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England records: Top scorer, most caps, youngest player & record scorelines

16:15 GMT+4 14/11/2018
Wayne Rooney England
Goal takes a look at the individuals and results that will go down in legend for the nation that won the World Cup in 1966

England, along with Scotland, have the longest history of playing international football in the world.

The two nations first faced off in 1870, playing out a scoreless draw at The Oval in London, although FIFA recognises a 0-0 draw at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow on November 30, 1872 as the first international match.

Since then, the Three Lions have become one of the most storied nations in the game, famously winning the World Cup in 1966 by beating West Germany 4-2 under Wembley’s Twin Towers.

Here are some of the individuals and teams that will go down in legend for outstanding achievements.


Goalkeeper Peter Shilton holds the record for caps won by an England player with 125. 

He made his debut against East Germany on November 25, 1970, despite playing in the second tier for Leicester City, and featured for the last time for the national team in the World Cup semi-final penalty shootout defeat against Germany on July 7, 1990. 

Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, is the Three Lions' most capped outfield player. The former Manchester United and Everton attacker had made 119 appearances for his country, and was their youngest player at 17 years and 111 days old when he debuted against Australia in 2003.

Although he retired from the international scene following a 3-0 win over Scotland on November 15, 2017, he will earn his 120th cap in a friendly against the USA in order to promote his charity, the Wayne Rooney Foundation. 

Seven other players have reached 100 caps for England. Billy Wright, who made 70 consecutive appearances for his country (also a record), was the first player to do so in 1959.

The legendary Bobby Moore, meanwhile, was the quickest player to reach 100 appearances, having taken 10 years and 271 days to do so between his debut and the landmark outing.

Caps Name Dates of caps
125 Peter Shilton 1970-1990
119 Wayne Rooney 2003-2018
115 David Beckham 1996-2009
114 Steven Gerrard 2000-2014
108 Bobby Moore 1962-1973
107 Ashley Cole 2001-2014
106 Bobby Charlton 1958-1970
106 Frank Lampard 1999-2014
105 Billy Wright 1946-1959


Wayne Rooney is England’s leading marksman, having netted 53 times for the Three Lions, including 37 goals in competitive fixtures.

His first goal for his country came when he was just 17, when he registered against Macedonia in a 2-1 victory away from home in a qualifying match for Euro 2004. In doing so, he became England’s youngest ever scorer.

His final goal came against Iceland in the infamous 2-1 Euro 2016 defeat against the minnows.

He is the only man to have scored more than 50 goals for England, with Bobby Charlton next on the list with 49.

The other players to have struck 40 or more times are Gary Lineker, Jimmy Greaves and Michael Owen.

Goals Name Dates of goals
53 Wayne Rooney 2003-2016
49 Bobby Charlton 1958-1970
48 Gary Lineker 1985-1992
44 Jimmy Greaves 1959-1967
40 Michael Owen 1998-2007
30 Alan Shearer 1992-2000
30 Tom Finney 1946-1958
29 Frank Lampard 2003-2013
29 Vivian Woodward 1903-1911


Although Rooney was England’s youngest player when he debuted in the autumn of 2003 against Australia, his record was relatively short-lived. 

Theo Walcott was a surprising inclusion in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s squad for the 2006 World Cup, and the erstwhile Southampton attacker was handed his international bow in a friendly against Hungary on May 30, 2006.

He was just 17 years and 75 days old when he turned out for the Three Lions – beating Rooney’s record by 36 days.


England’s record victory stands as a 13-0 away success over Ireland on February 18, 1882, while their biggest ever home success arrived against the Irish 17 years later, when they picked up a 13-2 win.

In terms of competitive international matches, England have twice recorded 9-0 victories over Luxembourg, once on October 19, 1960 and then again on December 15, 1982. 


England’s heaviest defeat came in a friendly match at the hands of a formidable Hungary side on May 23, 1954 as the teams were building up towards the World Cup. Hungary affirmed their status as favourites by claiming a stunning 7-1 win.

On home soil, England’s record loss came on March 12, 1881, when they suffered a 6-1 reverse at the hands of Scotland.

England have lost competitive matches by three goals on two occasions, representing their nadir in that regard. On February 27, 1963, they suffered a 5-2 loss against France, while on June 27, 2010 they went down 4-1 against Germany in a World Cup last-16 encounter best remembered for Frank Lampard’s ‘ghost’ goal that was not given, despite the ball crossing the line.