As Harry Kane breaks Wayne Rooney’s all-time England record, Three Lions fans prepare to crown a new king of the penalty box. But who are England’s top scorers and how do their records compare to Spurs’ rising man?
TFF introduces you to the greatest strikers in the history of English football…
10. Vivian Woodward – 29 goals
The only man on this list to have more goals than games in an English shirt. Woodward was a pre-war hero, scoring 29 strikers between 1903 and 1911. His 1.26 goals per game ratio is an astonishing feat and knocks Frank Lampard (who scored 29 goals in 106 games) off this list.
9. Tom Finney – 30 goals
The Preston North End hero of the 1940s and 1950s has the lowest goals-to-games ratio (0.39) on this list. Still, that’s no surprise, considering Finney was more of a winger than an all-out forward.
8. Alan Shearer – 30 goals
Big Al’s Premier League goalscoring record of 260 looks set for quite a while yet, but his status as England’s top 10 goalscorer might not last that long. Thirty goals in 63 appearances is a great comeback for the former skipper, whose heroism at Euro 96 nearly brought football home.
7. Nat Lofthouse – 30 goals
Boasting one of the best goal-to-game ratios in England’s history, Lofthouse was a footballing juggernaut of the 1950s. His 285 goals for Bolton Wanderers made him the Trotters’ all-time top scorer, while that his Three Lions strike rate puts him in a comfortable seventh place on the list.
6. Michael Owen – 40 goals
Despite an injured career, Owen’s 10 years in the England team are more than many names ahead of him. He scored at four separate majors, most remembered as a teenager at the 1998 World Cup when his solo goal against Argentina marked his emergence on the world stage.
5. Jimmy Greaves – 44 goals
The name in Kane’s sights at club level, with Greaves’ Tottenham, something the current England captain has said he hopes to surpass in the future. Greaves’ average of three goals every four games (0.77 goals per game) is the second highest on this list.
4. Gary Lineker – 48 goals
The 1986 World Cup winner scored 10 major tournament goals for England – a record since equaled by Kane – and had five international hat-tricks, including four against Spain in 1987 and Malaysia in 1991 A missed penalty against Brazil in 1992 would have equaled the record then held by Charlton.
3. Bobby Charlton – 49 goals
The 1966 World Cup winner scored on his debut in 1958, just two months after surviving the Munich air disaster that killed eight of his Manchester United team-mates. He broke Sir Tom Finney and Nat Lofthouse’s previous record of 30 in 1963 and scored twice in the 1966 semi-finals, completing a short half-century. He eventually had his records in the United States and England both revised by Rooney.
2. Harry Kane – 51 goals
Kane has reached 50 goals in just seven years in international football, and at a rate of 0.7 goals per game, which puts him fourth in terms of goals per game on this list. He won the World Cup Golden Boot in 2018 and, at 29, looks certain to become England’s all-time leading goalscorer in the near future. Anyone can guess how many more he can put in to protect that status.
1. Wayne Rooney – 53 goals
Also England’s most capped outfield player, Rooney scored just once in a World Cup finals, against Uruguay in 2014, but his six European Championship goals put him fourth in England goalscoring at major tournaments behind Kane, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer.