David Unsworth made his England debut ON THIS DAY in 1995.
His international appearance capped a memorable couple of weeks that started with an FA Cup final victory at Wembley with Everton, although his England call-up came out of the blue while he was sunning himself on a post-season tour.
“I was in Magaluf with the Everton squad!” he laughed. “Joe (Royle) had taken us away to celebrate the FA Cup win and I got a call on the Wednesday to say I’d been selected and that I needed to get the next available flight home.
“I trained on the Thursday and Friday at Bisham Abbey and then Terry Venables, who I loved working with, told me that I would be starting on the Saturday against Japan. There was me, Gary Neville, John Scales and Stan Collymore all making our England debuts.
“I have always been a very proud and patriotic Englishman and I was so proud to have represented my country. Yes, I was disappointed that I only won that one cap but there were more senior players around at the time, like Tony Adams, Martin Keown and Gary Pallister.”
Unsworth played the full 90 minutes of the 2-1 victory against Japan in the first game of the Umbro Cup and he was then an unused substitute in the other two games against Sweden at Leeds and Brazil at Wembley.
“I remember walking up that long tunnel at the old Wembley before the Brazil game and meeting Pele,” Unsworth recalled. “He shook my hand and we had a very quick conversation although I have to say I was overawed and didn’t know what to say!
“I loved every minute of the international experience and Don Howe was a wonderful coach alongside Terry. I got back in the England squad when I was at West Ham but didn’t manage to make the team.”
The result against Japan was the second of Unsworth’s Wembley treble. In the space of three months he won at the national stadium in the FA Cup final, an England international and the Charity Shield.
“Those two medals and my cap are in a bag in my mum’s house somewhere,” revealed Unsy. “She’s getting a cabinet made to display them in…finally!”