Just slightly off topic. I’ve supported Walsall for longer than I care to remember, I’ve seen thousands of players during that time, but only a handful of them I thought has the potential to make it to the top and play for England.
My dad accompanied me to my first Saddler’s game in 1963. there was a young, wafer-thin kid up front named Alan Clarke. After the match, I told dad he was going to play for England one day.
I thought the same about Phil Parks and Scott Dann - how he never got a call up is mystifying.
With the right coaching, Rico Henry had the talent to make it.
In recent years Rico is the one I thought might make it to that level and can see - subject to his injury problems - getting into a Prem team. Paterson was another one I thought might make it, but a long shot.
I guess you mean England prospects?
If you saw Clarke play in 1963, that would narrow your first game down to one of two -
01/10/63 - v Reading - Clarke’s debut, 56 years ago today.
28/12/63 - v Watford - Clarke’s next appearance that season.
You’re quite right, Timbuktu. I did mean to type prospects.
Thanks for refreshing my memory, I think it was the Reading game you referred to. When I saw Clarke play that day I knew he was destined for greater things.
I just missed seeing Tony Richards play for us, him and Clarke up front would have been a treat to see.
Going back even further, I would loved to have seen Gilbert Alsop play - prolific goal scorer. Unfortunately, we will never see the likes of Alsop, Richards and Buckley again, they broke the mold with those three.
Considering the lack of depth in England forward line in last decade and even now I think Deeney has been pretty unlucky not to get a cap since Watford came up to prem given some of the seasons he’s had.