Every Arsenal player to captain England - Declan Rice
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Remembering every Arsenal player to captain England

Declan Rice had a moment to savour this week as the Arsenal midfielder captained England for the first time.

The 24-year-old led the side out in their 2-2 draw with Belgium at Wembley, wearing the armband on his 50th appearance for the Three Lions. Rice is the first Arsenal player to captain England in almost two decades and the 10th Gunner to have been bestowed with the honour.

We’ve remembered every Arsenal player to captain England.

David Jack – 4 – 1930-1932

David Jack became the first Arsenal player to captain England, wearing the armband on four occasions between 1930 and 1932. A prolific forward, he scored 124 goals in 208 games for the Gunners after becoming football’s first £10,000 player when arriving in North London from Bolton.

The first footballer ever to score at Wembley in the 1923 FA Cup final, he is one of just three players – alongside Jimmy Greaves and Alan Shearer – to have scored 100 top-flight goals for two different English clubs.

Eddie Hapgood – 21 caps – 1934-1939

Eddie Hapgood is the Arsenal player to have captained England on the most occasions, with 21 of his 30 international caps coming whilst wearing the armband.

The full-back played 440 times for Arsenal after arriving from Kettering Town as a teenager, captaining the club during a dominant era in the 1930s, as the North Londoners won five titles in eight seasons before the outbreak of the Second World War.

George Male – 6 – 1936-1937

Another member of Arsenal’s successful side of the 1930s, Male won five top-flight titles during a one-club career with the Gunners and captained England on six occasions.

Alan Ball – 6 – 1975

Alan Ball’s iconic England career saw him become the youngest member of the 1966 World Cup-winning team, as the 21-year-old Blackpool midfielder produced a lung-busting effort in the final victory over West Germany at Wembley.

Ball moved to Everton after the tournament and spent five seasons at Goodison Park, before joining Arsenal in a then British-record £220,000 deal in 1971. He captained England six times during his time at Arsenal and ended his international career with eight goals in 72 caps.

Tony Adams – 15 – 1994-2000

Tony Adams’ incredible one-club career at Arsenal saw the defender captain the Gunners for 14 years, having been appointed captain aged just 21.

Adams led the North Londoners to a unique feat with title wins in three different decades, lifting league titles in 1989, 1991, 1998 and 2002.

The central defender’s leadership over 672 Arsenal appearances was also recognised by England, who he represented at four major tournaments and won 66 caps.

Adams captained England to the semi-finals of Euro ’96 on home soil, before being replaced as captain by Alan Shearer.

David Platt – 2 – 1996

David Platt captained England on 19 occasions during his career, though was replaced as England captain by the aforementioned Adams in the mid-nineties. He twice wore the armband after his 1995 move from Sampdoria to Arsenal, in friendly fixtures against Croatia and Hungary in the build-up to Euro ’96.

David Seaman – 1 – 1997

David Seaman spent almost a decade as England’s number-one goalkeeper with only Peter Shilton having won more than his 75 caps for England among shot-stoppers.

He was a central figure during the run to the semi-finals of Euro ’96, saving a penalty from Miguel Ángel Nadal as England beat Spain in the quarter-finals. Seaman was handed the captain’s armband for a World Cup qualifier against Moldova in September 1997, keeping a clean sheet as the Three Lions secured a comfortable 4-0 win.

Martin Keown – 1 – 2000

Martin Keown was the next Arsenal player to wear the captain’s armband for England after leading the Three Lions out for a World Cup qualifier against Finland in 2000. One of four Arsenal players in the team alongside Seaman, Ashley Cole and Ray Parlour, the contest finished in a goalless draw in Helsinki.

Sol Campbell – 1 – 2005

Sol Campbell wore the captain’s armband for England on three occasions, though the first two of those came before his controversial move across north London from Tottenham to Arsenal.

Campbell’s first game as captain saw him become the youngest player since Bobby Moore to lead England, aged 23 years and 248 days. He wore the armband as an Arsenal player during a friendly win over the USA in 2005, as Kieran Richardson scored both goals on his debut in a 2-1 win.

Defensive Rocks: Sol Campbell – The immovable Invincible

Declan Rice – 1* – 2024

After almost two decades, Declan Rice became the 10th Arsenal player to captain England this week. The midfielder has been an integral part of the Three Lions set-up under Gareth Southgate and won his 50th cap for the nation against Belgium this week, celebrating the milestone with the captaincy at Wembley. He will be a central part of hopes to end a 58-year wait for tournament success at Euro 2024 in the summer.

Read – Ranking the five best goalkeepers in the world right now

See more – Ranking the five best centre-backs in the world right now

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