We built the perfect England captain for Joe Root to model himself on

We built the perfect England captain for Joe Root to model himself on

With Alastair Cook stepping down as England’s Test cricket captain, 26-year-old Joe Root is expected to be named his successor.

That’s pretty young to be captain of your country, so we’ve given him a bit of help.

Combining characteristics from some of the best England captains of the past, we’ve created the perfect sporting leader for Root to model himself on.

Bobby Moore

Characteristic: class

Bobby Moore was the perfect captain to lead English football into the modern era, a beacon of class who took England to their only football World Cup success, in 1966.

He was also a footballer of class, demonstrating perfectly timed tackles, unusual ability on the ball, and gentlemanly sportsmanship, as illustrated after England’s 1-0 defeat to Brazil at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.

He also didn’t steal jewellery, something for which he was detained for questioning at the same tournament.

Michael Vaughan

Characteristic: tactics

Former England captain Michael Vaughan - (Phil Noble/PA)
(Phil Noble/PA)

Michael Vaughan’s batting form was apparently dented by captaincy, but the realisation of his potential as a tactician was worth the loss of a few runs.

Vaughan oversaw one of England’s most successful Test periods, winning eight Test matches in a row in 2004, against New Zealand, the West Indies and South Africa, before hosting the Ashes in the summer of 2005.

It was then that, despite the brilliance of Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting and co, Vaughan’s England outfoxed one of cricket’s great sides to reclaim the Ashes after 18 years.

Kate Richardson-Walsh

Characteristic: commitment

Great Britain's Kate Richardson-Walsh - (Paul Harding/PA)
(Paul Harding/PA)

You’ll struggle to find a more committed international captain than Richardson-Walsh, who captained Great Britain for 13 years as well as leading England.

Still doubting her? At London 2012, Kate played with a metal plate in her mouth as GB marched to a bronze medal. However, the crowning glory of her time as captain came in the Rio 2016 Olympic final.

GB trailed 2-1 and 3-2 before levelling to force extra time, winning on penalties against the Dutch world champions. She is her country’s most capped female hockey player, and if Root can demonstrate a fraction of the commitment Walsh has shown, he’ll do okay.

Martin Johnson

Characteristic: winner

Martin Johnson lifts the World Cup - (Steve Cuff/EMPICS Sport)
(Steve Cuff/EMPICS Sport)

A big man, that’s for sure, Martin Johnson was large in size and had the reputation to match, captaining England to World Cup glory in 2003.

The lock retired from international rugby after winning the Webb Ellis Cup courtesy of England’s dramatic 20-17 victory over Australia, and to do so on such an occasion was appropriate after a career of winning.

Johnson captained the British and Irish Lions twice and won the Six Nations five times, as well as five Premiership titles and two Heineken Cups with Leicester Tigers.

A born winner. Take note, Joe.

Casey Stoney

Characteristic: pioneer

England's Casey Stoney - (Nick Potts/PA)
(Nick Potts/PA)

Captains must set the agenda, and Casey Stoney broke so much new ground during her career that it’s impossible to leave her off this list.

Stoney’s England career began at a time when women’s football was not taken seriously, and ended with the sport firmly in the nation’s hearts, after the England squad she was a part of finished third at the 2015 World Cup in Canada. Stoney, as captain during that time, had a huge influence on the rise of the women’s game in England.

She also broke new ground off the field, coming out in 2014, and becoming the first female member of the PFA management committee in 2013.

Not a bad lot to take inspiration from.

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