Can Foxes be successful with the Three Lions?
Gordon Banks and Peter Shilton sharing advice in their Leicester City days (Photo: lcfc.com)

After Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy made another international start in England's clash against Lithuania, he has entered the record books.

The former Fleetwood Town striker has become the first Leicester City player to earn two or more England caps whilst at the Midlands outfit since a certain Gary Lineker. But, whilst the pacey frontman has been in red-hot form in the Premier League, he has come under some criticism on the international stage.

However, how have other Leicester City players fared whilst plying their trade for the Three Lions? We need to take a delve into the past to find out...

The Successes

Gary Lineker

We start with probably the most successful Leicester City player to don the Three Lions in the club's long history. Gary Lineker (now more associated with Match of the Day and crisps) boasts an incredible record for his country and as a matter of fact just about every club he has played for.

Making his debut in 1984, the ex-Barcelona striker managed to score an astounding 48 goals for his country throughout his esteemed career and even holds the title of the third-highest record goalscorer in England history. Even more impressively, the former Tottenham Hotspur and Everton forward even earned the Golden Boot at the 1990 World Cup in Italy with 10 goals.

Of his 80 caps for England, Lineker made seven appearances for the Three Lions whilst playing for Leicester City and scored three goals to go alongside his 103 strikes for the Foxes. Due to his predatory ability, Lineker has secured himself a place in Leicester City and England folklore.

Emile Heskey

Yet another striker to come through the Leicester City academy to possess a successful career for England. Sometimes a figure of fun, some would be surprised to know that the experienced forward's international career commenced all the way back in 1999 against Hungary.

Almost 16 years later, the current Bolton Wanderers striker has over 60 international caps to his name, picking up his first five whilst playing for the Foxes. Representing the Three Lions in the 2002 and 2010 World Cups, the Leicester-born frontman established himself as a useful option to various managers including the eccentric Fabio Capello.

However, despite the large collection of appearances that Heskey managed to obtain, his goal record was extremely poor compared to his 46 strikes that he netted for his hometown club. The former Wigan Athletic, Aston Villa and Liverpool man only managed to score seven goals by the time that he retired from international football at the age of 32.

Nevertheless, Heskey is remembered fondly by England and Leicester supporters as a result of unwavering effort and an entertaining (if clumsy) style of play, not to mention his goal in the 5-1 demolition of Germany in 2001.

Peter Shilton

Most will be aware of this talented and legendary goalkeeper. After progressing through the Foxes' youth ranks, Shilton went on to represent the likes of Stoke City, Derby County, Nottingham Forest and even Southampton in a career that spanned over 30 years. The holder of exactly 1005 club appearances, the Englishman also appeared between the sticks a further 125 times for his country.

Making his England debut in 1970, Shilton became an ever-present whilst representing the Three Lions at various World Cups and European Championships until he retired at the grand age of 47.

His international career lasted an incredible 20 years and he even claims the title of owning the most international caps- ahead of the likes of the legendary duo Bobby Moore and Bobby Charlton. However, the 'keeper's most memorable caps have to be during the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Would it have been for a semi-final penalty shootout defeat to West-Germany, the Three Lions may have progressed to the final and could well have lifted the trophy for only the second time.

Whilst playing for the Foxes, Shilton managed to make exactly 20 appearances for England and even earned his first cap at the tender age of only 21. Combining numerous international games with 286 appearances for Leicester, his legendary status for club and country is well and truly confirmed.

Gordon Banks

Now, when it comes to goalkeepers, this man needs no introduction to England fans. Banks is another talented 'keeper that spent his time in the Midlands whilst becoming a household name. Donning the shirts of Stoke City and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, the former England international made 679 club appearances whilst amassing an incredible total of 73 international caps.

After graduating from the Chesterfield FC academy in 1958, the talented goalkeeper went on to represent England in various World Cups and European Championships. But, the most memorable has to be the World Cup in 1966, hosted by England. In an amazing tournament, the Three Lions went on to hoist the trophy after progressing past the likes of Argentina, Portugal and West Germany.

Banks not only proved himself on the international stage with England but he also proved to be one of the best goalkeepers in the top division of English football. Making over 600 appearances in the old First Division, Banks proved himself a top-quality player, a reason why Stoke City paid a then astronomical £50,000.

However, even more outstandingly, whilst at Leicester, Banks earned a total of 37 England caps and earned the title of one of the country's and Leicester's best ever 'keepers.

The Disappointments

Frank Worthington

This may seem a little odd; having a Leicester City legend on a list of international failures. However, winger Frank Worthington did not sparkle as he had done for his club on the international stage. The Foxes legend only managed to make eight appearances for his country in a career that spanned an amazing 26 years.

In his time in the Midlands, he made in excess of 200 appearances and netted an extremely respectable 72 times. The ex-Huddersfield Town man became very popular on Filbert Street as a result of his energetic performances and trademark skillful runs.

But, despite the fact that Worthington scored two goals in his relatively short career with the Three Lions, he was never able to replicate his club form on the international stage. This may have been a result of many different factors but most believed it was due to then manager Alf Ramsey not keen on the maverick attitude that Worthington adopted.

Steve Guppy

Another Leicester City winger who failed to adapt to the pressure of the international stage. During Martin O'Neill's tenure at the Premier League outfit, Guppy was a key component in the side that hoisted the league cup twice. In his career at the Foxes, the Englishman forged a reputation as a skilful and extremely speedy winger in no fewer than 146 appearances.

Often found cutting inside and curling the ball into the box, Guppy racked  up countless assists and was, at a point, one of the most efficient wide-men in the top-flight of English football. Following a move to Celtic, however, his career became even more fruitful as he managed to lift numerous trophies in Scotland.

But, the ex-Wycombe Wanderers man was never able to make it with his native England. Despite his great experience in the Barclays Premier League, Guppy only obtained one cap for the Three Lions in a 2-1 friendly win over Belgium.

After this game, Guppy was never called up to the England senior squad again before retiring from football in 2008.

Keith Weller

There seems to be a trend with Leicester City wingers not succeeding on the international stage but that is exactly what happened to the legendary Keith Weller. The tricky wide-man was idolised in the East Midlands until he unfortunately passed away  in 2004.

However, memories of his dazzling skills and powerful shots still portray Weller as one of the best players to ever pull on the blue shirt of Leicester City. In 262 appearances for the Midlands side, he scored 37 goals and gained plenty of admirers in the process.

Nonetheless, he was never able to replicate these stunning performances when he swapped the fox of Leicester for the lions of England. Throughout his 20 year career, he only managed to make four appearances for his country and only scored a grand total of one goal. On the other hand, the Foxes legend was only give a solitary season to prove himself on the international stage so easily could have been capable of much more had he been afforded more minutes.

But, as it happened, Weller was just incapable of adjusting to the rigours of international football.

VAVEL Logo