Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Sport -

ENG­LAND went to this sum­mer’s World Cup with their most di­verse tour­na­ment squad ever – a fit­ting trib­ute 40 years on from Viv An­der­son’s his­toric call-up. Here, we track the pro­gres­sion from An­der­son’s first tour­na­ment ap­pear­ance to Gareth South­gate’s squad in Rus­sia this sum­mer, which fea­tured 12 BAME play­ers out of 23.

An­der­son paves the way

An­der­son was the only black player in Eng­land’s 1980 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship squad and again at the World Cup two years later, before be­ing joined by John Barnes at the 1986 World Cup and the 1988 Euros.

He moved on before the 1990 World Cup – the first squad to fea­ture three BAME play­ers, with Barnes joined by de­fend­ers Paul Parker and Des Walker.

For the 1992 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship the to­tal rose to four – 20 per cent of the squad – with Barnes and Parker out of the picture but Walker joined by Keith Curle, Carl­ton Palmer and Tony Da­ley.

With Eng­land fail­ing to qual­ify for the 1994 World Cup, only three play­ers from 1992 re­mained in the Euro 96 squad on home soil but the new-look squad still contained three BAME play­ers out of 22 – Paul Ince, Sol Camp­bell and Les Fer­di­nand.

Fer­di­nand’s cousin Rio made it four at France 98, while it was three at Euro 2000 as both Fer­di­nands dropped out but Emile Heskey was se­lected.

The big leap for­ward

The 2002 World Cup marked a new era for BAME rep­re­sen­ta­tion in an Eng­land tour­na­ment squad as Camp­bell, Heskey, Rio Fer­di­nand, Ash­ley Cole, David James, Dar­ius Vas­sell, Kieron Dyer, Wes Brown and Trevor Sin­clair made the trip to Ja­pan and South Korea – nine out of a 23-man squad, or 39 per cent.

That high water­mark was not matched un­til 2016 but the level has re­mained above 30 per cent in ev­ery tour­na­ment bar the 2014 World Cup. Cole, James, Heskey, Camp­bell and later Glen Johnson be­came main­stays of the squad while Led­ley King, Aaron Len­non, Jer­maine Je­nas, Jer­main De­foe, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Alex Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain, Theo Wal­cott, Ash­ley Young and Joleon Lescott each ap­peared in at least one squad be­tween 2004 and 2012.

The 2014 squad still con­tain six BAME play­ers, 26 per cent of Roy Hodg­son’s squad, with Danny Wel­beck – who made his first tour­na­ment ap­pear­ance in 2012 - and Ra­heem Ster­ling still in­te­gral to Eng­land’s at­tack.

Euro 2016 saw a re­turn to the pre­vi­ous record tally of nine – de­fend­ers Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Chris Smalling, Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Ber­trand, Dele Alli in mid­field and Ster­ling, Daniel Stur­ridge and Mar­cus Rash­ford op­er­at­ing in at­tack­ing ar­eas.

Walker, Rose, Alli, Ster­ling and Rash­ford re­mained at this sum­mer’s World Cup, Wel­beck re­turned for a third ma­jor tour­na­ment and Young his sec­ond while there were first squad places for Kieran Trip­pier, Fabian Delph, Jesse Lin­gard, Ruben Lof­tus-Cheek and Trent Alexan­derArnold in Eng­land’s most di­verse squad to date – 12 BAME play­ers mak­ing up over 52 per cent of Gareth South­gate’s se­lec­tion.

John Barnes in 1987

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