On this day in 2001: Tony Adams retires from international football

On this day in 2001, England defender Tony Adams announced his international retirement at the age of 34.

The centre-half opted to focus on his club football with Arsenal, citing fitness reasons as a factor in his decision to retire.

England were also preparing for the start of a brand new era under Sven-Goran Eriksson, looking forward to the 2002 World Cup taking place in South Korea and Japan.

Euro 96 Adams & Caminero
Adams earned 66 caps for England in total (Adam Butler/PA)

“I have taken the decision to listen to my body,” Adams said.

“Something has to give and it has to be the internationals.

“I want to give the benefit of the time I have left in the game to Arsenal. I can’t keep being cruel to them by playing for England then missing club games.”

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Adams earned 66 caps in total for England, making his debut against Spain in Madrid in 1987 and playing in his first major tournament at the European Championships in 1988.

He went on to captain the side at Euro 1996, where they reached the semi-finals, and played in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

Adams spent another season at Highbury with the Gunners before calling time on his playing career in summer 2002.