5 great England left-backs to mark Stuart Pearce’s 58th birthday


Pearce earned 78 caps for England, playing at the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96.

Former England defender Stuart Pearce turns 58 on Friday.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the best left-backs to play for the Three Lions.

Ashley Cole (2001-2014)

Ashley Cole was a regular for England
Ashley Cole was a regular for England (Martin Rickett/PA)

England’s most capped full-back after 107 appearances, Cole made the position his own for over 10 years.

A member of Arsenal’s Invincibles, he played at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups, as well as Euro 2004 and Euro 2012.

Stuart Pearce (1987-1999)

Euro 96 Pearce celeb 2
Stuart Pearce celebrates after scoring his penalty against Spain. (Sean Dempsey/PA)

A committed performer with 78 caps, although crucially missed in the penalty shoot-out defeat to West Germany in the World Cup semi-final at Italia 90.

His gutsy penalty – and eye-bulging celebration – in the Euro 96 shoot-out win over Spain exorcised his demons.

Kenny Sansom (1979-1988)

He is 12th on England’s all-time appearance list having won 86 caps, scoring once.

Former Arsenal and Crystal Palace left-back Sansom played at the 1980 and 1988 European Championships while also appearing in the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.

Ray Wilson (1960-1968)

England's 1,000th International Package
Ray Wilson (right) helps carry Bobby Moore after England’s World Cup win. (PA)

The oldest man in England’s World Cup winning team in 1966. Former Huddersfield star Wilson won 63 caps in total.

He also played at the 1962 World Cup, helping the Three Lions to the quarter-finals, and the 1968 European Championships.

Ben Chilwell (2018-present)

The current holder of the shirt, Leicester’s Chilwell is still a rookie compared to the others but has begun to nail down the position.

The highly-rated 23-year-old only made his senior debut in 2018 and has 11 caps but has the potential to emulate the greats.