Made in Bolton: Three Lions Gary Cahill, Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere set to roar for England
THE World Cup kicks-off today – with England’s hopes riding on three men who honed their international class at the Reebok.
Gary Cahill, Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere will be central to Roy Hodgson’s plans as the Three Lions plot their way past a fearsome group containing Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in the tropical temperatures of Brazil.
While Wanderers have only one active representative at the World Cup – flying South Korean winger Chung-Yong Lee – Whites fans will also be taking some deserved reflective glory from what the club did for the careers of three of England’s brightest stars.
Cahill broke into the international fold under Fabio Capello while still playing for Bolton, becoming the first representative of the club to score for England in 59 years – the previous being Ray Parry – when he netted against Bulgaria in 2011.
He won his first of seven full caps as a Wanderers player but since his £8million move to Stamford Bridge has gone on to become England’s first choice centre-half.
The stay of both Sturridge and Wilshere was much briefer than that of Cahill’s four years – but their loan spells from Chelsea and Arsenal in the Whites’ Premier League days catapulted them into the public consciousness and towards securing first-team places at their own clubs.
Sturridge scored eight goals in 12 games after being signed on loan by Owen Coyle in January 2011.
Wilshere joined 12 months earlier when Coyle snapped him up on loan from the Emirates Stadium. He went on to play 14 times for Wanderers, scoring one goal.
England’s first game will be on Saturday night against Italy in Manaus. Whites fans will, of course, also be cheering on South Korean star Chung-Yong Lee, playing in his second World Cup.
He begins his competition next Tuesday against Russia in Cuiaba.
Two other former Wanderers will also be in action in the tournament – with Adranik Teymourian selected in the Iran squad and Blerim Dzemaili a major part of the Switzerland side.