Raheem Sterling becomes England’s seventh black captain

Raheem Sterling became England’s seventh black captain as he was asked to lead the team out against Holland on Thursday.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at the previous black and minority ethnic (BAME) players to skipper the Three Lions.

Paul Ince

A bandaged Paul Ince, right, celebrates World Cup qualification
A bandaged Paul Ince, right, celebrates World Cup qualification (Adam Butler/PA)

England’s first black captain took the armband for the first time when making only his seventh international appearance, against the host nation in 1993’s United States Cup.

England lost 2-0 but that was Ince’s only defeat in seven games as skipper – the most memorable of which came when he inspired England to a goalless draw in Italy to secure qualification for the 1998 World Cup, with his bandaged head and blood-stained shirt conjuring memories of Terry Butcher.

Sol Campbell

Sol Campbell
Sol Campbell occasionally deputised as captain (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The long-time Tottenham and Arsenal defender led his country on only three occasions, and never in a competitive match, with Alan Shearer or David Beckham captain for most of Campbell’s 72 caps.

England were unbeaten in those three matches – a draw with Belgium and win over the Czech Republic in 1998 and a 2-1 win over the United States seven years and 41 caps later.

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand celebrates his goal against Kazakhstan in 2008
Rio Ferdinand celebrates his goal against Kazakhstan in 2008 (Nick Potts/PA)

Another defensive lynchpin for England, Ferdinand did not lead the team out until his 66th cap but wore the armband for seven of his last 16.

England won four of those, with Ferdinand even managing one of his three international goals when he opened the scoring as skipper in a 5-1 win over Kazakhstan in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

The one-offs

Ashley Cole, right, shakes hands with Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane
Ashley Cole, right, was named captain to mark his century of caps – but only after some confusion (Nick Potts/PA)

Ashley Cole was given the chance to captain England against the Republic of Ireland in 2013 in honour of a century of appearances – the friendly, a 1-1 draw, was his 102nd appearance but saw him presented with a commemorative 100th cap.

As with Sterling, there was confusion over Cole’s appointment as then coach Roy Hodgson initially suggested the full-back would lead the team out but that his Chelsea colleague Frank Lampard would be skipper.

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling wore the armband for a 2016 friendly win over Australia while Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph, perhaps the most unlikely name on the list, led England in a 3-0 win over the USA in November 2018.