England has produced many great goal scorers, and here we go through players who scored the most goals for their country.
Over the past more than 100 years, England has produced a number of fantastic players. Many of them have been forwards who have sealed their statuses into the folklore(s) of the football club(s) that they played for throughout their careers.
From Nat Lofthouse and Sir Tom Finney to Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane, all wore the shirt of England on several occasions, and they all found the back of the net on a significant number of occasions for the Three Lions.
In this list, we will go through the top ten goal scorers in the history of the English national football team. Honourable mentions, who are players who very narrowly missed out on this list, are Bryan Robson (26 Goals), World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst (24 Goals), Stan Mortensen (23 Goals), Tommy Lawton and Peter Crouch (both with 22 goals each).
10 – David Platt (27 Goals)
Former Aston Villa, Sampdoria and Arsenal midfielder David Platt comes tenth on this list. He got 62 caps for the senior team over the course of his illustrious career, scoring no less than 27 goals for his country between 1989 and 1996.
Platt was also a standout player and a consistent performer for England in the European Championship and World Cup tournaments in the 1990s.
9 – Steve Bloomer (28 Goals)
For the next entry on this list, we go further back in time than the nineties as we go back to Steve Bloomer, whose playing career spanned 1891 to 1914. He got 23 caps for England, managing to score 28 goals – remarkable considering that this does, of course, dwarf the number of caps that he got for his country between 1895 and 1907.
During his club career, Bloomer played for Derby Midland (1891), Derby County (1891 – 1906 & 1910 – 1914) and Middlesbrough (1906 – 1910).
8 – Frank Lampard (29 Goals)
Despite being a midfielder, one of the aspects of the game that Frank Lampard was best known for was his goal scoring. Aside from England, after moving to Chelsea from West Ham United in 2001, he went on to become the Blues’ record goal scorer with no less than 211 goals. He also played for Swansea City (loan, 1995 – 1996), Manchester City (2014 – 2015) and New York City FC (2015 – 16) during his club career.
Frank Lampard got 106 caps for England, scoring a very credible 29 goals. He was part of England’s ‘golden generation’ alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes.
7 – Alan Shearer, Sir Tom Finney & Nat Lofthouse (30 Goals)
We currently have three players in seventh place on this list, with 30 goals each for England. Alan Shearer is currently the Premier League’s all-time leading goal scorer, with 260 goals while playing for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, and Newcastle United. He got his 30 goals in just 63 caps.
We go further back in time for Sir Tom Finney and Nat Lofthouse. Starting with Finney, the Preston North End legend got his 30 goals in 76 caps. He represented Preston North End (1940 – 1960) and Toronto City (1962) during his playing career.
Nat Lofthouse is himself a legend; this is a status that he holds with Bolton Wanderers, with whom he played for his entire playing career from 1956 to 1960. He got his 30 goals in just 33 caps for England – an astonishing record for his country.
6 – Michael Owen (40 Goals)
Michael Owen is an icon of the Premier League and for the England National Team. During his club career, he played for Liverpool (1996 – 2004), Real Madrid (2004 – 2005), Newcastle United (2005 – 2009), Manchester United (2009 – 2012) and Stoke City (2012 – 2013).
For the national team, he did score THAT goal in the 1998 World Cup against Argentina. The forward got 40 goals in 89 caps for the Three Lions.
5 – Jimmy Greaves & Vivian Woodward (44 Goals)
We now head back to the midway point of the 20th Century with fifth spot in this list, which is held by Vivian Woodward and Jimmy Greaves. Greaves is a Tottenham Hotspur legend, and he was the Lilywhites’ all-time leading goal scorer until Harry Kane broke his record in a 1 – 0 win against Manchester City on 5th February 2023. He got his 44 goals from 117 caps.
Moving on to Vivian Woodward, he played football earlier than Greaves, having a player career spanning 1895 to 1920. Woodward played for Clacton Town (1895 – 1900 & 1919 – 1920), Harwich & Parkeston (1900 – 1901), Chelmsford (1901), Tottenham Hotspur (1901 – 1909), Chelmsford (1909) and Chelsea (1909 – 1915). Extraordinarily, the forward got his 44 England goals from just 32 caps.
4 – Gary Lineker (48 Goals)
As we enter the business end of this list, we now move on to ex-Everton, Leicester City, Barcelona, and Spurs forward and current Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker is in fourth place. He got his 48 goals for England in 80 caps.
Over the course of his club career, he played for Leicester City (1978 – 1985), Everton (1985 – 1986), FC Barcelona (1986 – 1989), Tottenham Hotspur (1989 – 1992) and Japanese club Nagoya Grampus (1992 – 1994).
3 – Sir Bobby Charlton (49 Goals)
The late, great Sir Bobby Charlton comes third on this list at the time of writing with no less than 49 goals in 106 caps for his country. He was a legend of the game in every sense for both Manchester United and the England national team. He was United’s leading goal scorer from 1973 to 2017, a period of no less than 44 years. Wayne Rooney broke his record with a goal away from home in a 1 – 1 Premier League draw against Stoke City in January 2017.
Throughout his 24 year playing career, he played for Manchester United (1956 – 1973), Preston North End (1974 – 1975), Waterford (1976), Newcastle KB United (1978), Perth Azzurri (1980) and Blacktown City (1980).
2 – Wayne Rooney (53 Goals)
Wayne Rooney is second on this list as the previous record holder. He got his 53 goals in 120 caps, making him the record goal scorer for the England National Team until his record was broken by Harry Kane.
Rooney is an England and Manchester United legend, and he remains the Red Devils’ leading goal scorer with 253 goals in 559 matches. He played for Everton (2002 – 2004 & 2017 – 2018), Manchester United (2004 – 2017), D.C. United (2018 – 2019) and Derby County (2020 – 2021).
1 – Harry Kane (61 Goals)
It will not come as a massive surprise that Harry Kane leads the way in goals for England as of the time of writing. He currently has 61 goals from just 87 senior caps for the Three Lions, and he is the only player on this list who is still active. He is bound to add to his total over the coming years.
Kane is not only England’s all-time leading goal scorer but also Tottenham Hotspur’s all-time top scorer, with 278 goals in 430 games. He broke Jimmy Greaves’ several decades old record in a 1 – 0 success against Manchester City in February 2023.
Kane is currently at Bayern Munich, where he has made a stunning start in Bavaria with no less than 17 goals and 5 assists in just 11 matches in the German Bundesliga so far in the 2023/24 season. He also has 4 goals and 2 assists in 4 UEFA Champions League matches for the reigning German Champions.
We will see who can make it into this top ten over the coming years with all of these players legends of the beautiful game following their respective illustrious careers in football.
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