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The Berkshire footballers who’ve represented England and the Three Lions

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There are way way more than you might think
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I know what you are all thinking. This is a short-list of Fran Kirby and Dominic Solanke right?

Wrong.

To jump firmly on the bandwagon of supporting England’s Three Lions in the semi-finals of Euro 2020, Football in Berkshire has searched far and wide for players that have represented their country at any level, in any format of the game.

Of course, it helps that a while back we wrote an article titled ‘The Hellenic League players who’ve represented England‘ but that was based across three or four counties. Now we’re looking specifically at players born, or at least raised in the Royal County.

First up, we’ll start with the most obvious and most pictured courtesy of photographer David Loveday.

Sam Barratt

Sam Barratt. Photo: David Loveday.
Sam Barratt. Photo: David Loveday.

The Maidenhead United attacker is back with the Magpies after a spell in the Football League with Southend United. In 2017 he was called into the England C side made up of National League players for the International Challenge Trophy Final against Slovakia and earned a second cap against Wales in 2018.

Barratt recently signed a two-year contract extension with Maidenhead so expect to see him tearing up York Road for a little while yet.

Aimee Claypole

Aimee Claypole evades a tackle for Finland. Photo: Richard Claypole.
Aimee Claypole evades a tackle for Finland. Photo: Richard Claypole.

Football in Berkshire has been in a privelidged position to watch young Aimee grow and develop in the game since she was a child – in fact, we featured her in one of our first ever articles here.

Aimee, who is on the books of Chelsea Women and also qualifies for Finland is – at the time of writing – making her debut for England u17s in Ireland. The youngster has been at camps for U15 and U16 and but for Covid, we understand she would have played fixtures at that those age groups.

Fran Kirby

Chelsea Women's star Fran Kirby celebrates against Reading FC Women.
Chelsea Women’s star Fran Kirby celebrates against Reading FC Women. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

Why wouldn’t we include her? Kirby, Reading born and raised is arguably one of the country’s most high-profile players. She has represented England at senior and under 23 level and is in the Tokyo 2020 Great Britain Olympic squad.

As well as multi-FA WSL winner with Chelsea, Kirby has won the Women’s FA Cup twice and is the reigning PFA Women’s Players Player of the Year. Quite the role model for young Aimee to look up to!

Matt Jones

Matt Jones in Ascot United colours. Photo: getreading.co.uk
Matt Jones in Ascot United colours. Photo: getreading.co.uk

Striker Matt played for Binfield and Ascot United amongst others and represented England Schoolboys in 2007.

Speaking to FiB at the time, Matt said: “I scored against Republic of Ireland in Dublin and was part of the side that beat Belgium 5-2 in a friendly. That team included Eden Hazard and Christian Benteke. Needless to say our career paths were not the same!”

Matt now runs Apex Financial Services and his company is the shirt sponsor of Binfield FC.

James Richardson

James Richardson. Photo: Rob Mack / Shooting Stars.

Another England Schoolboy, James is a shining light for youth development at Ascot United and was selected for the 2019 squad after making it through the regional trials.

Liam Ferdinand and Mitchell Parker

The FA Representative XI. Photo: Jody Aldridge.
The FA Representative XI. Photo: Jody Aldridge.

Ferdinand’s myriad on the field achievements recently had the welcome addition of ‘Wembley brace’ after his double for Binfield in the FA Vase final at the national stadium, but in 2018 he and former Reading City and Bracknell Town striker Parker were selected as part of an England representative side that played two tour matches in the Falkland Islands.

Both players scored and Parker captained the team against a Falkland Islands XI.

Kiera Skeels

Kiera Skeels in action for Reading FC Women against Lewes. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com
Kiera Skeels in action for Reading FC Women against Lewes. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

Former Reading FC Women Academy captain Skeels has made an impression in the FA WSL in the last year – albeit while on loan from the Royals to Bristol City – but the young defender has represented England across the age groups and is currently capped at under 19 level.

Emma Harries

Reading FC Women's Emma Harries.
Emma Harries. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

The Reading FC Women youngster has 16 senior appearances to her name after making her Royals debut in October 2020. She was a regular in the side that finished seventh last season.

She signed her first professional deal in January 2021 with manager Kelly Chambers saying: “Emma has been at the club since she was eight and I have watched a young girl with big dreams achieve what she has always wanted. Emma has an exciting professional career ahead of her and I am looking forward to continuing to work with her.”

Grant Smith

Grant Smith playing for England C. Photo: David Loveday.
Grant Smith playing for England C. Photo: David Loveday.

Played in the same England C side as Sam Barratt while with Boreham Wood in the National League. Smith is the brother of former Bracknell Town and AFC Aldermaston goalkeeper Dan Smith.

He began his career at Eldon Celtic and joined the Reading FC Academy in 2007. He moved on to Fulham and Brighton & Hove Albion and is currently with National League Yeovil Town.

Phil Alexander

We’ve mentioned him before, but he’s arguably the reason Football in Berkshire exists. Listen to the pod to find out why!

As well as that, he is a former Wokingham Town player and manager of Bracknell Town. He played for Norwich City AND had a side career as an American Footballer for Farnham Knights and London Monarchs.

We haven’t even got to the part where we mention he’s the Chief Executive of Crystal Palace, have we?

Slough born Alexander played five times for England under 19.

Who we missed:

Harvey Rackley-Hayes.
Harvey Rackley-Hayes.

Neil Graham: Former FC Bracknell player Harvey Rackley-Hayes. Harvey says: “I got 7 caps for England at the age of 17, England Colleges U17. Went to Italy on tour, played against multiple different nations.

Richard Grey writes: Bashir Humphreys, aged 18, a central defender lives in Caversham. He is currently at Chelsea FC Academy where he has recently broken into the under 23’s squad. He was previously at Reading FC Academy. Captained England at Under 16 level.

Scott Young in the FiB WhatsApp group: Steven Clements from Slough. Lilleshall and England schoolboy international, pro at Arsenal. Never played first-team football.

Andrew Batt: Steven Hughes played for England at u-18 and u-21 level. Born in Reading and grew up in Wokingham.

Andrew Spiers: Lewis Hall, Chelsea and England was a pupil at LVS, Ascot. From Binfield.

Aaron Steadman: Jeriel Dorset and Ollie Pendlebury who are from Maidenhead. Both played for England U17/18. Jeriel is at Reading, Ollie just signed for Wycombe. Also Mikey Pearce, Maidenhead 18’s/reserves and England schoolboys.

Steve Jinman: Nathan Tyson England U20, Windsorian Peter Osgood. Ken Barrington (Maidenhead Reserves and 85 tests for England).

James Moore: John Charlton played for England Schoolboys.

Who have we missed? Did you play beach football for England? Have you represented and England Disability side? We’d love to hear from you and add you to the list below. Leave a message in the comments or message us here.

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