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Alan Smith remembers his first England appearance

Alan Smith, Arsenal
1988: Alan Smith of Arsenal takes on Gary Mabbutt of Tottenham Hotspur during a match at White Hart Lane in London. Arsenal won the match 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Simon Bruty/Allsport

The former footballer talked about his first experience in the English national team: a Concorde trip to Saudi Arabia.

Alan Smith will forever remember the first time he wore the England national team shirt.

“It was Saudi Arabia away. I remember because we traveled over on Concorde which was a thrill in itself,” he wrote in his column on Sky Sports.

“I got on as a sub and it was not a very memorable performance by me.”

He explained: “I think we drew 1-1 in the end, but I always remember Bobby Robson, he gave a team-talk beforehand and it was going on and on and on for some time.”

“Don Howe, his assistant, was stood next to him and finally Bobby turned to him and said: ‘Have you got anything to add, Don?’ Don said: ‘I think we better let the lads get changed. There are only 20 minutes until kick-off.’ But that was Bobby. He loved to talk about football.”

“I’m quite well known for replacing Gary Lineker against Sweden in Euro 92, which were less than memorable for England. I got warmed up along with Alan Shearer,” he continued.

“Graham Taylor told us to warm up and I got called back instead of Shearer, who was a young boy then. I thought I’d be going on to partner Gary, who was my partner at Leicester back in the day, but instead, he came off, I went on.”

“I didn’t have time to think about it really. I just wanted to try and do my best, but it didn’t really work out,” he added.

“I scored the only goal of a European Qualifier at Wembley, which was quite a thrill. It was against Turkey and all my family was up in the stand.”