Francis Jeffers and the one cap, one goal England wonders

Dream debuts followed by the international wilderness.

Francis Jeffers nets for England against Australia in 2003
100% club Francis Jeffers nets for England against Australia in 2003. Image Picture Jamie McDonald/Getty

As England ready themselves for a friendly against Australia this week, football fans might be experiencing flashbacks to the last time the two sides met in 2003.

During Sven-Goran Eriksson’s reign, the Swedish coach fielded a different side in each half as England went down to an embarrassing 3-1 defeat. The game’s notable as the international debut for then-Everton wonder kid Wayne Rooney.

Just 17 at the time, Rooney was joined in attack by former Toffees star Francis Jeffers, a big money signing for Arsenal and the supposed ‘fox in the box’ to power Arsene Wenger’s side to another title.

Rooney and Jeffers’ careers diverged greatly after the Australia game at West Ham’s Boleyn Ground. One became the England’s all-time leading scorer, the other slipped down to the Championship before taking in clubs in Scotland, Australia and retiring at Accrington Stanley.

But Jeffers does hold a particular distinction for England: he’s part of their 100% club – one cap, one goal. Here’s all six men to fuel your pub quiz knowledge.


1

Tony Kay

A left-sided player who turned out for Sheffield Wednesday and Everton, Kay netted for England against Switzerland in 1963. A £60,000 fee made him the most expensive English footballer of all time in the 60s, but he was slapped with a life ban in 1964 for his part in a betting scandal. Kay’s story is told in the TV film The Fix, in which he’s played by Jason Isaacs.

2

Francis Jeffers

A £8 million move to Arsenal in 2001 put Jeffers on the footballing map, but injuries dogged his time at the Gunners and he was never able to recapture the form he showed as a youngster at Everton. In the Australia game that saw Jeffers bag his only senior England goal (he netted 13 times in 16 appearances for the under-21s), he shared the pitch with Rooney, Paul Konchesky, James Beattie and Kieron Dyer.

3

Paul Goddard

Deadly in front of goal for QPR and West Ham, Goddard joined the 100% club when he netted in a 1-1 draw against Iceland in 1982. Despite an impressive debut, he didn’t make the cut for England’s Wold Cup squad that summer. Goddard went on to play for Newcastle, Derby and Millwall before ending his career at Ipswich Town.

4

David Nugent

Scorer of what’s probably the cheekiest England goal of all time, Nugent rolled the ball into an empty net against Andorra much to the chagrin of Jermain Defoe, who’d done most of the hard work. Nugent never played for England again after his 2007 debut – but he’ll be back in the Premier League next year leading the line for Middlesborough.

5

Bill Nicholson

A legendary figure for Tottenham, where he played and managed over a 36-year period, Nicholson scored his only England goal against Portugal in 1951. The dominance of Billy Wright in Nicholson’s position meant he was shut out from the national side throughout his playing career. Still, his league and FA Cup double for Spurs a decade later as manager will have eased the pain.

6

Danny Wallace

A diminutive front man who bagged a shedload for Southampton in the 80s and made a scoring debut for England against Egypt in 1986. He later signed for Alex Ferguson at Manchester United but the emergence of one Ryan Giggs meant chances at Old Trafford were hard to come by. Tragically, Wallace was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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