Thursday, 21 February 2008

The First And Last Englishmen

Last weekend's FA Cup fixtures threw up an unexpected West Ham United related story with a small feature on the 1975 cup winning side. Most Irons fans will know that that particular team- Day, McDowell, Lampard, Bonds, Taylor T, Lock, Jennings, Paddon, Taylor A, Brooking and Holland- was the last all-English team to win a major domestic trophy. Not only that, but the beaten finalists of Fulham was also an entirely English team and featured, of course, Bobby Moore. As if things were not parochial enough, ten of the eleven players representing West Ham United at Wembley that day were born locally. The exception was Alan Taylor (pictured) who was born in Hinckley, Leicestershire. Taylor was the hero in the final with both goals scored in the space of four minutes.

The main point of the article in the Mail is to highlight the dwindling numbers of English talent in the top flight. Such a trend is hardly a revelation considering the way the game has developed over the last thirty years but the numbers are still startling. There are 210 English players in the Premier League and the squad list breaks down like this...

West Ham 18

Tottenham 17

Middlesbrough 15

Manchester United, Aston Villa, Bolton Wanderers, Derby County 13

Everton, Wigan 12

Newcastle 11

Portsmouth, Sunderland 10

Chelsea 9

Birmingham, Reading 8

Manchester City 7

Fulham 6

Blackburn, Liverpool 5

Arsenal 4

As can be seen, West Ham United are now, as back in 1975, still leading the way in championing home bred English talent. Just one more reason to be proud of this great club.

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