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World Cup Index

England's World Cup Heartache

This is a list of players who were cut out of the final squads that went to the World Cup Finals.


Players cut from the 1950 World Cup Final Squad

England's squad for the 1950 World Cup contained 21 players. On May 9, two squads (A and B) of 14 players each were announced for two separate tours. Of the 28 names, the following twelve did not make it to the final World Cup squad: Bill Jones, Liverpool; Dicky Robinson, Middlesbrough; Redfern Froggatt, Sheffield Wednesday; Ray Middleton, Chesterfield; John Crosland, Blackpool; Jimmy Payne, Liverpool; Reg Lewis, Arsenal (a replacement for Len Shackleton, withdrawn by Sunderland, four days earlier); Jesse Pye, Wolverhampton Wanderers; Bobby Langton, Bolton Wanderers; Jackie Wright, Blackpool; Phil Taylor, Liverpool; and Eddie Quigley, Preston North End.

The five remaining members of the final squad, who were not named in the above A and B squads were Henry Cockburn, Ted Ditchburn, Laurie Hughes, Stan Matthews and Jim Taylor, who were all touring elsewhere, with the exception of Hughes, who had to withdraw from the A squad, because of injury.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 23, tournament began on June 24 (England's first game was June 25).

Provisional squads of forty players became a FIFA regulation for the 1954 World Cup Finals.

Players cut from the 1954 World Cup Final Squad

May 1 was the date set by FIFA for the list of forty names to be submitted, from which the final 22 could be selected for each country's World Cup squad. England's list appeared on April 22 1954, nine days ahead of the deadline. The following 18 were destined not to make the final cut: Ray King, Port Vale; George Thompson, Preston North End; Jack Mansell, Portsmouth; Stan Willemse, Chelsea; Eric Bell, Bolton Wanderers; Jimmy Dugdale, West Bromwich Albion; Bill Slater, Wolverhampton Wanderers (replaced by Don Revie, Manchester City); Ronnie Allen, West Bromwich Albion; Peter Harris, Portsmouth; Johnny Nicholls, West Bromwich Albion; George Robb, Tottenham Hotspur; Jackie Sewell, Sheffield Wednesday; Johnny Ball, Bolton Wanderers; Duncan Edwards, Manchester United; Ron Greenwood, Chelsea; Roy Bentley, Chelsea; Stan Rickaby, West Bromwich Albion; and Les Shannon, Burnley.

Five of these players (Willemse, Ball, Bell, Sewell and Harris) were still with the squad when it was first reduced to 27 names on May 31. Three days later, a squad of 17 was announced as the party that was to travel to Switzerland for the tournament. Five reserves who were to stay at home (Allenby Chilton, Ken Armstrong, Bedford Jezzard, Johnny Haynes and Harry Hooper) were then added to the list, making up the 22 names, which were submitted to FIFA on June 8.

Final Squad Details - announced on June 8, tournament began on June 16 (England's first game was June 17).


Players cut from the 1958 World Cup Final Squad

England's selectors announced their forty-man squad from whom the final 22 would be selected, on April 22 1958. The 18 players who failed to make the cut on May 28 were: Reg Matthews, Chelsea; Jeff Hall, Birmingham City; Gerry Harris, Wolverhampton Wanderers; Jim Langley, Fulham; Ray Barlow, West Bromwich Albion; Ron Flowers, Wolverhampton Wanderers; Trevor Smith, Birmingham City; Johnny Wheeler, Liverpool; Ronnie Allen (who had also been discarded in 1954), West Bromwich Albion; Brian Clough, Middlesbrough; Norman Deeley, Wolverhampton Wanderers; Joe Hayes, Manchester City; Harry Hooper, Birmingham City; Nat Lofthouse (England's top scorer at the 1954 tournament), Bolton Wanderers; Ray Parry, Bolton Wanderers; Brian Pilkington, Burnley; Tommy Thompson, Preston North End; and Dennis Viollet, Manchester United.

Alan Hodgkinson and Maurice Setters were included in the list of 22 names submitted to FIFA, but were left at home as reserves.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 28, tournament began on June 6 (England's first game was June 8).


Players cut from the 1962 World Cup Final Squad

FIFA set a deadline of April 10 1962 for preliminary lists of forty players to be submitted. England's selectors produced theirs, two days early. Following England's defeat by Scotland at Hampden Park, the squad was whittled down to 22 names on April 15, with the following 18 excluded: Tony Macedo, Fulham; John Angus, Burnley; Shay Brennan (who later played for the Republic of Ireland), Manchester United; Ron Henry, Tottenham Hotspur; Mick McNeil, Middlesbrough; Tony Kay, Sheffield Wednesday; Tony Knapp, Southampton; Brian Miller, Burnley; Bobby Moore, West Ham United; Alan Mullery, Fulham; Jimmy Bloomfield, Birmingham City; Alan Finney, Sheffield Wednesday; Fred Hill, Bolton Wanderers; Jimmy Melia, Liverpool; Terry Paine, Southampton; Ray Pointer, Burnley; Bobby Smith, Tottenham Hotspur; and Peter Thompson, Preston North End.

Of the 22 selected, Leicester City's uncapped goalkeeper, Gordon Banks and the West Bromwich Albion striker, Derek Kevan (who had scored twice at the 1958 tournament), were to remain at home on reserve, whilst the Burnley skipper and uncapped Footballer of the Year, Jimmy Adamson, was to go to Chile as Walter Winterbottom's assistant manager.

On 7 May, the uncapped Bobby Moore, one of the 18 excluded, was reinstated and when the final list was submitted to FIFA, two days after Moore's debut in Lima, Banks' name was omitted, leaving only Kevan as a stay-at-home reserve.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 22, tournament began on May 30 (England's first game was May 31).


Players cut from the 1966 World Cup Final Squad

The squad was the product of a rather protracted winnowing process. FIFA required that each national side provide a list of forty players before the end of May 1966 and a final squad of 22 players by July 3, eight days before the tournament began. Alf Ramsey named his provisional list of forty players on April 7, almost two months earlier than required to give as much notice as possible to the affected clubs. The forty included the 22 who eventually were named to the final squad, plus another 18: Gordon West, Everton; Tony Waiters, Blackpool; Keith Newton, Blackburn Rovers; Chris Lawler, Liverpool; Paul Reaney, Leeds United; Gordon Milne, Liverpool; Marvin Hinton, Chelsea; John Hollins, Chelsea; Tommy Smith, Liverpool; Terry Venables, Chelsea; Barry Bridges, Chelsea; Peter Thompson (who was also in the 40-man squad in 1962), Liverpool; Peter Osgood, Chelsea; Derek Temple, Everton; John Kaye, West Bromwich Albion; Fred Pickering, Everton; Joe Baker, Nottingham Forest; and Gordon Harris, Burnley.  

Ramsey made another squad announcement on 6 May 1966, naming the 28 players who would report for pre-tournament training at the Lilleshall national recreation centre in Shropshire on June 6. In addition to the 22 who did survive the final cut, the list of 28 included Peter Thompson, Gordon Milne and Keith Newton from the original list of forty and three replacements - Bobby Tambling, Chelsea, for Barry Bridges; John Byrne, West Ham United, for Fred Pickering; and Brian Labone, Everton, for Marvin Hinton. The remaining twelve players from the initial list of forty - West, Waiters, Lawler, Reaney, Hollins, Smith, Venables, Osgood, Temple, Kaye, Baker and Harris - were given stand-by status.

Labone withdrew from the squad because of injury, and so only 27 players reported for training at Lilleshall on June 6.  At the close of the training session on June 18, Ramsey cut five players - Tambling, John Byrne, Thompson, Milne and Newton - although asking them to remain in training at their club facilities in the event of an emergency.  Following a break for a short last visit home, the 22-man squad embarked on a four-match pre-tournament tour of Europe. On July 3, the day of the third match of the tour, in Copenhagen, Ramsey formally announced the England squad to FIFA and the press. The numbers that Ramsey assigned to the squad generally reflected his preferences, numbers one to eleven constituting his first team and twelve to 22 the second-string players. The squad as named remained intact; no replacements were needed.

Final Squad Details - announced on July 3, tournament began on July 11.


Players cut from the 1970 World Cup Final Squad

On 25 March 1970, Sir Alf Ramsey announced a 28-man provisional squad to take to Mexico. A week before the World Cup Finals kicked off, the final 22 man squad was confirmed, and six returned home: Peter Shilton, Leicester City; Bob McNab, Arsenal; Ralph Coates, Burnley; Brian Kidd, Manchester United; David Sadler, Manchester United; and Peter Thompson, Liverpool (who completed an unenviable hat-trick, having also been discarded prior to the 1962 and '66 tournaments, though he was a member of England's 1968 European Championship squad in Italy).

A lot could have happened in two months, and Sir Alf named a further twelve reserves. All of these twelve were inoculated and received medical certificates for one simple reason; any one of them could be called in an emergency. Those given 'reserve' status, as well as the required jabs, were Mike Bailey of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Everton's Colin Harvey and Joe Royle, Chelsea's John Hollins and Alan Hudson, Leeds United's Mick Jones, Roy McFarland of Derby County, Arsenal's Bob McNab and Peter Simpson, Manchester City's Alan Oakes and Mike Summerbee, and, finally, Sunderland goalkeeper, Jim Montgomery.

The biggest surprise was the exclusion of Leeds United's Paul Madeley from the entire forty-man pool. This was soon rectified when Paul Reaney was carried off the Upton Park pitch unconscious in an early April 1970 League match and, being a part of the likely World Cup squad, his place went, not to Bob McNab, as many expected, but Paul Madeley. In the meantime, having been excluded totally, Madeley had made family commitments for the summer of 1970, and thus turned down the chance to join the finals squad. The full-back place, thus, finally, went to McNab, at the third time of asking, only for the Arsenal defender to return home as one of the unlucky six who were surplus to requirements.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 24, tournament began on May 31 (England's first game was June 2).


Players cut from the 1982 World Cup Final Squad
A forty-man provisional squad was announced on 10 May 1982, five days before the deadline.  It included nine uncapped players, all of whom failed to make Ron Greenwood's 22. The final squad was announced on 4 June and the 18 players not going to Spain were: Gary Bailey, Manchester United; Tommy Caton, Manchester City; Dave Watson, Stoke City; Alvin Martin, West Ham United; Russell Osman, Ipswich Town; Derek Statham, West Bromwich Albion; Alan Devonshire, West Ham United; Sammy Lee, Liverpool; Dennis Mortimer, Aston Villa; David Armstrong, Southampton; Steve Perryman, Tottenham Hotspur; Peter Barnes, Leeds United; Eric Gates, Ipswich Town; Paul Goddard, West Ham United; Cyrille Regis, West Bromwich Albion; Tony Morley, Aston Villa; Garth Crooks, Tottenham Hotspur; and Gary Shaw, Aston Villa. Regis had already pulled out with a torn hamstring sustained against Iceland.

Final Squad Details - announced on June 4, tournament began on June 13 (England's first game was June 16).

Provisional squads of forty players were no longer a FIFA regulation after the 1982 World Cup Finals.

Players cut from the 1986 World Cup Final Squad
Bobby Robson announced his squad of 22 on 28 April 1986. There was also an additional standby list of six: Martin Hodge, the Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper; Stewart Robson, Arsenal; Trevor Francis (who scored twice in the 1982 tournament), Sampdoria; Dave Watson (not the Dave Watson that had been discarded in 1982), Norwich City; Paul Bracewell, Everton; and Mick Harford, Luton Town. None of them were needed.

Final Squad Details - announced on April 28, tournament began on May 31 (England's first game was June 3).


Players cut from the 1990 World Cup Final Squad

Bobby Robson summoned a preliminary World Cup squad of 26 to Burnham Beeches in May. On May 21, he announced his final squad of 22. The four players that missed the cut were goalkeeper Dave Beasant, of Chelsea, and three Arsenal players: central defender Tony Adams, midfielder David Rocastle, and forward Alan Smith.

Beasant got a reprieve when, on the eve of England's second game, against the Netherlands, he was summoned, with FIFA's permission, to replace David Seaman, who had suffered a thumb injury. Adams was axed in preference to Mark Wright, chosen although he carried a thigh injury.  Rocastle was excluded although he had played in five of England's six World Cup qualifying matches. Smith was omitted in favour of Steve Bull, one of the few old Third Division players to gain a senior England cap and the only one to be named in an England World Cup squad.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 21, tournament began on June 8 (England's first game was June 11).


Players cut from the 1998 World Cup Final Squad
On May 12 1998, Glenn Hoddle named a provisional squad of thirty for a Wembley friendly with Saudi Arabia, and this squad was then due to fly out to La Manga, Spain, whereupon decisions would be made to cut eight players from the final squad.  Ian Wright and Jamie Redknapp were part of the thirty, but they had declared themselves unfit and, thus, only six names had to be found.  They were to be Paul Gascoigne (a rising star at the 1990 tournament), Middlesbrough; Ian Walker, the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper; Phil Neville (younger brother, Gary made the final 22), Manchester United; Andy Hinchcliffe, Sheffield Wednesday; Nicky Butt, Manchester United; and Dion Dublin, Coventry City. Hoddle broke the news to them a day earlier than the planned announcement, but Gascoigne, in particular, took the decision extremely badly and left the camp in disgust. It was a major shock and Gascoigne never played for his country again.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 31, tournament began on June 10 (England's first game was June 15).


Players cut from the 2002 World Cup Final Squad
Twelve days before the deadline, on 9 May 2002, Sven-Göran Eriksson picked a provisional 23-man squad for the World Cup Finals with Liverpool's Danny Murphy on standby. Two days later, Newcastle United's Kieron Dyer (strained medial knee ligaments) and Liverpool's Steven Gerrard (groin) picked up injuries in their final league games of the season. The squad then travelled to Dubai on 13 May, with Murphy deputising for his club mate and West Ham United's Trevor Sinclair joining the party as standby for Dyer. Eriksson had surprisingly overlooked Real Madrid's Steve McManaman, who was set to win his second Champions League winners medal, two days later.

When Eriksson submitted his final squad list on 21 May, Gerrard (who needed an operation on his groin), was excluded, but Dyer was named in the squad, desperately trying to prove that his knee would be up to the task. England still had until June 1 to make any changes to their squad due to late injuries. Sinclair, meanwhile, remained on standby, but flew home to his pregnant wife, despite Eriksson asking him to stay with the squad, which was now in Korea Republic and about to head to Japan for a final warm-up match against Cameroon.

There was a further twist on the very next day, when Murphy fell awkwardly in training. Just like Beckham (still recovering) and Gary Neville (withdrawn) before him, he had broken a metatarsal and the newest member of the squad was out, with just over a week to go to England's first game. Incredibly, having just completed a 6,000-mile journey home because the injured Dyer had been picked ahead of him, Trevor Sinclair was summoned to re-join the squad in Japan as a replacement for Murphy, the original standby.

With David Beckham and Nicky Butt also recovering from injuries to add to the concerns over Dyer, Eriksson was moved to add two more players, from England's European Under-21 Championship squad, on standby. These were Alan Smith of Leeds United and David Dunn of Blackburn Rovers, who had both impressed during the recent tournament in Switzerland.

As it transpired, no more replacements were necessary. Beckham and Dyer appeared in the first game and Butt played in the second, whilst the endurance demonstrated by Sinclair's multiple long-haul flights was rewarded with four World Cup appearances for the winger.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 21, tournament began on May 31 (England's first game was June 2).


Players cut from the 2006 World Cup Final Squad
Sven-Göran Eriksson had named a provisional 23-man England squad, with a five-man standby list on 8 May 2006.  Jermain Defoe was part of that list, alongside uncapped West Ham United midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker, Crystal Palace striker Andrew Johnson, Charlton Athletic's Luke Young and Liverpool's young goalkeeper, Scott Carson.

The final squad was announced on 15 May. Luke Young withdrew from the standby list with an injury, and his 'reserve' status was handed to Tottenham Hotspur's Michael Dawson. A couple of days later, Reo-Coker also withdrew, his place taken by Phil Neville. Scott Carson later replaced Rob Green in the main squad, with Ben Foster replacing Carson as a reserve.

Final Squad Details - announced on May 15, tournament began on June 9 (England's first game was June 10).


Players cut from the 2010 World Cup Final Squad

Fabio Capello named a squad of thirty players on 11 May 2010, for two warm-up games, against Mexico and Japan. With the squad preparing to fly out to South Africa for the tournament, seven players were removed from the list on June 1: Darren Bent, Sunderland; Adam Johnson, Manchester City; Scott Parker, West Ham United; Michael Dawson, Tottenham Hotspur; Leighton Baines, Everton; Tom Huddlestone, Tottenham Hotspur; and the biggest surprise, Arsenal's Theo Walcott, who had scored a hat-trick in England's sensational qualifying victory over Croatia in Zagreb.

Then, on the very first day of training in South Africa (June 4), England captain, Rio Ferdinand damaged his knee ligaments and was ruled out of the tournament. Michael Dawson, who had been made a late reserve in 2006, was immediately promoted to the full squad as his replacement, with Steven Gerrard assuming captaincy of the squad.

Final Squad Details - announced on June 1, tournament began on June 11 (England's first game was June 12).


Players cut from the 2014 World Cup Final Squad

Roy Hodgson named his squad of 23 on 12 May 2014, three weeks early. Seven players were placed on standby: Norwich City goalkeeper, John Ruddy; Jon Flanagan, Liverpool; John Stones, Everton; the Manchester United pair of Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley; Andy Carroll, West Ham United; and Jermain Defoe, who had scored one of England's three goals in the 2010 tournament, and was now with Toronto, in Canada.

The biggest casualty, however, was Ashley Cole, winner of 107 appearances, who promptly retired from international football when offered only a place on the standby list.

Final Squad Details - announced on June 2, tournament began on June 12 (England's first game was June 14).


Players cut from the 2018 World Cup Final Squad

The deadline for the squad announcement was June 4, but Gareth Southgate announced his selection on 16 May 2018. There were five players on standby: Adam Lallana of Liverpool, who had scored two goals in the qualifying campaign; Bournemouth's Lewis Cook, captain of England's Under-20 World Champions; Jake Livermore of West Bromwich Albion; and the Burnley pair of James Tarkowski, and goalkeeper, Tom Heaton, who had not played since September, because of injury. Joe Hart, England's first-choice 'keeper since 2010, was omitted after a poor season on loan with West Ham United.

Final Squad Details - announced on June 4, tournament began on June 14 (England's first game was June 18).