A friend threw a pub quiz-style question at me today: “How many sets of brothers can you name who have both played football in the English First Division (or Premier League)?” It’s a good one, and I have to admit my answer was quite pathetic, drying up at around two or three. Later, I went online to try to find some more, and was amazed to find that there are dozens, possibly hundreds. One list gave over 20 pairs of brothers who both played for England!. There were also good references from the Daily Mirror and The Times.
If you have any corrections or additions to this list, I’d be delighted to read your comments at the bottom.
So here we go, not in any particular order, but perhaps starting with the greatest sets of brothers of all, and a few sets of more than two brothers!
Bobby and Jack Charlton
Nearly 1,600 club appearances between them, and a World Cup Final for good measure.
Denis and Leslie Compton
Denis may have been one of the greatest all-rounders in sporting history, but Leslie made 253 Arsenal appearances to Denis’s 54.
Danny and Jackie Blanchflower
Jackie’s career for Manchester United was cut short by injuries from the team’s Munich air crash, while elder brother Danny is widely regarded as Spurs’ greatest ever player.
Allan, Frank, Derek and Wayne Clarke
Allan scored over 100 goals for Leeds, Frank appeared in Division One for Ipswich, Derek made five top-flight appearances for Wolves, and Wayne was in the championship-winning Everton team of 1987. A fifth brother, Kelvin, appeared for Walsall but never played at the top level.
Bob, Peter and Dave Latchford
Peter and Dave were both goalkeepers, playing in Division One for WBA and Birmingham City respectively, while middle brother Bob scored over 200 goals in hais career, notably for Birmingham City and Everton.
Danny, Ray and Rod Wallace
Actually played in the Southampton team together in 1988.
Jacky, William and George Carr
All played in the same team, Middlesbrough, in 1920.
John and Justin Fashanu
Justin was the one remembered for his goal of the season and for being Britain’s first million-pound black footballer, but John got the England caps.
Gary and Phil Neville
Their 800 club appearances and over 140 England caps seem great in this modern age, but I guess they ain’t no Bobby and Jack.
Xabi and Mikel Alonso
A pairing who scrape in thanks to Mikel’s 7 appearances for Bolton.
Rio and Anton Ferdinand
Both started at West Ham, but Rio moved on to greater things.
Shaun and Bradley Wright-Phillips
Half-brothers; Bradley managed about 40 appearances for Manchester City in the mid-noughties.
Fabio and Rafael Da Silva
Only 30 appearances for Manchester United so far between them, but time is on their side.
John and Charles Sutcliffe
John was the goalkeeper for Bolton Wanderers in the 1894 FA Cup Final, and Charles turned out for Sheffield United an incredible 31 years later.
Clive and Bradley Allen
Bradley played for several seasons in the top flight for QPR, while Clive famously played for almost every club in England. Cousins Paul and Martin also played in Division One, but weren’t brothers.
Kolo and Yaya Toure
Yaya came to Manchester City to join his brother Kolo in 2010.
Luke and Stefan Moore
Both played Premier League football for Aston Villa, Stefan only making 22 appearances.
Paul and Ron Futcher
Division One appearances with Luton and Manchester City in the seventies for the twins.
Mark and Brian Stein
Not the only pairing to start out at Luton.
Ron and Peter Springett
Successive Sheffield Wednesday goalkeepers as one swapped for the other in a transfer deal in 1967.
Ray and Dean Wilkins?
I’m not sure whether any of Dean’s appearances for QPR or Brighton were in the First Division.
Jimmy and Brian Greenhoff
Jimmy made nearly 300 appearances for Manchester United and Leeds United, and Brian made nearly 500 appearances at the top level, with the two playing in the same Manchester United team for three years in the late 70s.
Stephen and Gary Caldwell
Both players began their careers at Newcastle United and have ended up with each other again at Wigan Athletic.
Dean and David Holdsworth
The twins who have managed against each other also played a single game in the same Bolton Wanderers side in 2002, as well as making top-level appearances for other sides.
In addition to the above, the following sets of brothers, most of who were unknown to me, all played for England, no less, at one time or another!
Arthur, Charles and Ernest Bambridge
Billy and Charles Clegg
Bertie and Rex Corbett
Arthur and Harry Cursham
Alf and Charley Dobson
Frank and Fred Forman
Fred and Jack Hargreaves
Frank and Hubert Heron
Alex Leake and Jimmy Windridge
Alfred and Ed Lyttelton
Frank and Reg Osbourne
Charlie and Tom Perry
Herbert and William Rawson
Alf and Charlie Shelton
Jack and Sep Smith
Clem and George Stephenson
AG and Robert Topham
Arthur and Percy Walters
Clause and Geoffrey Wilson