Surprise Crossovers Between Rival Clubs
Conor Coady is cementing his place at the vanguard of an unusual group of players who take in two clubs and two countries.
Men who have served both Wolves and Huddersfield seem to contain a much higher than normal percentage of senior internationals, among whom the Liverpudlian undoubtedly has Molineux pride of place.
By winning his ninth cap in England’s friendly victory over Switzerland on Saturday, the central defender raised hopes that he is in for a productive World Cup finals year with the Three Lions.
But he is by no means alone in the Football Association record books. Before him, Bill McGarry (four caps), Mike O’Grady (2) and Bob McNab (4) were all on the payroll at Huddersfield and then Wolves, although the latter played all his senior games for the country during the long spell he had in between as Arsenal’s left-back. O’Grady, who is the Terriers’ last England debutant from way back in 1962-63, picked him up his second cap while with Leeds.
Furthermore, Iwan Roberts won three of his seven Welsh caps while playing for Huddersfield and has his own piece of history in West Yorkshire. He is referred to as Leeds Road’s last senior international, his selection for matches against Austria, Argentina and Japan having come a year or two before the club left their traditional home and moved to what was initially known as the McAlpine Stadium.
Coady spent a year with Huddersfield in the middle of the last decade before joining Wolves and has won all his caps while in gold and black.
McGarry, who was Wanderers manager for eight years, picked up all his England recognition at a time when he was regularly clad in blue and white stripes.
Roberts was uncapped in his solitary season at Molineux, 1996-97, while Coady was overlooked while at Huddersfield, all of his age-group international experience coming as a Liverpool player before his move across the Pennines in 2014.
He turned 29 late last month and has in recent weeks overtaken Dave Edwards and Matt Docherty to become the man who has played more games for Wolves than anybody else in the 21st century.
Only four players – Billy Wright (105), Ron Flowers (49), Bert Williams (24) and Steve Bull (13) – have won more England caps than he has with Wolves.
Bully celebrates his 57th birthday today and, top club-man that he is, will no doubt be hoping the Coady story has much further to run with Wolves and England.
One final word on the Huddersfield-Wolves-England connection…….Derek Parkin played at length for both clubs and was surely good enough to have won a number of caps but went no further than being an unused member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s squad for a game in Malta in early 1971.