Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

13 Palace Players Who Have Played For England

23 April 2017

To celebrate St. George's Day today, we have put together a list of 13 Crystal Palace players, past and present, who have represented the Three Lions, whilst playing for the Red and Blue at the same time.

Some of them were only brief stints with the national team, others were long spells in the side and another is still in motion, with the possibility of future call ups on the horizon.

After Andros Townsend was called up by England boss Gareth Southgate whilst he has been at the club there is now a list of 13 Eagles who have won England caps whilst at the club.

Palace have been represented in the Three Lions squad for over a century now, with their high point coming in 1991 when three of their players made the starting XI in a friendly against New Zealand.

Find out more about the company Townsend has joined below: 

Horace Colclough (First cap 1914)

Caps won at Palace: 1
Total England caps: 1

The left-back became the first player in the club’s history to win an England cap when he played for the Three Lions in a 1914 British Home Championships international victory against Wales at Ninian Park. It would prove to be England’s penultimate match before the outbreak of World War One, and during the conflict Colclough suffered a leg injury, speculated to have been picked up playing football for the British Army, or a gunshot wound.

Jack Alderson (1923)

Caps won at Palace: 1
Total England caps: 1

During the war, Newcastle United goalkeeper Alderson was based in Woolwich and guested for Palace in some wartime matches, before going on to sign for the club following its conclusion. He went on to play over 200 times for the Glaziers, and his impressive form in the Second Division led to him receiving his solitary England cap in 1923 in a friendly against France in Paris, which ended in a 4-1 triumph for the Three Lions. 

Johnny Byrne (1961)

Caps won at Palace: 1
Total England caps: 11

The legendary Glaziers attacker was handed his first cap for his country by Walter Winterbottom despite playing for Palace in the third tier, and remains one of only five players to achieve this feat. The 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland in the British Home Championships saw Budgie play alongside 1966 heroes Ray Wilson and Bobby Charlton, with the Manchester United legend scoring the hosts’ goal at Wembley.

Peter Taylor (1976)

Caps won at Palace: 4
Total England caps: 4

Another player who was capped despite playing in the Third Division, Taylor remains the only man in Palace’s history to have scored for England, marking his debut against Wales in 1976 with a goal, before netting against the same opposition his second match. He would appear twice more that year against Northern Ireland and Scotland in the Home Championships, with the Scots pipping their old rivals to the title in Taylor’s last international appearance.

Kenny Sansom (1979)

Caps won at Palace: 9
Total England caps: 86

Once England’s most capped left-back before another former Palace man Ashley Cole surpassed his impressive haul, Sansom also made his debut against the Welsh three years after Taylor had, despite being the tender age of 20. The game ended in a goalless draw, however Sansom would win eight more caps while in SE25, including two in Euro 1980, making him the only Eagle to represent England at a major tournament. 

Ian Wright (1991)

Caps won at Palace: 4
Total England caps: 33

After helping establish his name during the club’s golden period in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Wright was handed his first England cap by Graham Taylor when he partnered Gary Lineker up front against Cameroon at Wembley, in what resulted in a 2-0 win for the hosts. He would come on as a sub in a World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland the following month, and played twice on a summer tour of the Far East before moving to Arsenal.

Geoff Thomas (1991)

Caps won at Palace: 9
Total England caps: 9

The Palace captain at the time enjoyed a run in the England side under Taylor, beginning with a debut against Turkey in a Euro 92 qualifier in Izmir. Following that he played six times during a packed summer of international friendlies in 1991, including against New Zealand in Wellington where three Eagles started for the Three Lions, but his international career ended against France the following year.

John Salako (1991)

Caps won at Palace: 5
Total England caps: 5

Another player to benefit from the tour of Asia and Australasia that summer, the winger won cap number one as a half-time sub in a 1-0 win against Australia in Sydney. He would feature three more times on that trip, including lining up alongside Thomas and Wright against New Zealand, and won his final cap against World Cup holders Germany in August 1991 when he was replaced by future Eagle Paul Stewart.

Andy Gray (1991)

Caps won at Palace: 1
Total England caps: 1

Taylor continued to look towards Selhurst Park to improve his aging squad, and called up Gray for the Euro 92 qualifier against Poland in November 1991. The winger started the game in Poznan alongside Thomas, but with England trailing at the break and needing a point to secure their place at the finals in Sweden, he was sacrificed for Arsenal striker Alan Smith and never played international football again.

Nigel Martyn (1992)

Caps won at Palace: 3
Total England caps: 23

After Thomas, Wright, Salako and Gray had been discarded, Taylor continued to have a Palace presence in his squad by selecting Nigel Martyn as back-up to Chris Woods. The keeper was given a chance to show his credentials in a friendly against the CIS in Moscow as an 80th minute sub in a 2-2 draw, before starting a Euro 92 warm-up match against Hungary in Budapest which helped him seal his place in Taylor’s final 20-man squad, ahead of David Seaman.

Andrew Johnson (2005)

Caps won at Palace: 2
Total England caps: 8

After 13 years without an England representative, a purple patch in front of goal helped force AJ into Sven-Goran Eriksson’s thoughts during the 2004/05 season. In February 2005 he replaced Wayne Rooney as a 61st minute sub in a goalless draw against Holland at Villa Park, and would go on tour to the USA the following summer, starting in a 2-1 win in Chicago before winning the rest of his caps at Everton. 

Wilfried Zaha (2012)

Caps won at Palace: 1
Total England caps: 2

Having been tearing up Championship defences for the past few years, the Eagles’ strong start to the 2012/13 season saw the winger selected by Roy Hodgson for a friendly against Sweden in Stockholm. Wilf came on in the 85th minute during a 4-2 defeat for the Three Lions, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring all the Swede’s goals. Cap number two would come as a Manchester United player against Scotland the following year. Zaha has now switched his allegiances to the Ivory Coast ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Andros Townsend   
Caps won at Palace 2 
Total England caps 13

Andros has won 13 international caps with the first being in 2013 and since being at Palace has been called up twice, against Slovenia and Spain. 

Advertisement block