Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Soccernostalgia Interview, Part 61- England National Team’s One-Cap Wonders’ in the 1980s Video Interview and Blog Presentation with Mr. Davey Naylor of


For this interview, I start a new project as I look back at England National Team’s One-Cap Wonders in the 1980s.

This will be a semi-regular and continuous series.

The Interviewee is:

Mr. Davey Naylor of 


Mr. Naylor’s contact info:




My contact information:

on twitter @sp1873 and on facebook under Soccernostalgia.


England National Team’s One-Cap Wonders in the 1980s.


In the decade of 1980s England were managed by Ron Greenwood and Bobby Robson. They each selected many players with the National Team who had short careers. They were a selected few within the decade that only managed a single appearance.

I look back at England National Team’s One-Cap Wonders in the 1980s.

The aim is to look upon the reason, background, and circumstances why a certain player was selected for a match but never again.


Alan Sunderland and Peter Ward, 1980:

Alan Sunderland of Arsenal and Brighton’s Peter Ward played their only match in a friendly on May 31st, 1980, vs. Australia (2-1 win) at Sydney. In fact, Ward replaced Sunderland in the last five minutes.

This was a friendly ahead of the 1980 Euros used as a last chance for players on the fringes to stake a claim for the Finals squad.

For Ron Greenwood, neither player was seen as anything other than players just making up the numbers.

26-year-old, Sunderland was a striker with Arsenal known for scoring the winner in the 1979 FA Cup Final vs. Manchester United.

He represented England at U-21 and U-23 level in the 1970s and earned 7 England B caps (1978-1981).

He broke through with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the early 70s, before transferring to Arsenal in 1977.

He left Arsenal in 1984 to join Ipswich Town. He suffered relegation in 1986 and the joined Northern Irish side Derry City for a final stint in 1987 before retiring.

Photo From: Panini England 1979/80

(Alan Sunderland)


The 24-year-old Peter Ward was a prolific striker for Brighton in their first season back at the First Division. He represented England at U-21 level on two occasions in 1977 and 1980.

He started out at Burton Albion in 1974, before joining Brighton in 1975.

He left Brighton in 1980 to join Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest. His spell there was not successful and was loaned to Brighton and NASL’s Seattle Sounders.

He joined the NASL outright in 1984 by signing for Vancouver Whitecaps and remained in USA and lined up for the likes of Cleveland Force, Tacoma Stars, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Wichita Wings, Baltimore Blast and Tampa Bay terror at Indoor level for the remainder of the decade and into the next.


Photo From: Panini England 1979/80

(Peter Ward)


Steve Perryman and Paul Goddard, 1982:

Two years later, on June 2nd, 1982, at Reykjavik, Tottenham’s Steve Perryman and West Ham’s Paul Goddard made their solitary appearances for England in a (1-1) tie vs. Iceland. Perryman entered in the last ten minutes replacing Alan Devonshire and Goddard replaced Cyrille Regis in the 40th minute. They were the final One Cap Wonders of Ron Greenwood. Like the match vs. Australia in 1980, this match in Iceland was also a final test for fringe squad players to make the 1982 World Cup Finals squad.

Perryman was a legend of Tottenham, often cited as a reference example of a player who deserved more caps. In 1982, he was voted as Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year and this cap was perhaps a reward.

The 30-year-old Perryman spent 17 years at Tottenham (1969-1986). He won the FA Cup in 1981 and 1982, as well as the League Cup in 1971 and 1973 with the club.

He was also part of the Tottenham squads that won the UEFA Cup in 1972 and 1984.

He left in 1986 to join Oxford United for one season (1986/87). He joined Brentford in 1987, before retiring in 1990.

He represented England at U-21 level in the 1970s.


Photo From: Panini England 1981/82

(Steve Perryman)

The 22-year-old West Ham United striker Paul Goddard was a potential striking option but nothing more, despite performing well for his club. In his only cap, in this match vs. Iceland, Goddard scored England’s goal. He became the first England player to score while playing less than a complete match. This was not enough to gain further caps.

He started out at Queens Park Rangers in 1977 before joining West Ham United in 1980.

He remained with the club until 1986 before joining Newcastle United.

The rest of his career included spells with Derby County (1988-89), Milwall (1989-91) and Ipswich Town (1991-1994) prior to retirement.

He represented England at U-21 level in the early 80s.


Photo From: Panini England 1981/82

(Paul Goddard)


Nigerl Spink and Nick Pickering, 1983:

In the following year, 1983, under new Manager Bobby Robson, Aston Villa goalkeeper Nigel Spink and Sunderland midfielder Nick Pickering represented England on a Tour of Australia. In a three-match Tour vs. the host Nation, the duo played on June 19th, 1983, at Melbourne (Australia 1-England 1). Spink replaced Peter Shilton in the second half, while Pickering played the entire match.

In this end of season Tour of Australia, Robson tested a number of players due to withdrawals of regulars. It is doubtful if Spink and Pickering would have even been selected in the first place.

24-year-old Spink was known for stepping in early in the match for injured Aston Villa goalkeeper Jimmy Rimmer in the previous year’s Champions Cup Final vs. Bayern Munich.

He started out at Chelmsford City in 1976 before signing for Aston Villa in 1977.

He remained with Aston Villa until 1996 (winning the League Cup in 1994 along the way).

The remainder of his career included spells with West Bromwich Albion (1996-97), Milwall (1997-2000) and Forest Green Rovers (2000-01) before retiring.

He had two caps for England B National Team in 1991.



Photo From: Panini England 1983/84

(Nigel Spink)

The 19-year-old Pickering had been a consistent performer for Sunderland but was at this point more of an option for the U-21 squad.

He represented England U-21 from 1982 to 1986.

He started out at Sunderland in 1981 before leaving to join Coventry City in 1986.

The remainder of his career included spells with Derby County (1988-1991), Darlington (1991-1993) and Burnley (1993-1994) before retiring.



Photo From: Panini England 1983/84

(Nick Pickering)

Brian Stein, 1984:

Luton forward Brian Stein was tried out in a friendly match in Paris vs. France on February 29, 1984 (0-2 loss). He was replaced in the 78th minute by Tony Woodcock.

He formed a prolific partnership with Paul Walsh at club level, that was tried out for this match without much success.

He made a handful of appearances for the U-21 England National Team in this period.

The 26-year-old South African born striker started out with Luton Town in 1977 and remained until 1988 (along with his brother Mark).

He won the League Cup with the club in 1988.

He joined French side Caen in 1988 and remained with the club for two seasons and spent one more season in lower League French side Annecy (1990-91).

He returned to Luton in 1991 for one year and then had spells at Barnet (1992-93) and St Albans City (1994-95) before retiring.



Photo From: Panini England 1983/84

(Brian Stein)

Peter Davenport, 1985:

A year later, on March 26, 1985, just two days after his 24th Birthday, Nottingham Forest striker Peter Davenport was selected in a friendly vs. the Republic of Ireland (2-1 win). The match is remembered for Gary Lineker’s first goal for England. Davenport replaced Mark Hateley in the 73rd minute.

Davenport was transferred to Manchester United shortly thereafter and failed to capitalize on his move which limited any future opportunities.


He started out at Cammell Laird in 1980 before joining Nottingahm Forest in 1982 for the best spell of his career. Ron Atkinson signed him for Manchester United in 1986.

The remainder of his career included spells with Middlesbrough (1988-90), Sunderland (1990-93), Airdrie (1993-94), St. Johnstone (1994-95), Stockport County (1995), Southport (1995-97), Macclesfield Town (1997-2000), Congleton Town (2001) and Bangor City (2001-04) before retiring.



Photo From: Panini England 1984/85

(Peter Davenport)

Danny Wallace, 1986:

22 year-old Southampton striker Danny Wallace managed to score in his only match for his Nation on January 29th, 1986, at Cairo vs. Egypt (4-0 win). The oldest of the Wallace trio (along with twins Rod and Ray) did not make the best of his move to Manchester United either and did not get further opportunities.

He represented England at U-21 level in the 80s and earned one B cap in 1990.

He started out with Southampton in 1980 and remained there until 1989.

 Alex Ferguson signed him for Manchester United in 1989. He was not a regular but was part of the 1990 FA Cup,1991 Cup Winners Cup and 1992 League Cup winning sides of Manchester United.

After a loan spell with Milwall in 1993, he joined Birmingham City in 1993. He left Birmingham City in 1995 for a brief spell at Wycombe Wanderers before retiring in 1995.



Photo From: Panini England 1985/86

(Danny Wallace)

Mel Sterland and Brian Marwood, 1988:

More than two years later, Sheffield Wednesday right-back defender Mel Sterland and Arsenal’s Brian Marwood played in a friendly in Riyadh vs. Saudi Arabia on November 16th, 1988 (1-1 tie). Sterland played the entire match, while Marwood came on in the 81st minute for Chris Waddle.

This match was used to give a run-out to many inexperienced players that included players from League leaders Arsenal and their winger Marwood benefited from good club form at the time.

The 27-year-old Mel Sterland was a consistent defender and deserved more caps.

He started out at Sheffield Wednesday in the late 70s and remained with the club until relegation in 1989. He had a brief spell at Rangers Glasgow in 1989 (winning the League title), before joining Leeds United in 1989. He helped the club win promotion in 1990, as well as the League title in 1992 (the last of the Pre-Premier League era).

After leaving Leeds in 1994, he had brief spells at Boston United and Denaby United before retiring.

He was a member of England’s U-21 squad in the 1983-84 span.


28-year-old winger Brian Marwood started out at Hull City in 1979. He left in 1984 to join Sheffield Wednesday. George Graham signed him for Arsenal in 1988.

He was part of the 1989 League winning side.

The remainder of his career included spells with Sheffield United (1990-92), Middlesbrough (1992), Swindon Town (1992-1993) and Barnet (1993-1994) before retiring.



Photo From: Panini England 1988/89

(Mel Sterland)


Photo From: Panini England 1988/89

(Brian Marwood)

Mike Phelan, 1989:

The decade’s last lone cap was Manchester United midfielder Mike Phelan. He replaced club-mate Bryan Robson at halftime in a scoreless friendly vs. Italy on November 15th, 1989, at Wembley. After a good season in 1988/89 with Norwich, Alex Ferguson signed him in the summer of 1989. He was a member of the early Manchester United title winning sides under Ferguson. He was also Bobby Robson’s final one cap wonder.

The 27-year-old midfielder started at Burnley in 1979 and remained with the club until 1985. He joined Norwich City in 1985 before signing for Manchester United in 1989. He was part of the 1990 FA Cup, 1991 Cup Winners Cup and 1992 League Cup winning sides of Manchester United. He was also part of Manchester United’s Premier League winning sides of 1993 and 1994 (the Double).

He had a final stint at West Bromwich Albion (1994-95) before retiring.


Photo From: Panini England 1989/90

(Mike Phelan)



In analyzing the circumstances for these players, the common thread appears to be that none were seen as potential future caps. They were chosen in mostly friendlies or Tours. They were also called up when established players were missing.

They were good club players but perhaps not International level players.

On one or two cases, their selection was long overdue and deserved more recognition.

Most were players in forward positions at a time when more consistent players such as Lineker, Hateley or Beardsley were blocking their path.




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