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Tuesday's Top Tens: English Eagles

24 June 2014

As England prepare to face Costa Rica this evening in what will be their final game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, today’s edition of our regular Tuesday’s Top Tens series takes a look at players who represented both Crystal Palace and the Three Lions during their careers.  

Although only a handful of our top 10 earned international recognition while they were still on the books in SE25, plenty of them went on to make big impacts and earn plenty of caps for England after departing Selhurst Park. has narrowed the list down to find Palace’s top 10 England stars, based on their exploits at international level. 

Do you agree with our selections? Join the debate by tweeting us on @CPFC, using the hashtag #TuesdaysTopTens. 

10) Peter Taylor – 4 caps, 2 goals
One of five players in our list to have earned international caps while still on the books at Palace, Taylor made history by turning out for England as a Third Division player.

The winger was handed a call-up to the Three Lions set-up in 1976 and made his debut against Wales, coming on a substitute to score the winning goal against England’s neighbours. 

Taylor went on to double his international goal tally against the same opponents in his very next match, making it two goals from his first two England games.

He was the last English player to achieve that feat, until Rickie Lambert replicated Taylor’s achievement last year.

Taylor was perhaps unlucky to only earn two further England caps, but later went on to manage his country’s under-21 side, with whom he had an impressive record of 11 wins from 15 matches in the first of his two spells at the helm. 

He also took charge of the senior team on a caretaker basis for their 1-0 defeat to Italy in November 2000, during which he handed David Beckham the captain’s armband for the very first time.  

9) Nigel Martyn – 23 caps
Another who was perhaps unlucky not receive more caps for his country, goalkeeper Martyn spent much of his international career playing second fiddle to David Seaman.

He donned the Three Lions for the first time in 1992, becoming one of the few Cornishmen to play for England in the process. 

He was called up to the England squads that went to the European Championships in 1992 and 2000, as well as the World Cup parties of 1998 and 2002, although three of those tournaments came while he was on the books at Leeds United. 

8) Johnny Byrne – 11 caps, 8 goals 
The late Johnny Byrne spent the first six years of his playing career with Crystal Palace, receiving his debut international cap in November 1962 as one of only five post-war players to represent England while playing his club football outside the top two divisions.

He scored his first two goals for his country in an 8-0 demolition of Switzerland and enjoyed his most memorable moment in England colours when he netted a hat-trick in a 4-3 win over a Eusebio-inspired Portugal side in Lisbon. 

Despite an impressive goalscoring record that saw him register eight goals in 11 international appearances, Byrne failed to earn a place in the England squad that went on to win the 1966 World Cup.

7) Ian Wright – 33 caps, 9 goals
Wright was handed his England debut by Graham Taylor in February 1991, six months before his switch from Crystal Palace to Arsenal.

The front man, who was prolific for both the Eagles and the Gunners, started just 17 matches for his country and earned a total of 33 caps during an eight-year international career, scoring nine goals for the process.

Although he played a key part in helping England qualify for Euro 1992, Euro 1996 and the World Cup in 1998, Wright missed out on a place in the England squad for all three of those major tournaments, the latter due to a recurrence of a hamstring injury. 

His failure to represent his country in a major tournament means that only Mick Channon has played more times for England without being named in a squad for either a World Cup or a European Championship. 

6) Matthew Upson – 21 caps, 2 goals 
Having spent a short spell on loan at Palace from Arsenal in 2001, Upson moved to Birmingham City on a permanent basis in January 2003.

His performances at St Andrew’s during the 2002/03 season earned him his maiden international cap against South Africa in May 2003 – the first of his seven appearances for the Three Lions during his time with the Blues. 

Upson was named in Fabio Capello's first England squad for the February 2008 friendly against Switzerland at Wembley, starting alongside Rio Ferdinand in the centre of the defence. 

After moving to West Ham United, Upson scored his first goal for England on 19th November 2008 in a friendly match against Germany – a country whom he scored against again in a 4-1 defeat in the 2010 World Cup. 

5) Derek Kevan – 14 caps, 8 goals
Kevan’s international career spanned four years – between 1957 and 1961 – making his final England appearance four years before he played for Crystal Palace. 

But the centre forward’s time with the Three Lions was as prolific as it was short, bagging eight goals in 14 appearances for his country.

That started with a debut goal against Scotland at Wembley in April 1957, before netting against the Soviet Union and Austria during the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. 

His final England appearance came against Mexico in 1961.

4) Gareth Southgate – 57 caps, 2 goals
Following Crystal Palace’s relegation from the Premier League in May 1995, Southgate joined Aston Villa, where he was converted into a full-time centre back.

That December, Southgate made his England debut in a friendly against Portugal, under the guidance of former Palace player and manager, Terry Venables. 

Southgate played every minute of England’s Euro 96 campaign – but his Three Lions career was perhaps best remembered for missing the decisive spot kick in the semi-final penalty shoot-out defeat to eventual winners Germany.

The defender recovered from that setback to represent England at the 1998 World Cup and the European Championships in 2000, helping to take his international record to 57 caps in nine years. 

Following a stint in management with Middlesbrough, Southgate is now back involved with England as manager of the country’s under-21s. 

3) Ray Wilkins – 84 caps, 3 goals
Although he only made one appearance in Crystal Palace colours in 1994, combative midfielder Wilkins made much more of an impact during his international career. 

He was handed his first call-up for England in 1976, during his time at Chelsea, making his debut against Italy during a tournament in the USA.

Wilkins played a key role as England qualified for the 1980 European Championships, going on to score a memorable goal against Belgium in the group stages. 

Having helped his country qualify for the 1982 World Cup in Spain, Wilkins continued to play for England under new coach Bobby Robson despite moving abroad to play for Italian giants to AC Milan. 

Wilkins was again part of the squad that travelled to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, where he received the first and only red card of his career against Morocco, to become the first England player ever to be sent off at a World Cup. 

2) Kenny Sansom – 86 caps, 1 goal
Having progressed through Palace’s academy to become a first-team regular at Selhurst Park, Sansom made his England debut against Wales in 1979.   

After starring for his country in the European Championships the following year, Sansom moved to Arsenal and his England career went from strength to strength. 

He was rarely out of the national side from that point on, remaining first-choice left-back during the 1982 and 1986 World Cups, with his record of 37 consecutive England appearances only beaten by Billy Wright on Ron Flowers.

Despite a move to Newcastle United, Sansom again played for England at Euro 88, taking his tally of international caps to 86 – a record for an English full-back which was only beaten by one man – the man who takes our number one spot in this week’s top ten. 

1) Ashley Cole – 107 caps 
Another of the players in our top ten to have played for both Arsenal and Palace, Cole spent a successful spell in loan in SE25 from the Gunners during the 1999/2000 season. 

He showed his undoubted potential during 14 First Division appearances that year, going on to become a regular in the Arsenal side.

After just four appearances for his country’s under-21 side, Cole was fast-tracked into England’s senior set-up, making his debut against Albania in March 2001. 

The left-back went on to become one of the best in the world in his position, representing England in three World Cups and two European Championships, making it into the team of the tournament in 2004.

In February 2013, Cole was made captain for the friendly against Brazil in what was his 100th appearance for the Three Lions.

He went on to rack up seven more caps for his country, before retiring from England duty in the summer after missing out on Roy Hodgson’s squad for the 2014 World Cup.

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