Friday, September 7, 2012

7 September 1977 - The End Of Callaghan's Capless Gap

On 7 September 1977, Liverpool midfielder Ian Callaghan made his third England appearance--a record 11 years and 49 days after his previous one.

A Liverpool player since the start of his professional career in 1960, Callaghan (pictured at far left) earned his first England cap at he age of 24 in a June 1966 friendly against Finland (England won 3-0). His second came the following month in the World Cup, as England beat France 2-0 in the group stage. It was his only appearances of the tournament, which England went on to win. Although his failure to take part in the final meant that he did not receive a winner's medal at the time, he eventually received one in 2009, along with all of the other squad members.

Despite his perfect record, he then went over a decade without playing for the national team. He continued to star for Liverpool, however, winning a total of five league titles, two FA Cups, two UEFA Cups, and two European Cups between 1964 and 1978.

In 1977, after missing England's previous 108 games, he returned to the national team for a friendly against Switzerland, which ended as a scoreless draw. The gap of 11 years and 49 days between caps remains an England record.

He made a fourth and final appearance the following month in a 2-0 win over Luxembourg.

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