"One cap, you only got one cap..."
Gareth Southgate has handed international debuts to a number of promising youngsters during his tenure, but not all new England players are destined for fame.
On 17 November 2010, Jay Bothroyd made his first and final appearance for the Three Lions. Injuries to Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe and Darren Bent bumped the Cardiff striker up the pecking order after a run of 13 goals in 14 Championship appearances, and Bothroyd played 18 minutes of a 2-1 defeat by France. He was never seen in an England shirt again.
But the ex-Perugia striker isn't the only player whose England career amounted to a single match. Here's our starting XI of one-cap wonders, fielded in a 4-3-3 formation...
GK: John Ruddy
Ruddy won his first England call-up after an impressive 2011/12 campaign with Norwich. The goalkeeper’s performances earned him a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad for Euro 2012 – but inconveniently, the tournament clashed with his wedding.
Ruddy was prepared to postpone his big day, but a broken finger sustained just weeks before the kick-off forced him to withdraw from the squad. The shot-stopper finally made his debut in a friendly against Italy later that year, but was overlooked by Hodgson after Norwich’s relegation to the Championship the following season.
RB: Carl Jenkinson
After representing Finland Under-21s, Jenkinson chose England over the county of his mother’s birth at senior level. A year after signing for Arsenal in 2011, the right-back played in England’s 4-2 defeat to Sweden, entering the fray for the final 16 minutes – in which time Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored three goals.
Since then the right-back has spent time on loan at West Ham and Birmingham, and only left Arsenal in summer 2019 for Nottingham Forest.
CB: Ryan Shawcross
A consistent performer at Stoke, Shawcross was another given a baptism of fire when he came up against Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his England debut in 2012. The Swedish striker scored four goals that night – including an audacious bicycle kick from outside the box – and didn’t do Shawcross’s hopes of a regular place in the squad any favours.
He's still at Stoke as they fumble about in the Championship, but can't get a game these days and won't do again for his country. Still, at least he managed one.
CB: Anthony Gardner
Gardner was a regular for Tottenham when named in Sven-Goran Eriksson's England squad to face Sweden in 2004. The defender played 45 minutes of the Three Lions' friendly, which was won by their opponents courtesy of a goal from... er, Zlatan again.
Recurring ankle and knee injuries didn't help Gardner's cause, although the emergence of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Jamie Carragher were probably the principal reason why he quickly fell out of favour. Yep, must have been that...
LB: Michael Ball
Ball had already racked up over 100 appearances for Everton when he was called-up to Sven-Goran Eriksson’s first squad in 2001. The 22-year-old left-back came on at half-time in place of Chris Powell in a 3-0 victory over Spain at Villa Park, but his international career hit the buffers after that.
Ball moved from Everton to Rangers later that year and suffered medial ligament damage in 2001, an injury which sidelined the defender for 18 months and all but ended his chances of an England recall.
CM: Seth Johnson
Johnson won his only England cap under Peter Taylor, who took caretaker charge of a 1-0 loss to Italy in 2000. He clearly didn't do enough to impress incoming boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, though, with the hard-working midfielder failing to make a second senior appearance despite a move from Derby to Leeds the following year.
Injuries played their part in his absence from England squads and forced Johnson to return to Derby in 2005. He retired at the age of 28 after a long-term struggle with a knee issue.
CM: Joey Barton
The controversial midfielder gained his only England cap in 2007 when the Three Lions lost 1-0 to Spain at Old Trafford. Barton was a regular with Manchester City at that stage of his career, and went on to play a key part in Newcastle’s promotion from the Championship.
Even so, with the likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in their prime, Barton was never likely to become a regular in the England setup - even though he claimed he would have won more caps were it not for his off-field behaviour.
CM: David Dunn
The former Blackburn midfielder made 22 appearances for the Under-21s, but found it difficult to break into England's senior side. Dunn did eventually receive the call, though, making his debut in a friendly with Portugal after the 2002 World Cup.
An untimely dip in form following a reported bust-up with Blackburn boss Graeme Souness harmed Dunn's chances of a recall, and his international career never really recovered thereafter.
ST: Dean Ashton
This was another case of what might have been for the former West Ham and Norwich striker. Ashton was first called up for Steve McClaren’s first game as England manager, but an ankle injury ruled the striker out of a friendly against Greece.
Fitness issues continued to dog the striker’s career, with Ashton spending the next year on the sidelines before belatedly making his international bow against Trinidad and Tobago in 2008. He retired aged 26 following a long-term ankle problem.
ST: Chris Sutton
Despite playing a key part in Blackburn’s title-winning campaign in 1994/95, Sutton’s England career amounted to just 11 minutes of a friendly with Cameroon in 1997. The striker scored 18 Premier League goals that 1997/98 season, but was overlooked for the Three Lions’ World Cup squad after supposedly falling out with manager Glenn Hoddle.
After spending a year at Chelsea, Sutton moved to Celtic in 2000 and continued to score regularly north of the border, as well as featuring in the Champions League. Nevertheless, he failed to add to his single cap before retiring in 2007.
ST: David Nugent
Nugent was in fine form for Championship side Preston when he earned his first – and only – England call-up. The striker scored in an underwhelming 3-0 win at Andorra, poking home a goal-bound shot from Jermain Defoe before wheeling away in celebration.
Nugent moved to Portsmouth later that year, but struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League and failed to earn an international recall. Still: one cap, one goal. Mr. 100%.
Sub: Chris Kirkland
Kirkland was a reserve goalkeeper at Liverpool when he made his international debut against Greece in 2006, a 4-0 victory which got the Steve McClaren era off to a fine start.
The promise of more regular first-team football at Wigan was expected to boost his chances of becoming an England regular, but the shot-stopper was overtaken by the likes of Rob Green and Scott Carson in the pecking order.
Sub: Steven Caulker
Caulker was another casualty of the 4-2 defeat by Sweden in 2012, though the QPR centre-back did score in that game and was replaced on 74 minutes when England were 2-1 up.
After progressing through Tottenham’s youth academy, Caulker won a second call-up to Roy Hodgson’s squad following a loan spell at Swansea, but his career hasn’t gone to plan since then.
He suffered back-to-back relegations with Cardiff and QPR and had a bizarre loan spell at Liverpool, where he was occasionally deployed up front. Caulker revealed mental health problems in a 2017 Guardian interview, but can now be found in Turkey with Alanyaspor.
Sub: Lee Bowyer
A regular for England's Under-21 side, Bowyer earned his first senior call-up following an impressive 2000/01 campaign with Leeds. His international debut was delayed, however, after the FA ruled that the midfielder couldn't be selected for the Three Lions until an ongoing court case was completed.
Bowyer eventually made his debut against Portugal in September 2002, but wasn’t able to nail down a permanent place in the squad competing with the likes of Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Paul Scholes.
Sub: Francis Jeffers
In the same game that 17-year-old Wayne Rooney won his first England cap, Jeffers also made his debut for the national side.
After impressing at youth level for the Three Lions, the striker scored a consolation goal as England lost 3-1 to Australia back in 2003. Jeffers, who'd signed for Arsenal two years earlier, never lived up to his early potential and his career fizzled out following a series of injuries.
Sub: Kevin Davies
After plugging away for over a decade at Bolton Wanderers, Davies finally earned some international recognition in a 2010 European qualifier against Montenegro.
At 33 years and 200 days, Davies became the second-oldest England debutant of all time after the 38-year-old Leslie Compton in 1950. Given his age, the striker was never going to be a long-term option up front, and his international career duly came to an end after a single cap. Still: great reward for a career's work.
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