McCall's happy U-21 recall

HAPPY memories came flooding back when Ipswich Town chief scout Steve McCall watched the European Under-21 final in Sweden.

Elvin King

HAPPY memories came flooding back when Ipswich Town chief scout Steve McCall watched the European Under-21 final in Sweden.

McCall was in the England side that beat West Germany 5-4 on aggregate to win this competition in 1982 - a 3-1 win at Bramall Lane, Sheffield followed by a 3-2 defeat in the second leg in Germany.

They were the first of only two English sides to lift this trophy.


You may also want to watch:


It was the climax to two memorable years for the utility player who could hold his own at left back or in midfield.

The previous year he filled in for the injured George Burley for the final four months of the season and played left back in the Blues side that beat AZ Alkmaar to win the UEFA Cup in May 1981.

Most Read

“That was a great start for me,” said McCall. “The England side had some exceptional players and was captained by Sammy Lee.

“But few went on to make a big impact on the England senior side. I was disappointed not to step up, but it was difficult to break into the senior team as they had some excellent players including many from Ipswich.”

Apart from McCall and Lee the England 1982 Under-21 side included Justin Fashanu, Paul Goddard, Terry Fenwick and Mike Duxbury.

“I didn't play in too many of the early games in a competition that lasted two years, because of Ipswich's participation in Europe,” added McCall.

“But I became a regular in the latter stages and was involved in some great games - including the final.”

Ipswich had connections in Monday night's England squad with keeper Scott Loach on the club's books as a schoolboy and Mark Noble on loan at Portman Road from West Ham in the opening months of Jim Magilton's managerial reign in the autumn of 2006.

“Mark did well with us for a few weeks and has gone on record as saying that it kick-started his career,” said McCall.

“It was a stepping stone in his career, and his time leading England in Sweden was another.

“Playing in these tournaments gives youngsters an experience and there will be four or five I am sure who will move up to the senior side.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus