With the power of social media, the likes of Jude Bellingham and Kalvin Phillips will never know the feeling of waiting with baited breath to see their name appear on teletext, as former England international Paul Parker did some three decades ago.
In LiveScore’s two-part series entitled ‘International Stories’, the ex-Manchester United defender discussed his international career and some of his best moments on the biggest stage of all.
“My first call-up would’ve been in about 1988 and I was at Queens Park Rangers because we had to then wait for a letter to come through the post,” he began. “You found out via Ceefax about the squad and then the next day, your letter would be there at the club for you from the FA in a brown envelope.
“It was quite exciting in that sense because my boss at the time was Jim Smith and he knew but because it was my first call-up, he never said anything to me.
When I got home and I saw it was on Ceefax, Jim Smith rang me up. I won’t say what he said but that was a moment when that happened.”
The 57-year-old reminisced about Italia ‘90 and the hurdles he faced before being named in the squad for the tournament and going on to establish himself in the Three Lions World Cup squad.
“Going through that season leading up to it, trying to avoid injuries and everything else, low and behold I was travelling to Italy believing that I was going there,” Parker explained. “Then my squad number was number 12 so I was going to be a sub.
“I was quite pleased to be going – or really pleased to be going – because I’d been sent off two or three games from the back end of the season. There was a big kerfuffle with the FA taking a player who has to start the following season with a suspension.
“I’d broken my little toe as well which was a problem – plus I was carrying a hernia problem so I had cortisones put in either side of my groin to get me through it. I thought to myself, all I’ll be doing is jogging along the touchline warming up.”