2001-03 England Home Shirt Size Extra Large
Era: 2001-03 (Used throughout the 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Campaign, the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and during the 2004 UEFA European Championships Qualifying Campaign)
At nearly 20 years of age (at the time of writing), this article does looks in parts like it has gone through as much trauma as the national side have in that spell, as evidenced by the wear, the staining and hole in the back of the shirt.
Size: Extra Large
Pit to Pit Measurement: 24 inches
Shirt Length: 29 inches
Made in Umbro’s mould that they introduced at the start of the 2000’s; the dimensions of this shirt are quite odd in that the pit to it measurement probably lends itself better to an XXL, yet the length is more for a large shirt. Please bare this in mind ahead of purchasing.
After the somewhat dull and plain offering Umbro mustered for England’s previous home shirt; they came roaring into the new millennium with the follow up effort! Gone were the thick navy accents and hoop collar, and in their place came a much more refined shirt, with a v-neck collar and minimal navy piping against a pure white canvas, however, the most memorable feature of this shirt was no doubt the red vertical strip that came straight down the left hand side of the shirt, perfectly through the middle of the crest! This was the shirt synonymous with the early Sven-Goran Eriksson era, and of course their famous foray at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It was also the shirt worn in the Swedish coach’s debut in the dug-out when England defeated Spain, as well as the legendary 5-1 defeat of Germany, and of course, the legendary David Beckham free-kick, as England sealed their place at the World Cup against Greece!
It was a new-era for the FA and the England national side as 2001 saw the first ever appointment of a foreign manager for the national side in the form of Sven-Goran Eriksson. The Swedish coach cut short his stint with Lazio, having guided the club to the Scudetto in 2000 to take the reigns with England.
The new millennium hadn’t been kind to ‘The 3 Lions’ as Kevin Keegan’s reign not only yielded the disaster of Euro 2000, but a defeat to Germany in the qualification for the World Cup in 2002. The game also held the distinction of being last ever game to be played at the old Wembley Stadium.
Sven’s debut would be the visit of Spain to Villa Park on February 28th and in an impressive showing by his new charges; they defeated the visitors 3-0! His impact was nothing short of impressive as he guided the national side to victories over: Finland, Albania and Greece in their next 3 qualifiers, whilst also beating Mexico 4-0 in May 25th friendly!
His 100% start to life as England manager was met with a crude ending on August 15th, as the Netherlands defeated England 2-0 in a friendly at White Hart Lane. This would set the stage for one of the most memorable ends to the year in the history of the national side.
On September 1st, England made the trip to Munich, Germany to face their long-time rivals in a crucial World Cup qualifier. Carsten Jancker gave the hosts a 6th minute lead, however, Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard would have England 2-1 up at the interval. Owen would make it 3-1 shortly after the restart, before completing his hat-trick in the 65th minute, and then Emile Heskey would a 5th goal late on to complete the 5-1 route! Owen and Robbie Fowler would score a goal each against Albania in the 2-0 win at St James’s Park two days later.
Their place in the pot of 32 teams at the 2002 FIFA World Cup was sealed in a dramatic clash at Old Trafford on October 6th against Greece. England captain and Manchester United super-star: David Beckham, in his club’s stadium would score an incredible 93rd minute free kick to earn England a 2-2 draw and crucially, automatic qualification to South Korea and Japan in 2002. The year of 2001 would end with a 1-1 draw with Sweden on November 10th.
England would have 5 games to prepare their June 2nd opener in Saitama. They began by taking on Holland in Amsterdam on February 13th. They would be held to a 1-1 draw by a Dutch side who failed to qualify for the World Cup. Next came the visit of Italy to Elland Road on March 27th. Despite taking the lead, they would be beaten 2-1 by one of the World Cup favourites. Fortunes would change on April 17th as they beat Paraguay 4-0 at Anfield.
England would descend upon South Korea and Japan for their final two warm-up games, however, they would be rocked by Steven Gerrard’s absence through injury, however, David Beckham was passed as fit following his metatarsal injury he sustained toward the tail-end of the season. A May 21st clash with co-hosts South Korea at the Jeju World Cup Stadium ended 1-1, before battling to a 2-2 with Cameroon in Kobe 5 days later.
Drawn in Group F alongside Sweden, Nigeria and rivals Argentina; England kicked off against Sweden on June 2nd, but could only repeat their 1-1 draw. Next up was the grudge match with Argentina! Argentina eliminated England at the World Cup in 1998 in a controversial affair. The two protagonists from that game: Diego Simeone and David Beckham were present, however, it was Beckham would earnt his retribution as his 44th minute penalty earnt England a 1-0 win in Sapporo. England would then qualify at the expense of Argentina when they drew 0-0 with Nigeria in their final group outing!
Their opponents in the Last 16 were the conquerors of holders France: Denmark! The Danes however were no match for England, as Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side put forth their best display of the competition; winning 3-0, with all 3 goals coming in the first half! Their reward was a quarter final clash with Brazil on June 21st. Michael Owen would give England the lead, however, they would ultimately bow out of the competition as they fell 2-1 to the eventual winners of the tournament.
The national side re-united for their first game post-World Cup on September 7th where they were held to a 1-1 draw by Portugal. The calendar year would end with qualification for Euro 2004 getting underway, beginning with a come from behind 2-1 win over Slovakia, and a ridiculed 2-2 draw at home to Macedonia. 2003 started with a friendly with Australia at Upton Park, and the ill-will that 2002 ended on, only continued as England were beaten 3-1 by the visitors. The game however, was notable for it being the England senior debut for Wayne Rooney.
The notable players that season(s) were:
Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Darius Vassell, Emile Heskey, Jermain Defoe, Robbie Fowler, Teddy Sheringham, Kieron Dyer, Paul Scholes, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick,Steven Gerrard, Owen Hargreaves, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Danny Mills, Ashley Cole, Gary Neville, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher, Sol Campbell, Wayne Bridge, David James, Nigel Martyn, David Seaman
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