England fans are making an important point about Windrush and immigration following the Three Lions’ World Cup quarter-final win over Sweden.
Seven members of the 23-man squad have Caribbean heritage, and following the Windrush scandal earlier this year people have been quick to point out the role they have played in the team’s success.
Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Ashley Young, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fabian Delph and Marcus Rashford all have Caribbean roots.
And this post from the Windrush Movement – Birmingham, Coventry, Wolverhampton Facebook page highlighting their backgrounds has been shared more than 1,000 times.
The Windrush generation is a term used to refer to African-Caribbean people the British government encouraged to immigrate to the UK after World War II, to help fill shortages in the labour market.
Here are each of the seven players’ backgrounds, their links to the Caribbean, and their journey to the England squad.
Raheem Sterling (Jamaica)
Raheem Sterling is yet to score in Russia, but has been one of England’s liveliest, most dangerous attacking options, despite criticism from some sections of the fanbase.
He was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and his father was murdered there when he was just two years old. His mother moved him over to England when he was five and he attended Copland School in Wembley.
He started out at QPR’s academy before moving to Liverpool as a teenager and made his first England appearance in a friendly against Sweden in 2012, aged just 17.
Last season he was a key member of Pep Guardiola’s Premier League winning Manchester City side.
Kyle Walker is a right back by trade, but has become an important part of this England set-up as part of a back three. He gave away a penalty against Tunisia in the opening game, but has been very solid since.
He was born in Sheffield to an English mother and Jamaican father and started out at Sheffield United before making his name at Tottenham.
Walker made his England debut in 2011 as a substitute in a 1-0 friendly victory over Spain, and now finds himself a Manchester City and Three Lions regular.
Danny Rose could have played for Jamaica because of his Jamaican grandfather, but instead chose England, and made his debut in March 2016 in a 3-2 friendly win over Germany.
He signed for Tottenham from Leeds’ academy in 2007 and has made more than 100 appearances for the Lilywhites. He was named in the Premier League team of the season in 2017.
In Russia he’s largely backed up Ashley Young at left-back, but started against Belgium and came off the bench in the win over Colombia.
At 33, Ashley Young is the most senior member of England’s squad, and is still a key player for Manchester United and the Three Lions in his new position as a left wing back.
He was born in Stevenage but has a Jamaican-born father. He started his career at Watford and has found success everywhere he’s been – next at Aston Villa and finally United.
Along with Kieran Trippier he is one of Gareth Southgate‘s dead ball specialists – something the Three Lions have relied on in their tournament so far.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Jamaica)
Loftus-Cheek has Jamaican heritage, but is also the half-brother of former Premier League players Carl and Leon Cort, who both played for Guyana.
Loftus-Cheek himself was born in Lewisham in London, and has been at Chelsea his entire career, other than a successful loan spell at Crystal Palace last season which helped him break into the England squad.
He’s played just seven times for England – including starts in Russia against Panama and Belgium – but is just 22, and has a chance to kick on and finally become an important part of Chelsea’s set-up next season.
Fabian Delph returned to England’s squad to come off the bench against Sweden, having missed the Colombia game to witness the birth of his third child.
He’s been a bit-part player for Southgate’s men so far, and is a useful squad player for Manchester City, being able to play in several different positions.
Delph was eligible to play for Guyana before making his competitive debut for England, but chose the Three Lions, making his international debut in a 1-0 friendly win over Norway.
Marcus Rashford (St. Kitts)
Marcus Rashford has ancestry in St. Kitts, but England will be very glad they have him – he was one of the penalty shootout heroes against Colombia in the round-of-16.
He came through Manchester United’s academy, and already has 17 goals in 78 Premier League appearances for the club, aged just 20.
He made his debut in a 2-1 friendly win over Australia before Euro 2016 and scored within three minutes of coming on, making him the youngest ever England player to score on his debut.