Monday, October 10, 2011

10 October 1999 - So, That's One Big Fish And One Little One

On 10 October 1999, two players got their first caps for England, but went on to very different international careers.

The occasion was a friendly against Belgium, played at Sunderland's Stadium of Light. National team boss Kevin Keegan, then in his first year as manager, collected a team of veterans, including goalkeeper David Seaman, defender Tony Adams, and forward and captain Alan Shearer, each of whom had more than 50 England appearances at the time. But Keegan also included a couple of new faces in the midfield--West Ham's Frank Lampard and Leicester City's Stephen Guppy (pictured). Between the two, Guppy received the lion's share of pre-match attention, with one commentator calling him "one of the country's most gifted left-sided midfielders."

The 30-year old Guppy played all 90 minutes as England won 2-1 with goals from Shearer (6') and Jamie Redknapp (66') (Belgium's lone strike was scored by Branko Strupar (14')). Lampard, who was 21, gave way to Dennis Wise in the 76th minute. The match turned out to be Guppy's only appearance for the England senior side, while Lampard went on to earn a current total of 89 caps and counting.

The match did provide one unique distinction for Guppy, making him the only player to appear for England's U-21, semi-pro, B team and full side.

1 comment:

  1. Goes to show how thin that line is between making it and blitzing it.... Funnything is a few years on we were desperate for a left sided midfielder and in all honesty have been since... Ironic