England Football Online
Contact Us Page Last Updated 16 June 2021

England's Euro Heartache

The players that were cut from the final squads that went to the European Championship Finals.


Players cut from the 1968 European Championship Final Squad

The 1968 tournament was held in Italy for the last four in the competition. England only qualified for the semi-finals on May 8, less than a month before the tournament. On April 26, Sir Alf Ramsey announced a squad of 22 prior to the second leg of the quarter-final, against Spain, though it was whittled down to 16 for the trip to Madrid. England then played two warm-up games, including a tough World Cup final rematch against West Germany, just four days before the semi-final with Yugoslavia. The original 22 travelled to Italy for the final tournament, with the exception of goalkeeper, Peter Bonetti of Chelsea, who damaged a knee ligament during England's 2-1 victory in Madrid. He was replaced by Everton's Gordon West.

Final Squad Details - announced on April 26, tournament began on June 5.


Players cut from the 1980 European Championship Final Squad

Ron Greenwood named twenty of his 22-man squad following England's victory over Scotland at Hampden Park on May 24, together with a shortlist of five players, from whom he would select the final two. After watching members of the fringe squad defeat Australia in Sydney, a week later, he added Garry Birtles and Glenn Hoddle to the names submitted to UEFA on June 3. Birtles had not played in Sydney, but had been a member of Nottingham Forest's European Cup-winning side in the same week. The three unlucky players left out were midfielder, Bryan Robson of West Bromwich Albion, and two wingers; Robson's team-mate, Peter Barnes and Real Madrid's Laurie Cunningham.

Final Squad Details - announced on June 3, tournament began on June 11 (England's first game was June 12).


Players cut from the 1988 European Championship Final Squad

Bobby Robson named a 24-man squad for Alan Hansen's testimonial at Anfield, two Rous Cup fixtures and a friendly against Switzerland, and reduced it to twenty for the tournament, following England's victory against the Swiss in Lausanne on May 28. The four players who missed out were Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper, David Seaman; Gary Pallister, Middlesbrough's central defender; and two strikers; West Ham United's Tony Cottee and Mick Harford of Luton Town. Tony Dorigo was the last to join the squad after suffering relegation with Chelsea on the same day that England were winning in Switzerland. Pallister was in the Middlesbrough team that won promotion to the First Division by overcoming Chelsea in the play-off final.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 28, tournament began on June 10 (England's first game was June 12).


Players cut from the 1992 European Championship Final Squad

Graham Taylor selected 28 players for the game with Brazil at Wembley on May 17, plus four on standby: Gary Pallister of Manchester United, the PFA's Player of the Year, who had narrowly missed out on the 1988 squad; the Tottenham Hotspur pair, Gary Mabbutt and Paul Stewart; and Geoff Thomas of Crystal Palace.

Liverpool right-back, Rob Jones pulled out of the squad, two days before the Brazil game, with shin splints. On the day following the 1-1 draw with Brazil, Taylor announced his 20-man squad, thirteen days ahead of the deadline. Andy Sinton of Queens Park Rangers was placed on standby, in case Liverpool's John Barnes failed to respond to treatment on his troublesome right thigh, and David Seaman of Arsenal was named as the reserve goalkeeper, as stipulated by UEFA. Five other players from the 28 were excluded: Manchester City goalkeeper, Tony Coton; his team-mate, Keith Curle; experienced Rangers right-back, Gary Stevens; and two Arsenal players; midfielder, David Rocastle, who also missed out on the 1990 World Cup; and the First Division's top scorer, Ian Wright. Another right-back, Lee Dixon of Arsenal dropped out of the squad with a knee injury, a week later and Gary Stevens was drafted in to replace him.

With the squad submitted to UEFA, England had one final warm-up game, against Finland in Helsinki on June 3. After only twelve minutes, John Barnes ruptured his right Achilles tendon and ruled himself out of the tournament, whilst Gary Stevens, the one remaining recognised right-back in the squad, suffered a stress fracture in his right foot and he, too, had to withdraw. Two days later, UEFA agreed to allow two replacements to join the squad; Andy Sinton, originally on standby for Barnes; and Keith Curle, who was a central defender, and now found himself recalled as the fourth-choice right-back.

Unfortunately for Taylor, there was to be another crushing blow, when Liverpool captain, Mark Wright revealed that he had aggravated an old Achilles tendon injury in Helsinki and did not travel with the squad to Sweden on June 7. The Arsenal captain, Tony Adams was placed on standby in case UEFA agreed to Wright being replaced. Wright flew to Sweden to be examined by a UEFA medic on June 11, the day of England's opening game, but as the injury was not a new one, the request was rejected, leaving England with 19 squad members for the tournament.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 18, tournament began on June 10 (England's first game was June 11).


Players cut from the 1996 European Championship Final Squad

Terry Venables named a squad of 27 on May 16, for a short tour of the Far East. This was two days before a clash with Hungary at Wembley, in which Liverpool's Mark Wright, who had dropped out in 1992 because of injury, strained a knee ligament. A scan confirmed that he would also miss Euro '96 and he was replaced in the squad by Newcastle United's Steve Howey. On May 28, the final 22-man squad was announced, with five omissions: Ugo Ehiogu of Aston Villa; Robert Lee of Newcastle United; Chelsea's Dennis Wise; Jason Wilcox of Blackburn Rovers; and Peter Beardsley, the 35-year-old Newcastle striker, whose international career was finally ended after 59 appearances.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 28, tournament began on June 8.


Players cut from the 2000 European Championship Final Squad

On May 15, Kevin Keegan named a 28-man squad for two Wembley friendlies against Brazil and Ukraine. Leeds United's Jason Wilcox, who had missed the cut in 1996, withdrew with a knee injury, six days later, and was replaced by 19-year-old Gareth Barry, who was promoted from the Under-21 squad. Liverpool's Jamie Redknapp and Ray Parlour of Arsenal both withdrew with knee injuries on May 30. Parlour had suffered ligament damage as a late substitute against Brazil on May 27. The final squad of 22 was announced the following day, before England defeated Ukraine. Four more players missed out: Aston Villa goalkeeper, David James; West Ham United's Rio Ferdinand; Kieron Dyer of Newcastle United; and Manchester United's Andrew Cole, who had an injured toe.

England played one further warm-up game in Malta on June 3. There were, thankfully, no further injuries and the squad headed for the Netherlands.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 31, tournament began on June 10 (England's first game was June 12).


Players cut from the 2004 European Championship Final Squad
Sven-Göran Eriksson named a 24-man squad on May 17 for two warm-up games against Japan and Iceland at the City of Manchester Stadium. Five players were also placed on standby: Everton goalkeeper, Richard Wright; Matthew Upson of Birmingham City; Gareth Southgate of Middlesbrough; Chelsea's Scott Parker; and Alan Smith, the Leeds United striker. Tottenham Hotspur's Jermain Defoe was included only as cover for Darius Vassell, who had been suffering from a hamstring injury. Defoe was, thus, excluded from the final 23-man squad for Portugal, though he did make a late substitute appearance against Iceland, in which Vassell scored twice.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 17, tournament began on June 12 (England's first game was June 13).


Players cut from the 2012 European Championship Final Squad
Roy Hodgson was only appointed England manager on May 1 and his first task was to name his squad for the tournament. The provisional list of 23 players was announced on May 16, prior to England's two warm-up fixtures. Five additional players were placed on standby: the uncapped 19-year-old Birmingham City goalkeeper, Jack Butland; Phil Jagielka of Everton; Jordan Henderson of Liverpool; Manchester City midfielder, Adam Johnson; and Chelsea striker, Daniel Sturridge. The biggest surprise was the omission of Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand, who would have been England's captain at the 2010 World Cup, but for an injury picked up on the first day of training in South Africa.

Butland was added to the squad on May 25, when Norwich City 'keeper, John Ruddy broke a finger in training. Liverpool's Martin Kelly was drafted in as right-back cover for the game with Norway in Oslo and made his debut as a late substitute, but he returned home afterwards. Gareth Barry picked up a groin injury against Norway and withdrew from the squad on May 28 to be replaced by Jagielka. The squad list was submitted to UEFA on the following day, only for two more injuries to disrupt Hodgson's plans again.

On May 30, Frank Lampard, who had scored twice for England in the 2004 tournament, suffered a thigh injury in training and had to withdraw, to be replaced by Jordan Henderson. England then played a final warm-up match, against Belgium at Wembley on June 2, in which Chelsea defender, Gary Cahill collided with his goalkeeper, Joe Hart, after being pushed in the back. A double fracture of the jaw ruled him out of the tournament and Martin Kelly returned to the squad as the fourth change to the original 23.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 29, tournament began on June 8 (England's first game was June 11).


Players cut from the 2016 European Championship Final Squad
An initial 26 players were selected by Roy Hodgson on May 16 for three warm-up games, following the final round of Premier League fixtures. The most notable omissions were Arsenal's Theo Walcott, who had scored three times that season in qualifying games, as well as in the 2012 tournament, and Phil Jagielka of Everton, who had captained England for one game in the qualifying campaign (in Lithuania).

On the eve of England's second warm-up game (against Australia), Manchester City's Fabian Delph dropped to standby for the tournament, because of a groin injury, leaving Hodgson needing to remove only two more names from his list.

His decision was announced via his submission of 23 names to UEFA and the players excluded were Danny Drinkwater, Leicester City and Andros Townsend, Newcastle United.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 31, tournament began on June 10 (England's first game was June 11).


Players cut from the 2021 European Championship Final Squad
Because the COVID-19 pandemic had condensed the season into a hectic eight months, each country was allowed to select 26 players in its squad. Gareth Southgate named 33 players on May 25, but he had to submit 26 names to UEFA on 1 June before two warm-up games. The players excluded were Sheffield United goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale, Ben Godfrey of Everton and Ben White of Brighton and Hove Albion, each of whom was uncapped, plus Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins, James Ward-Prowse of Southampton and, surprisingly, Manchester United's Jesse Lingard, who had been revitalised by a loan spell at West Ham United.

England then played two games at Middlesbrough. Liverpool right-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold limped off with a thigh tear against Austria and, following the second game, against Romania, he was replaced with Ben White, who had impressed on his first two appearances for his country.

Two days after England's first game, Aaron Ramsdale won a reprieve and joined the squad when substitute goalkeeper, Dean Henderson pulled out with a hip injury.

Final Squad Details - announced on June 1, tournament began on June 11 (England's first game was June 13).