14 Premier League Winning Players Who Never Received An England Cap

Between the seasons of 1992/93 and 2011/12, the minimum amount of games you needed to play in order to win a Premier League winners’ medal was 10, but since 2012, that was reduced to 5 appearances. Since the PL began, there have been 86 different Englishmen who have received a winners’ medal. Of those players, 14 have missed out completely on an international cap. All kinds of different English footballers make this list. Some are clearly fortunate to have been involved in a title winning squad, some had the season of their lives to earn that medal, and some were very unlucky that their club success was overlooked by England managers. So in chronological order, we begin with…

Steve Bruce

0266173.jpg / Football - Manchester United

Premier League title wins: 1992/93, 1993/94 & 1995/96 (Manchester United)

Regarded by his peers and the fans as one of the best players never to play for England, Steve Bruce was an integral part of Manchester United’s dominance in the early 90s. As captain he lifted the Premier League trophy on three occasions and forged a solid centre-back partnership with Gary Pallister – who incidentally was not overlooked by England managers. At the height of his success, Bruce was approached by Republic Of Ireland manager, Jack Charlton, who discovered that due to his mother’s place of birth, the United skipper was eligible to play for Ireland. His appearance at England youth level proved it was a lot more complicated than that, and Bruce chose not to pursue the possibility, as playing for Ireland would have also caused problems for his club, as UEFA restricted the number of foreign players fielded by each club in European competitions at the time. Bruce did play for and captain the England B team in 1987 against Malta, but that was as far as his international career got, with defenders such as Tony Adams, Mark Wright and Des Walker consistently being picked in front of him. In 1994, new England manager Terry Venables made contact with Bruce (now aged 33) in order to give him the cap he so rightly deserved, but the United man turned it down, stating that he didn’t want a ‘sympathy cap’ and would rather be called up on his own merits like everybody else. Fair play.

Mark Atkins

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Premier League title win: 1994/95 (Blackburn Rovers)

Mark Atkins signed for Blackburn in 1988 and was an important part of their rise from the old Second Division to Premier League champions in 1995. It says a lot about Atkins’ talent when you consider that he still managed to keep his place in the Blackburn side, despite huge investment in new players from owner Jack Walker. Indeed it is often mistaken how influential Atkins was in that title winning team of 1995, with many falsely believing that David Batty partnered captain Tim Sherwood in centre midfield, but it was in fact Atkins who played the vast majority matches there (34), where as Batty only played five times all season due to injury. Doncaster-born Atkins moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers the year after and never played in the top flight again. Can you imagine an English player nowadays featuring in all but four games for a Premier League winning side and not even being considered for England? Well that happened to Mark Atkins. Different times I suppose.

Tony Gale

tony gale

Premier League title win: 1994/95 (Blackburn Rovers)

In 1994, following long spells in the capital with Fulham and West Ham, Tony Gale was set to play Division Three football at nearby Barnet, when he was surprisingly signed by Kenny Dalglish for Blackburn at the age of 34. In the one season he spent at Ewood Park, Gale won the only major honour of his entire career – the Premier League. Despite being a bit-part player, the defender still managed to notch up 15 appearances for Rovers that season, earning himself the winners medal. Gale retired in 1996 after a short spell at Crystal Palace and moved into the media, where he has been a commentator and pundit for Sky Sports since. Tony Gale did make one appearance for the England U21 side back in 1982, but unfortunately could not make the step up to the senior side.

Mike Newell

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Premier League title win: 1994/95 (Blackburn Rovers)

Before his move to Blackburn, Mike Newell had had a relatively successful career at Leicester and Everton, but decided to drop down to the Second Division in 1991 to join Dalglish’s men for 1.1 million, then record fee for a club outside of the top flight. Newell broke his leg shortly after the move, but was back in time for the play-offs at the end of the season and scored the penalty which sealed Blackburn’s promotion to the Premier League. He struck up a deadly partnership with new signing Alan Shearer the following campaign, with Blackburn looking like title contenders at one stage, until Shearer was seriously injured and the club eventually finished 4th. Rovers needed strength in depth, and following the signings of Kevin Gallacher in 1993 and Chris Sutton in 1994, Newell was forced down the pecking order. In fact during Rovers’ Premier League winning campaign, Mike Newell only played 12 times (10 of them as sub) and scored no goals, but still qualified for a winners’ medal. The striker played one more season for Blackburn, where he scored the fastest hat-trick in Champions League history after scoring 3 goals in 9 minutes – a record he held until 2011. Newell did get more England opportunities than most on this list, playing four times for the England U21s in 1986 and two matches for the England B team in 1989. England manager Bobby Robson apparently flirted with the idea of including Newell in his squads in the run-up to Italia 90′, but opted instead for Steve Bull of third-tier Wolves.

Ian Pearce

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Premier League title win: 1994/95 (Blackburn Rovers)

One of the youngest Premier League winners on this list, Ian Pearce was barely 21 when Blackburn won the title in 1995. Signed after only a handful of games for Chelsea two years before, the defender established himself in the side at the start of the 1994/95 campaign and formed a formidable partnership with Colin Hendry in the centre of defence. Pearce made 28 appearances for Blackburn that season, but injury affected his next two years at Ewood Park, before moves to West Ham and Fulham prolonged his top-flight career through to 2008. As an 18-year-old, he was part of the England Under-20 team that came third in the 1993 World Youth Championship, playing in all 6 matches alongside the likes of Nick Barmby, David Unsworth and Nicky Butt. His form for Blackburn also got him three England Under-21 caps in 1995, however, Pearce never got a chance for the senior side from manager Terry Venables, despite several other surprise call-ups for the Umbro Cup tournament that summer.

Paul Warhurst

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Premier League title win: 1994/95 (Blackburn Rovers)

The fifth and final Blackburn player to win the PL and never gain an England cap is Paul Warhurst. One of the most versatile players of the early 90s, Warhurst was primarily a defender, but could play in midfield or as a striker. It was as a forward he made the headlines for Sheffield Wednesday in the 1992/93 season, where an injury crisis saw Warhurst employed as an emergency striker, and he duly scored 12 goals in as many games. A fall out with his manager Trevor Francis saw a move to Blackburn Rovers in 1993, but injuries hampered any prolonged first team involvement. However, the season that Warhurst made his most appearances was their title winning campaign of 1994/5, where back as a defender, he played 27 times in the league. Seen as a journeyman by his retirement in 2007, Warhurst played for a total of 16 clubs, dotting around the lower leagues and non-league football towards the end of his career. He did manage 8 appearances for the England U21s between 1990-91 and was called up to the full England squad as a striker in 1993, following his outstanding form for Sheffield Wednesday, but unfortunately had to pull out due to injury. Internationally, it’s a case of what might have been for Paul Warhurst.

David May

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Premier League title wins: 1995/96 & 1996/97

David May moved to Manchester United from Blackburn in 1994 and in his first season at Old Trafford, had to watch his old club win the league title! Things soon turned around the following campaign for May and his teammates, as United won the Premier League and cup double in 1996. A second league winners’ medals was secured for May in 1997, where he became a prominent figure at the centre of United’s defence. However in the late 90s, May’s opportunities for first team football were limited, after the purchases of Henning Berg and Jaap Stam, as well as the emergence of Wes Brown. Indeed in their historic treble winning season of 1998/99, May only played 6 times in the league, therefore not accumulating enough appearances for a Premier League medal. Although it wasn’t all bad for the defender that campaign, as he started in the FA Cup final win and was on the bench for the Champions League victory in the Nou Camp – where he famously led the celebrations seen in all the photos, despite not playing a single minute of Champions League football that season. May was mainly sidelined during his last four years at Old Trafford, which saw him make only 12 more appearances for the Red Devils. This unfortunately led to no more honours for the defender, who was at the club for 6 of Manchester United title wins, but only played enough games to win two medals – in 1996 and 1997. He was called up once to the England squad by Glenn Hoddle in 1997, but watched the friendly against Mexico from the bench. Despite playing regularly for United at the time, May was never close to playing for his country again.

Stephen Hughes

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Premier League title win: 1997/98 (Arsenal)

One of Arsene Wenger’s first youth products at Arsenal, Stephen Hughes came through the ranks after lifting the FA Youth Cup in 1994. The midfielder was very much a squad player during his time at Highbury, with over half of his appearances coming from the bench. But in the second half of the title-winning 1997/98 campaign, Hughes became more and more involved in the first team, taking advantage of several injuries to the Arsenal midfield. A personal highlight for the youngster was scoring a brace against Chelsea in a 2-0 win during the title run-in. Hughes played 17 times for the Gunners that campaign, earning himself a winners’ medal, but was sadly left out of the squad for the FA Cup final as they clinched the double. Two seasons later Hughes moved to Everton for £3 million, where injury started to affect his playing time and after subsequent transfers to Watford, Charlton Athletic, Coventry City and Walsall, the midfielder retired in 2009 at the age of 32. Hughes played for both the England under-18s and England U21s – making 8 appearances for the latter in during the height of his Arsenal success.

Luke Chadwick

Luke Chadwick

Premier League title win: 2000/01 (Manchester United)

Luke Chadwick came on to the scene at Old Trafford in 2000, following a successful loan period at Royal Antwerp from the Belgian Second Division; a team who Manchester United had a long-term loan partnership. Despite the promising start, Chadwick only spent four seasons at United, playing 38 games in all competitions. It was in his first full campaign of 2000/01 however, where the midfielder played in 16 league games to gain a Premier League medal at the first time of asking. He also scored two goals that season, against Bradford City and Leeds United. Chadwick dropped down a division in 2002, with loan moves to Reading and Burnley, and left United permanently two years later to join West Ham. It was from then on, that Chadwick became a decent acquisition for a few lower league sides, before eventually moving to MK Dons in 2008 where he spent six seasons in League One. Four games for England’s U18s in 1999 and 13 appearances for the Under 21 side between 1999-2001, suggested a bright future for Luke Chadwick, but unfortunately, he never fulfilled the potential Alex Ferguson saw in him.

Ronnie Wallwork

Ronnie Wallwork

Premier League title win: 2000/01

Playing as both a centre-back and a defensive midfielder, Ronnie Wallwork was another youngster at Manchester United who managed to gain a winners’ medal, without really making much of an impact. Wallwork only managed to play 19 times in the league for United during the five full seasons he had there, but did appear in 12 matches during the 2000/01 campaign to claim his second major honour at Old Trafford – the first being the 1999 Intercontinental Cup, where he was an unused substitute. Ironically, Wallwork is remembered more at Man Utd for his time on loan at Royal Antwerp, where he grabbed a referee by the throat after a match and was initially banned from football for life, before having the sentence reduced to a three-year suspension, of which two were probational. Following retirement, Wallwork has had a number of brushes with the law and was jailed for 15 months in 2011 for handling stolen cars. This was a far cry from the beginning of his career in 1997, when Ronnie Walwork represented England’s under-20 team at the FIFA World Youth Championships; his only international experience.

Stuart Taylor

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Premier League title win: 2001/02

Despite playing the majority of his career as a second or even third-choice goalkeeper, Stuart Taylor has more major honours than most shot-stoppers. Taylor got his chance at Arsenal during their 2001/02 title winning campaign, following injuries to David Seaman and Richard Wright. Stuck on 9 appearances going into the last game of the season, Taylor is famous at Highbury for begging manager Arsene Wenger to bring him on as a substitute in the dying minutes of that final match to get him a medal. Wenger duly obliged, bringing Taylor on for Wright with 5 minutes left, making Premier League history in the process, as it was the only time three goalkeepers have won a winners’ medal. After leaving Arsenal in 2005, Taylor continued to be a back-up wherever he went and astonishingly only played 95 career matches in 21 years as a professional, before retiring last year. Taylor played for England’s U18, U20 and U21 sides and actually started for the England under-20 team at the 1999 World Youth Championship alongside the likes of Ashley Cole, Peter Crouch and Andy Johnson. Due to lack of playing time throughout his career though, Taylor was never like to make the step up to the senior squad.

Marc Albrighton

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Premier League title win: 2015/16 (Leicester City)

As one of the most consistent players during Leicester City’s incredible title triumph in 2015/16, Marc Albrighton can count himself unfortunate to be on this list. Born in the West Midlands, Albrighton started his career at Aston Villa, but was unable to hold down a first team place at Villa Park and duly moved to newly promoted Leicester City in 2014. After being a bit-part player under Nigel Pearson in his first year at the King Power Stadium, new manager Claudio Raneri took a shine to Albrighton from the first match of the following campaign, and the winger played in every single game for Leicester during their historic title winning season. He went on to score the Foxes first ever goal in the Champions League and is still at Leicester to this day. Whilst at Villa, Albrighton played for both the England U20 and U21 sides, but surprisingly has never been called up to the full squad, despite his heroics at Leicester. The winger has lost his place in the starting line-up this season and with him turning 30 later this year, you have to say that the international ship has now sailed for Albrighton. Like I mentioned earlier, you would be shocked if this season there was an English midfielder who was playing regularly and had won the title for one of the big six clubs, but didn’t make the national squad. Marc Albrighton, just like Mark Atkins before him in 1995, can count himself unlucky.

Nathan Dyer

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Premier League title win: 2015/16 (Leicester City)

It’s not very often you’ll find a loanee in a Premier league title winning squad; step forward Nathan Dyer. After being convicted for theft in 2008 whilst at Southampton, Dyer turned his career around following a move to Swansea City a year later. There he was an integral part of The Swans promotion to the PL in 2011 and their only major trophy success in 2013, when they beat Bradford City 5-0 in the League Cup final. In 2015 however, he joined Leicester on a season-long loan deal and made an immediate impact, scoring on his debut in the final minute as his new side beat Aston Villa 3-2. In fact all 12 of Dyer’s appearances for Leicester during their title winning campaign was as a substitute, totalling to just 209 mins of football, which still earned him a Premier League winners’ medal. An incredible statistic. It’s fair to say that the winger was definitely in the right place at the right time at Leicester. Nathan Dyer has never played at any level for England and was overlooked even when he was at the top of his game at Swansea. He was however, approached to play for Jamaica in 2012, an opportunity which he turned down.

Danny Simpson

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Premier League title win: 2015/16 (Leicester City)

Another product of the youth system at Manchester United, Danny Simpson was unable to make the grade at Old Trafford, instead spending a few seasons on loan at various Championship clubs. Indeed he has actually been promoted 3 times to the Premier League with Sunderland, Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers. After moving to the King Power Stadium in 2014, Simpson eventually established himself as first choice right-back in his second season at Leicester, which just so happened to be their title winning campaign. The defender made 30 league appearances that season to bag himself a medal, after initially starting it on the bench. Since then the right-back has also been known to remind people on Twitter that he has a Premier League winners’ medal and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher doesn’t, which is highly amusing. Unfortunately for Simpson, he’s never been called up by England, despite Leicester’s success being in the same year as Euro 2016, with manager Roy Hodgson choosing to take Kyle Walker and Nathaniel Clyne to France that year. But to be fair to Simpson, he probably did well to avoid that tournament.

An honorary mention for these two youngsters…

Demarai Gray & Phil Foden


Gray and Foden were just 19 and 17 years old respectively, when they each won their Premier League winners’ medal.

For those Leicester and Man City fans amongst you, there are of course two other young Englishmen who have won the Premier League title and have not been capped… yet. Demarai Gray played 12 times for Leicester in 2015/16 and Phil Foden made 5 appearances last season for City. To me, it’s not fair to include them in the same bracket as former and current players whose chance to play for England has come and gone, because let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time before these two start winning caps for their country. Gray is only 22 years old, playing regularly now at Leicester and was actually called up by Gareth Southgate last September for the friendly against Switzerland. Eighteen-year-old Foden is probably closer to the senior side, as he is playing more and more for a fantastic Manchester City team who are going for 4 trophies this season, and like Gray, he’s played for every age group possible at England level – which included winning the 2017 under-17 World Cup. Both are currently in the England under-21 squad with hopefully long international careers ahead of them.

 

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2 thoughts on “14 Premier League Winning Players Who Never Received An England Cap

  1. Haha luke Chadwick. It’s a good job he made a footballer with a boat race like that. Anyway, enough of him. Some great players in this list and some not so great.

    But, I wanna mention Steve Bruce. I cannot understand how he has never won an England cap, it’s unreal really. When you think of him as a player and the trophies he won its incredible. When you hear him speak he always comes across as a decent bloke too which makes it even more confusing. So a good pro, captain of Manchester utd, won multiple leagues and never got a sniff, it’s like a conspiracy. It makes it even more crazy when his partner pallister played for England and Bruce didn’t. I think it’s a massive shame for him and for England. A big character, a leader, surely to have him around the dressing room and there if needed could’ve been a massive advantage to England over the years but I guess we will never know.

    Good read pal

    Liked by 1 person

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