As England’s 1,000th game looms, who will end Norwich City’s wait for another Three Lions player?
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Just seven players have represented England whilst playing for Norwich City, so as the Three Lions prepare for their 1,000th game tonight, who will be the eighth Canaries player to join the club?
England caps for Norwich City players have been few and far between over the years, with John Ruddy the last to achieve that feat for the club.
Ruddy and fellow goalkeeper Robert Green both won their first England cap while still with the Canaries, with horrible injury luck preventing both from picking up more.
So as England prepare to take on Montenegro in Euro 2020 qualifying at Wembley this evening, a match which will see the Football Association celebrate the nation's 1,000th official game, we thought it was time to reflect on the Norwich players who have been part of that journey.
The first to receive that honour was Phil Boyer back in March 1976, in a 2-1 win over Wales. The striker had scored 16 goals to help City bounce back to the First Division at the first time of asking and earned the call-up during a season in which he scored a total of 11 goals in 39 games as John Bond's team finished 10th in the top flight.
As a 27-year-old at the time, Boyer had been reunited with Bond and fellow striker Ted MacDougall from their Bournemouth days, as a club record £145,000 signing. He earned his call-up and played the full game at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, as goals from Ray Kennedy and Peter Taylor earned a friendly win - but it would prove to be Boyer's only cap.
Next was another striker, Kevin Reeves, who made his debut in a European Championship qualifier against Bulgaria as a 22-year-old during the 1979-80 campaign, during which he scored eight goals in 23 games as the Canaries finished 12th in the top tier.
Reeves played all of that 2-0 win at Wembley in November 1979, when goals from David Watson - the former Sunderland defender, not the future Norwich favourite - and Glenn Hoddle earned the points.
Another cap followed in May 1980, playing 70 minutes of a 1-1 home draw with Northern Ireland, however that followed a couple of months after a transfer to Manchester City - becoming the Canaries' first £1million sale - but would prove to be his last cap.
Mark Barham was the next to wear an England shirt, with the winger winning two friendly caps during a tour of Australia in the summer of 1983, playing alongside big names including Peter Shilton, Terry Butcher and John Barnes.
Next for City was Dave Watson, whose debut came in a friendly against Brazil in the Maracana in June 1984, playing the full game as goals from John Barnes and Mark Hateley earned a 2-0 victory.
A further five caps would follow before the centre-back moved to Everton for almost £1m in September 1986 - one of them alongside a Norwich team-mate.
Goalkeeper Chris Woods made his debut in a 5-0 friendly win over the USA in Los Angels in June 1985, with Watson coming on 10 minutes into the second half.
Woods would also move on after City had won the Division Two title in 1986, joining Rangers, but won four of his 43 caps while still at Carrow Road, while six of Watson's nine caps were while he was with Norwich
From there a long wait began, with Darren Eadie threatening to end the drought but injuries cruelly thwarted the speedy winger as he received call-ups either side of World Cup 98.
It was keeper Green who would finally bring that feeling of pride back for Canaries supporters, replacing David James at half-time of a 3-2 friendly win over Colombia in May 2005, in spite of the club's relegation from the top flight.
City's youth product remained in England squads and was called up for the 2006 World Cup by Sven Goran Eriksson, only for disaster to strike, rupturing his groin when taking a goal-kick in a warm-up game against Belarus for the B squad in May 2006.
Green joined West Ham later that year and did win another 11 full caps, playing at the 2010 World Cup, where a high-profile error in a 1-1 draw with the USA in the group opener saw him dropped by Fabio Capello.
Ruddy's chance arrived in 2012, after playing a key role in the Canaries becoming established in the Premier League under Paul Lambert, but it was a similar tale of woe for a Norwich keeper.
A broken finger saw Ruddy drop out of the Euro 2012 squad and although he did win a cap in August 2012, playing the second half and keeping a clean sheet in a 2-1 friendly win over Italy in Switzerland, that would be his only appearance.
Angus Gunn came close to adding to the list during his loan from Manchester City during 2017-18 but was an unused substitute for a 0-0 friendly draw with Brazil at Wembley.
Plenty of players have gone on to earn England recognition after their time with City, with Nathan Redmond the most recent and both Dean Ashton and Chris Sutton becoming one-cap wonders, Ashton due to injury while with West Ham and Sutton due to a falling out with manager Glenn Hoddle despite having won the Premier League with Blackburn.
Former loanees who have done likewise include Scott Parker, Peter Crouch, Kieran Gibbs, Ryan Bertrand, Fraser Forster and, of course, current captain Harry Kane.
But tonight's landmark game could well provide the latest former Canaries player, with former Player of the Season winner James Maddison in line for his first cap thanks to his superb top-flight form with Leicester.
So when will the next current City player wear the Three Lions on their chest? With Ben Godfrey currently captain of the U21s and Max Aarons starting regularly at that level, both could have international futures ahead if their development continues at the current trajectory.
The bigger question could be, will those senior caps be at Norwich, or after moving to a bigger club? Both have been linked with big-money interest from top-flight big boys and would appear to have plenty of players ahead of them in their respective positions at present.
However, help to keep Daniel Farke's team in the Premier League and you never know, opportunities ahead of Euro 2020 could arrive.
City's England internationals
Dave Watson - 6 caps (1984-86)
Chris Woods - 4 (195-86)
Mark Barham - 2 (1983)
Phil Boyer - 1 (1976)
Kevin Reeves - 1 (1979)
Robert Green - 1 (2005)
John Ruddy - 1 (2012)
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