I’m an ex-Premier League ace who made England debut vs Brazil in first match at new Wembley.. I only earned one more cap

MEET the forgotten England star who made his debut in the first game at “new” Wembley – and only played ONCE more.

Nicky Shorey is not a name who has gone down in England folklore.

Nicky Shorey starred only twice for England


Nicky Shorey starred only twice for EnglandCredit: PA:Press Association
Shorey, number 3, made his full debut on the opening of new Wembley against Brazil in 2007


Shorey, number 3, made his full debut on the opening of new Wembley against Brazil in 2007Credit: PA:Press Association

However, it could certainly be argued he has a claim to such a title, seeing as he was one of the Three Lions starting XI who started the game as Wembley made its return to the international scene.

Shorey had impressed for Reading in the 2007 season, leading to fans creating a “Shorey for England” chant for him which eventually led to him getting a call up to England B.

An impressive display from the left-back against Albania in that game led to suggestions he could make the step up to the first team.

And, in May 2007, Shorey was called up by Steve McClaren for the new Wembley debut against Brazil.

This saw him make history as Reading’s first player in 100 years to play for the senior national team.

He played the duration of the 1-1 draw, with John Terry powering home a header from a David Beckham free-kick before Diego levelled in the 90th minute for the Samba nation.

However, Shorey was unable to nail down a spot in the team and only made one further appearance for England – which came against Germany in August 2007.

Reflecting on his England selection against Brazil, Shorey told the Three Lions podcast in 2020: “Yeah it still seems a bit surreal now.


“It was even more surreal at the time because literally, we just got promoted with Reading and we’d only been in the Premier League one season. 

“And if you’re gonna get a cap as a left back in the era of Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge, it’s very difficult. 

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“You’ve got to have a bit of luck and fortunately I think they might both have been injured. It just came at a time when I was playing really well and we’d done really well at Reading.

“You never quite think it’s gonna happen until you actually get a call and someone says listen you’re in the squad.”

Shorey – who could also play in midfield as well as full-back – starred for Reading between 2000 and 2008, making 296 appearances.

The now 43-year-old also starred for Aston Villa, Fulham and West Brom in the Premier League before returning to Reading in the 2012/13 season.

After that, Shorey turned out for Bristol City, Portsmouth, Colchester United and Hungerford Town before hanging up his boots in 2017.

There was even a short stint in the Indian Super League with Pune City which yielded 15 appearances.

England are gearing up for a repeat of Shorey’s debut fixture on Saturday, where as many as three players could make their international debuts.

Jarrad Branthwaite, Anthony Gordon and Kobbie Mainoo – who was only promoted after the weekend – are all set to make their debuts during the international break after being called up by Gareth Southgate.

How England looked on Shorey's debut v Brazil in 2007
How England looked on Shorey’s debut v Brazil in 2007

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