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Spireites and the Three Lions

14 November 2019

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As England prepare to play their 1,000th match when they take on Montenegro this evening in a Euro 2020 qualifier at Wembley, we take a look at the 17 figures who have been involved with both the national team and Chesterfield.

1. Sam Hardy (#59)
Hardy signed for Chesterfield in 1902 after manager Jack Hoskin beat Derby County to get the youngster's signature. The goalkeeper gained a reputation for not being fazed and soon grabbed the attention of other clubs. In 1905, after being impressed with Hardy’s performance despite a 6-1 loss at Anfield, Liverpool manager Tom Watson poached the him. He went on to also play for Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest whilst also winning two FA Cups and a First Division title.

Hardy, renowned by many as the greatest goalkeeper of his generation, made his England debut in 1907 in a 1-0 win over Ireland. He played 21 matches, becoming England’s most capped goalkeeper between 1910 and 1931. He was part of four British Championship victories (two shared) and made his last appearance as the Three Lions won 5-4 against Scotland in 1920 at Hillsborough.

2. Gordon Banks (#490)
The most well-known player in this list, Banks started his career with the Spireites in 1953 as a youth player. He helped the side to the 1956 FA Youth Cup final where Chesterfield lost 4-3 on aggregate to Manchester United’s ‘Busby Babes’. He turned professional in 1958 and made his debut in a 2-2 draw against Colchester United at Saltergate. The goalkeeper only made 26 appearances before a £7,000 move to Leicester City in 1959. He won the League Cup with both the Foxes and Stoke City before ending his career in America.

On the international front, Banks played twice for the England under-23s prior to making his full international debut against Scotland in 1963. Despite a 2-1 loss to Scotland, he would continue to keep his place and establish himself as a regular. Eventually, Banks was picked as first-choice goalkeeper for the 1966 World Cup. England, who were the hosts of the tournament, won the World Cup following a 4-2 win over West Germany at Wembley – forever etching himself into English footballing history. He continued to play for the Three Lions until 1972 when he won his 73rd and final international cap in a 1-0 win over Scotland in 1972 at Hampden Park.

3. Kevin Davies (#793)
Davies started his career with the Spireites after receiving a professional contract in 1993. As well as helping Chesterfield win the Third Division play-offs in 1995, the striker also played a key role in Chesterfield’s best-ever FA Cup run. In 1997, Davies scored a hat-trick in a 3-2 win over future club Bolton Wanderers as the Spireites made their way to an FA Cup semi-final. This attracted attention from clubs in higher divisions and he eventually moved to Southampton in 1997. Davies rarely moved out of the Premier League thereafter and enjoyed spells with the Saints, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End. Davies remains the last player to have played for both Chesterfield and the England national team.

In 2010, Davies made his England debut when he came on in the 69th minute against Montenegro. He replaced Peter Crouch and received a yellow card as the Three Lions were held to a 0-0 draw at Wembley. He was the oldest player to play for England (33 years and 200 days) since Leslie Compton in 1950. It was his only appearance for his country.

Other Chesterfield players and managers who have played for England:

• Tom Crawshaw (#117)
• Albert Wilkes (#127)
• Willis Edwards (#173)
• Harry Roberts (#211
• Jimmy Moore (#217)
• George Thornewell (#250)
• George Hunt (#261)
• George Ashmore (#281)
• Samual “Billy Austin (#286)
• Harry Bedford (#303)
• Joe Spence (#328)
• Harry Handley (#280)
• Teddy Davison (#436)
• Norman Vullock (#441)
• Roy McFarland (#868)

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