Sir Geoff Hurst – England’s 1966 World Cup hat-trick hero and ambassador for Grosvenorsport.com – believes it is only fitting for Wayne Rooney to get a final farewell after his inclusion in England’s latest squad for the friendly with the United States.
Rooney is set to pick up his 120th and final gap in the game, and Hurst feels the ‘best England player of his generation’ deserves to put on the England shirt for one last time.
Sir Geoff Hurst said: “Wayne Rooney has been the best England player of his generation, and his contribution deserves to be recognised. I’m glad that we’ll see him in an England shirt one last time.
“I’ve read a few comments from former England players, including my old teammate Peter Shilton, saying that England caps should be earned and not handed out.
“You can understand why players like Peter have this opinion because they fought hard to get to where they did with the national side. But I think Peter is just nervous someone will finally take over his record!
“In all seriousness though, we’re not just talking about any player. We’re talking about the record England cap-holder for an outfield player, the national side’s record goal scorer and someone who has been a fantastic servant for club and country throughout his career.
“On top of that, there’s also a lot of money set to be raised for charity, which will be fantastic to see. It’s important for football players to support charities whenever they can, and Wayne is certainly someone who has done that.
“The only thing that can be said as an argument against Wayne’s inclusion is that it may hold back another young player from gaining valuable international experience. We’ll have to wait to find out, but I hope that it doesn’t mean the likes of Jadon Sancho or Phil Foden won’t be in the squad.
“However, if we’re also talking about helping young players develop in the international set up, then surely celebrating Wayne’s career in this way is an example to the next generation of England stars. It shows them how they can be thought of if they follow Wayne’s example and are as successful as him for England.”