By David BeaumontRead moreAhead of Saturday’s game against the Republic of Ireland, the Football Association (FA) has come under increasing pressure to reveal the identity of its most famous player and its biggest star.
When you consider the importance of the role played by a player like Paul Scholes and the importance that the players who follow them have on the fortunes of the game, the idea that players like Gary Neville, Gary Lineker, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard would be kept a secret by the Football League and that there would be no player’s record books is a very interesting one indeed.
The idea of keeping players’ records hidden is something that was raised by the FA in its bid to secure a new record-breaking record for most goals scored by a single player in a game, set in 2005 by Sir Alex Ferguson.
The FA’s official history says that “it was a great achievement to achieve the record of scoring in the opening match of the 2005/06 season, a fixture that had been played a total of 28 times in the FA’s history and the third highest goal scored in a single season by a team in the modern era, behind Manchester United’s record of 31 goals in 1974/75 and the record for goals in a match of England’s top division set in 1999/00 by Gareth Bale against Manchester City.
In addition to the goal, there was the fact that the Premier League’s record for a goal in a season was set in 2001/02 by Jamie Vardy against Manchester United.
There are also claims that the FA was reluctant to reveal its players’ names, even though many of them were still in their prime.
When I asked former FA chief executive, Nigel Godrich, to comment on the record-keeping, he replied: “I don’t know why you would ask.
I think it’s a shame to have to have the records of your players kept, but I don’t think it was a mistake to keep them.
“In its official history, the FA admits that it had a difficult time getting the records from the Football Museum in Manchester.
But Godrich insisted that the club was aware of its players history and that it was an important part of the club’s identity.”
The FA wanted to do a bit of research on the players history in order to make sure we had a proper history of the players that we had,” he said.”
They did find out that the most successful player in the history of English football had been Gary Neville.
They also found out that Frank Lampards history in the game of football was very important, so we have some interesting historical stories.
“Godrich also claimed that it wasn’t until 2009 that the Football Writers Association was given the right to demand the names of its members.
But the FA has yet to confirm whether or not the name of any players who have played for the FA will ever be released.