Almost universally considered the greatest defender England have ever produced by those who saw him play, Neil Franklin is a football superstar whose name perhaps isn’t as well-known as it ought to be.
Capped 27 times by England, setting a record for consecutive England appearances, Franklin sent shockwaves through the British game when he left Britain for Bogota in 1950, just months before England were set to make their World Cup debut in Brazil.
Whilst the national team proceeded to be humiliated by the United States in South America, trying out ten inferior centre-halves over the next four years and suffering two devastating defeats at the hands of the Hungarians, football in England would never quite be the same again.
This is the story of Neil Franklin…
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