 September 1996
6John Terry2003–2012347216 August 2006
8Kevin Keegan1972–1982316324 March 1976
9Emlyn Hughes1969–1980236211 March 1974
10Bob Crompton1902–191422412 March 1903
10Johnny Haynes1954–1962225615 May 1960
12Eddie Hapgood1933–1939203014 November 1934
13David Platt1989–1996196217 February 1993
13Wayne Rooney2003– 20172311914 November 2009
15Gary Lineker1984–1992188012 September 1990
16Norman Bailey1878–1887151912 March 1881
16Jimmy Armfield1959–1966154328 September 1961
16Peter Shilton1970–19901512525 May 1982
16Tony Adams1987–2000156612 October 1994
20Viv Woodward1903–1911142315 February 1908
21G. O. Smith1893–190113204 April 1896
21George Hardwick1946–1948131328 September 1946
23Roy Goodall1926–1933122531 March 1928
24Ray Wilkins1976–1986108422 September 1982
24Stuart Pearce1987–199910788 June 1991
26Michael Owen1998–200898917 April 2002
27Jack Hill1925–19298112 April 1927
27Mick Mills1972–198284213 May 1978
28Gerry Francis1974–19768123 September 1975
30George Wilson1921–192471222 October 1921
30Terry Butcher1980–199077712 November 1986
30Paul Ince1992–20007539 June 1993
30Rio Ferdinand1997–201178126 March 2008
34George Male1934–193961918 November 1936
34Alan Ball1965–197567212 March 1975
34Phil Thompson1976–198264222 November 1979
37Gary Cahill2010–present5539 October 2015
37Percy Walters1885–189051313 March 1886
37Willis Edwards1926–192951622 October 1928
37Ronnie Clayton1955–196053517 October 1959
40Tinsley Lindley1886–18914134 February 1888
40Stanley Harris1904–19064625 February 1905
40Sam Wadsworth1922–19264922 October 1924
40David Jack1924–1932495 April 1930
40Ernie Blenkinsop1928–19334269 December 1931
40Thomas Cooper1927–193441514 April 1934
40Martin Peters1966–197446719 May 1971
46Robert Holmes1888–18953713 March 1893
46Howard Spencer1897–19053614 February 1903
46Arthur Grimsdell1920–1923369 April 1921
46Alfred Bower[1]1923–1927358 December 1924
46Billy Walker1920–193231821 May 1925
46Alfred Strange1930–193332014 May 1931
46Sam Barkas1936–193731823 October 1937
46Alf Ramsey1948–195333215 November 1950
46Ron Flowers1955–196634927 May 1964
46Bobby Charlton1958–1970310615 January 1969
46David V. Watson1974–198236524 April 1981
46Sol Campbell1996–200737024 May 1998
46Frank Lampard1999–201431069 February 2011
58Cuthbert Ottaway1872–18742230 November 1872
58Charles Bambridge1879–188721818 February 1882
58John Goodall1888–18982147 February 1891
58Arthur Dunn1883–18922415 March 1892
58George Cotterill1891–18932425 February 1893
58Charles Wreford-Brown1889–18982 or 3[2]418 March 1895
58Jesse Pennington1907–192022515 March 1920
58Charlie Buchan1913–19242614 March 1921
58Basil Patchitt19232221 May 1923
58Frank Swift1946–194921916 May 1948
58Mick Channon1972–197724628 May 1976
69Alexander Morten1873118 March 1873
69C. W. Alcock1875116 March 1875
69Hubert Heron1873–1878154 March 1876
69William Rawson1875–1877123 March 1877
69Arthur Cursham1880–18841 or 2[3]62 March 1878
69Henry Wace1878–18791 or 2[3]35 April 1879
69Charles Wollaston1874–18801413 March 1880
69Francis Sparks1879–18801315 March 1880
69Jack Hunter1878–18821726 February 1881
69John Hudson18831124 February 1883
69John Brodie1889–1891132 March 1889
69Billy Moon1888–1885176 April 1891
69R. Cunliffe Gosling1892–18951 or 2[2]56 April 1895
69William Oakley1895–19011169 March 1901
69Ernest Needham1894–190211618 March 1901
69Reginald Foster1900–1902153 March 1902
69Frank Forman1898–19031922 March 1902
69Stephen Bloomer1895–19071233 May 1902
69Arthur Knight19191125 October 1919
69Joseph McCall1913–19201523 October 1920
69Ephraim Longworth1920–19231521 May 1921
69Max Woosnam19221113 March 1922
69Graham Doggart1923111 November 1923
69Frank Moss19241512 April 1924
69Claude Ashton[4]19251124 October 1925
69Tommy Lucas1921–19261324 May 1926
69Fred Kean1923–19291921 May 1927
69Jack Barker1934–193611117 October 1936
69Stan Cullis1937–193911224 May 1939
69Alan Mullery1964–19711353 February 1971
69Colin Bell1968–197514823 May 1972
69Trevor Cherry1976–198012731 May 1980
69Ray Clemence1972–198316112 May 1981
69Phil Neal1976–19831502 June 1982
69Peter Beardsley1986–199615913 February 1988
69Mark Wright1984–199614321 May 1991
69David Seaman1988–200317510 September 1997
69Martin Keown1992–200214311 September 2000
69Gareth Barry2000–201215229 March 2011
69Scott Parker2003–201311129 February 2012
69Phil Jagielka2008–present13812 October 2015

Disputed captaincies[edit]

PlayerEngland careerCaps as captainTotal caps
Harry Daft1889–18921 or 0[5]5
Vaughan Lodge1894–18960 or 1[6]5
George Raikes1895–18960 or 1[6]4

Captains in tournaments[edit]

Billy Wright1950 FIFA World Cup, 1954 FIFA World Cup, 1958 FIFA World Cup
Johnny Haynes1962 FIFA World Cup
Bobby Moore1966 FIFA World Cup, Euro 1968, 1970 FIFA World Cup
Kevin KeeganEuro 1980
Mick Mills1982 FIFA World Cup
Bryan Robson1986 FIFA World Cup, Euro 1988, 1990 FIFA World Cup
Gary LinekerEuro 1992
Tony AdamsEuro 1996
Alan Shearer1998 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2000
David Beckham2002 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2004, 2006 FIFA World Cup
Steven Gerrard2010 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2012, 2014 FIFA World Cup
Wayne RooneyEuro 2016
Harry Kane2018 FIFA World Cup

Post-war captains[edit]

David Beckham, pictured here at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, captained England from 2000 to 2006.
John Terry captained England from 2006-2010 and 2011-2012
Rio Ferdinand, captained England from 2010 to 2011.
TenureIncumbentOthers used when incumbent unavailable
1946–1948George HardwickFrank Swift
1948–1959Billy WrightAlf Ramsey
1959–1960Ronnie Clayton
1960–1962Johnny HaynesJimmy Armfield
1962–1964Jimmy ArmfieldBobby Moore
1964–1973Bobby MooreRon Flowers, Jimmy Armfield, Bobby Charlton, Alan Mullery, Martin Peters, Colin Bell
1974Emlyn Hughes
1975Alan Ball
1975–1976Gerry FrancisKevin Keegan, Mick Channon
1976–1982Kevin KeeganEmlyn Hughes, Mick Mills, Phil Thompson, Trevor Cherry, Ray Clemence, Peter Shilton
1982–1991Bryan RobsonRay Wilkins, Peter Shilton, Terry Butcher, Peter Beardsley
1990–1992Gary LinekerMark Wright, Stuart Pearce
1992–1993Stuart PearcePaul Ince, David Platt
1993–1995David PlattPaul Ince, Tony Adams
1995–1996Tony AdamsAlan Shearer
1996–2000Alan ShearerStuart Pearce, Paul Ince, David Seaman, Tony Adams, Sol Campbell
2000Tony AdamsSol Campbell, Martin Keown
2000–2006David BeckhamMichael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Danny Mills, Emile Heskey, Phil Neville, Jamie Carragher[7]
2006–2010John TerryRio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham
2010–2011Rio FerdinandSteven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry
2011–2012John TerrySteven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Scott Parker
2012–2014Steven GerrardFrank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole, Gareth Barry, Joleon Lescott
2014–2017Wayne RooneyGary Cahill, Joe Hart, Phil Jagielka, James Milner, Chris Smalling, Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane
2017-2018VariousGary Cahill, Joe Hart, Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, Eric Dier
2018-PresentHarry KaneGary Cahill, Jordan Henderson, Eric Dier, Fabian Delph

Unofficial captaincies[edit]

Players who have received the captain's armband during the course of a game are not considered by the Football Association as being official England captains.[8] However, the following players - who have never officially captained England - have worn the captain's armband during the course of a match when the official captain and vice-captain have been sent off or substituted:


  1. ^ Alfred Bower was the last amateur player to captain England
  2. ^ a b Sources differ concerning the captaincy for England vs Wales, 12 March 1894. It was either Charles Wreford-Brown or Cunliffe Gosling
  3. ^ a b Sources differ concerning the captaincy for England vs Wales, 18 January 1879. It was either Arthur Cursham or Henry Wace
  4. ^ Claude Ashton was the last player to be appointed captain for his solitary England appearance
  5. ^ Ireland 0 - England 2; 5 March 1892 (Match summary)
  6. ^ a b 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.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "England's Captains - Index". Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  9. ^ "Clockwatch: England 4-0 Mexico". BBC Sport. 25 May 2001. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  10. ^ "England Match No. 787 - Italy - 27 March 2002 - Match Summary and Report". Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  11. ^ "England Match No. 799 - Australia - 12 February 2003 - Match Summary and Report". Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  12. ^ a b c "England Match No. 803 - Serbia & Montenegro - 3 June 2003 - Match Summary and Report". Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  13. ^ "England Match No. 827 - USA - 28 May 2005 - Match Summary and Report". Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  14. ^ "England Match No. 842 - Portugal - 1 July 2006 - Match Summary and Report". Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  15. ^ "England Match No. 904 - Norway - 26 May 2012 - Match Summary and Report". Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  16. ^ "England Match No. 910 - Italy - 15 August 2012 - Match Summary and Report". Retrieved 2014-06-18.

External links[edit]